Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Joy and Blessings of Meeting Cousins

When I was growing up I was very close to my 3 paternal first cousins.  We frequently spent time together for the Holidays and Summers.  Their mother and my father were siblings.  While they didn’t live in the same town they frequently came to visit my Grandparents and we lived only a field away which was very convenient.  Over the years we stayed fairly close despite our adult lives and living in different parts of the country at times.  Weddings, births and now graduations were always great times to get together and fun times to look forward to.  This was a great experience to build on as my genealogical research continues and I find new cousins.

While visiting family in the town I grew up in over the Holidays I was so pleased to be able to reconnect with one 2nd cousin, say a quick hello to another 2nd cousin and meet two 3rd cousins that I don’t think I’ve ever met.

It’s hard to explain the feeling of meeting new cousins.  It’s strange the bonds we share from our common ancestors.  The stories passed down in a family, the pictures saved, the Bible notations that connect us.

I was amazed to see that one of my new 3rd cousins brought some of the same pictures I brought to our get together.  Unlike mine though…..hers actually had names and the reason the picture had been taken-a family wedding.  In another photo she was able to identify who the ‘city slicker’ was in the fancy car.  (details to follow in future blog posts)
Warner siblings Warner Franklin photo in car
                            Eleanor Warner’s wedding                                                              Franklin Warner

I think it was Maureen Taylor (see post Photo Friday-Mystery Man) in a talk that said if you don’t have names on pictures check with other family members to see if they have the same photos but perhaps with names.  Good lesson and it proved true in this case!

The 2nd cousin I was able to reconnect with was able to share a book of local interviews that I had not seen before.  One of the people interviewed was our Great Uncle who talked a lot about his growing up which gave me a lot more info about my grandfather’s adolescence.  Stories I had never heard.  What a great find!

Then there was my Exciting News to follow-up on.  (See blog post Exciting News-Carrie’s Letters) I had finally found and talked to my great-grandmother Carrie’s sister Ella’s great-granddaughter.  We had agreed to meet and had a wonderful day! We talked for hours.  We discovered so many similarities in our lives; same undergraduate degrees, she worked at facility that I had also applied to, we had the same summer jobs in college for several years,  (Also found out that one of my 2nd cousins did the same thing too-small world), etc. Then she had pulled down a box from her attic of ‘stuff’ from her ancestors.  The box turned out to be a treasure trove of info!  While we were looking for pictures of her great-grandmother we found several photos with this being my favorite.
Billard Ella Terry photo in buggy

We found a variety of photos, newspaper clippings, address books, notes on envelopes, etc. in the box which took us several hours to go through.   I took lots of pictures of things we found.  While I was hoping for a picture of Ella and Carrie together my cousin reminded me not to give up because….”we still have more boxes to go through next time”.  Wow!  What a find!  While I am so grateful for the information I think the best part was getting to know my cousin, her husband and father!

I have to admit that with the information I gathered from cousins and a trip to the County Probate office as well as the County Historical Society I am feeling a little overwhelmed with information and need some time to process it all.  Definitely a lot more information for future blog posts.  I like to continually look locally for information while I am there and not just use records found on-line so I try to gather as much as possible while I am there. 

We cousins had such a good time that we all want to make this a regular get together when I am back East.  I hope next time when I can visit family I can also talk more to the 2nd cousin I was only able to briefly meet.  Oh and my new 3rd cousin needs to meet my 2nd cousins which are also her family! 

Remember: You never know what little piece of information someone has that will help you put together the bigger picture or break through a brick wall.

While our lives get so busy with our daily routines it’s a good time to remember the blessings of cousins and the ancestors we share.

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

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Exciting News-Carrie’s Letters

If you have been following my posts that have to do with Carrie’s Letters (see posts Carrie’s Letters) you may be interested in hearing my exciting news.

About 7 years ago I had an amazing find - over a hundred letters that my paternal Great-Grandmother Carrie Terry Warner wrote.  Carrie wrote these letters from 1880-1910.  They were mainly written to her sister Ella Terry Billard who was 11 years younger.  As I have scanned, transcribed, edited and researched the letters these last 7 years I have often wondered about Ella.  I have a photo of Carrie but always wondered what Ella looked like.  Ella died in 1966 and I may have met her growing up as she only lived about 15 miles away from where I grew up but if I did, I don’t remember.

I have put the letters into a book format so they would be easier to read.  I have researched people and events that Carrie talked about in order to help bring the letters to life and make them much easier to read and understand.  They tell quite a story of everyday life in rural Long Island during this time period.  As I complete some editing and an Index of people mentioned in the book I have always felt the book wouldn’t be complete without a photo of Ella but how to find one…..

First, I began to research Ella’s life after marriage. 
  • I knew Ella had married from reading Carrie’s letters and her husband was George Billard. 
  • I learned that after Ella married George Billard she had 3 sons; Russell, Irving and Ellis Billard. 
  • As I continued my search I found out that Irving never married and died in 1989. 
  • I found out that Russell married but had no children and died in 1979. 
  • Ellis I found out married Natalie and they had one daughter Eleanor.  Ellis passed away in 1982 and Natalie died in
So, I had one possible lead left-Eleanor.  How do I find out if Eleanor married and if so, who?  Did she have children?  Is she still alive?

I decided to start with County Probate records and looked for a Will for Ella’s.  Success!  I found a will for Ella and in it she mentions her Granddaughter Eleanor, her husband and 2 children.  YEA, now I have a married name for Eleanor and I know she had 2 children.  I also know where they were living at the time of the will which is about 10 miles from where I grew up.

Next,  I decided to start searching the local phone book.  I was not able to find a listing for Eleanor but maybe found her husband.  I tried calling with no luck.  I tried looking for the daughter with no luck.  I also tried looking for the male son.  I found one possibility and tried calling.  I had to leave a message and thought how crazy I must have sounded, “Hi, you don’t know me but…..if your great grand-mother was Ella Terry Billard we’re related and I’d like to ask you some questions.”  No response.  I tried mailing a letter to the address listed but the letter was returned because in that town mail is delivered to a PO Box and I didn’t know that…..ugh….dead end.

Then, I decided to try the Cutchogue New Suffolk Free Library.  A woman, over many years, had collected newspaper clippings and glued them on copy paper by family surname.  Most were marriage, obituary, death notices, birth notices.  Maybe I would find an obituary for Ella and there would be a picture???? No such luck. Ugh…

Then I decided to look on Ancestry Public Member Trees for a tree that might have Ella listed…..and…..I found one!  I sent an email to the owner of the tree and got a response!!  I found out that the owner of the tree was a cousin of Ella’s great granddaughter on her father’s side.  YEA, a mini celebration!  I told her who I was and why I was looking for her cousin and asked if she cold pass my information along.  Through several email messages she let her cousin know and let me know that her cousin was very busy but had some photos and would get back to me when she could.  I sent a follow-up to her letting her know I would be in the area for the Holidays and would love to even just talk to her cousin if she had time.
download surprise

Monday night, a week ago, I received a phone call from Ella’s great-granddaughter totally out of the blue.  We talked for about 45 minutes and made plans to meet next week.  Big celebration time!  She grew up so close to me in distance, is a year older, our High School teams played each other and for several summers in college we worked at the same job (Summer work in the Tax Office at the County Treasurer’s Office) and probably even met each other.  We are sure our paths have crossed before this.  She told me Ella was doing genealogy way back when and yes, she has pictures!!  How exciting and oh, did I say… she has ‘boxes of stuff’ for us to look at.  How unbelievably exciting to be able to meet her-my third cousin!  I just kept saying that I felt like the circle is complete-we were meant to know each other!  Our great-grandmother’s were sisters and now we will have the opportunity to get to know each other.

This journey has taken about 2 years of my searching but just under 140 years from Carrie’s first letter, while at college, to her sister Ella.  I am so VERY grateful to Ella for saving Carrie’s letters and for her great-granddaughter’s willingness to pick up the phone and agree to meet and share information.  What an amazing gift I have been given and continue to receive as a result of Carrie’s letters.  Now I feel that I can complete the book of Carrie’s Letters complete with a picture of Ella for the book.

I will be sure to let you know what we find in those ‘boxes’ and about our meeting.

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday-Jacob Grantier

Granteer Jacob tombstone
Jacob Granteer
Griffin Cemetery, Canton, Bradford County, Pennsylvania
Maternal 5th great-grandfather

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

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday Serendipity-Jacob Grantier

When I am thinking about my blog post for the next week I try to pick someone that I haven’t researched.  I try to spread out my research to different branches of my family tree.  I may pick someone, look at the information I already have and try to add to it.  Sometimes I am amazed at how I may be looking for information on, as happened this week, Silas Bailey (my maternal 3rd great grandfather) when I instead of finding something directly on him…….another name comes up in my research, such as Jacob Grantier.  So, I guess this week it’s Jacob’s story I am supposed to tell.  In genealogy circles we call this ‘Serendipity’.  A term used to explain the unexpected turn of events that help us in our search for information about our ancestors.

I found Civil War pension information I forgot I had on Silas K. Bailey my maternal 2nd great grand uncle who I believed only lived in upstate NY.  In the paperwork it made a reference to Bradford County, PA where I knew my Alden-Coolbaugh connection came from (See post Using County Histories to Find Information-Timothy Alden).  Hmm….that’s interesting.  Perhaps the Bailey Family also started out in Bradford County as well before moving to upstate NY (basically across the border)….hmmm.  So, in my hunt for Silas Bailey I went back to a great website I’d found online entitled Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice.  It’s an amazing collection of information for Bradford & Tioga Counties in Pennsylvania and Chemung County across the border in New York.  Definitely a find worth bookmarking!
I knew there was a Jacob Grantier who had a son named David that I was descended from but that was all I had.

This is what I found on the Tri-Counties Genealogy and History website that began my search;
Jacob Grantier (Granteer, Granadier), a native of the province of Lorraine, Germany, came to America about two years before the Revolutionary War, locating in Schoharie county, N.Y. Here he joined Morgan's famous riflemen and served until the close of the struggle for Independence. Immediately preceding or during the war he married a Miss Tabor, a German lady. Having sold his property in Schoharie, in 1784-'85, he floated down the Susquehanna to Towanda. He selected a farm, 300 acres, on the South side of Towanda Creek, which he occupied and improved until 1801, when he sold to Reuben Hale and moved up Towanda Creek, purchasing the land on the present site of Canton village. He built a log house, where the Baptist church now stands, and constructed a saw mill on Mill Creek. He afterwards, about 1805, fell through this mill and was killed. His wife survived him some years. Both lie in the old Canton burial grounds. Their children were: John, David, Jacob, Betsy, Lena and Hannah.
  • John married Catharine, daughter of Daniel Heverly, the Overton pioneer.
  • David married first Elizabeth Warren, second Rhoda Killburn.
  • Jacob married Hannah Heverly, sister of his brother John's wife. Betsy married Samuel Rockwell of Canton.
  • Mary ("Polly") married Elias, brother of Samuel Rockwell.
  • Lena married a Mr. Blackwell of Jersey Shore.
  • Hannah married Iram Wilson of Canton.
This information was taken from a book titled:
Pioneer and Patriot Families of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 1770-1800: Including History (1615-1800), Marriages (1776-1850), Soldiers of the Revolution, Ministers, Justices, Original Officers and All Matters Relating to Early Times. By Clement F. Heverly ...Volume 1 of Pioneer and Patriot Families of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 1770-1800: Including History (1615-1800), Marriages (1776-1850), Soldiers of the Revolution, Ministers, Justices, Original Officers and All Matters Relating to Early Times. By Clement F. Heverly, Clement Ferdinand Heverly

I was also able to find the following:

1790 US Federal Census – Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
  • Names of Heads of Families –Granatier, Jacob

  • Free white Males of sixteen years & upward including heads of Families-2
  • Free white Males under sixteen years – 2
  • Free white Females including heads of Families – 2


U.S. Direct Tax Lists, 1798  (In July 1798, Congress authorized the first direct tax by the United States government. The records were used to levy taxes on owners of land, dwellings, and slaves in Pennsylvania.)

Name of Owner or Occupant- Granadier, Jacob     Name of Owner Situation- Wysocken       Valuation- 573         Assessment – 150
List of the Taxable inhabitants of Luzerne County, PA.  7th day of March, 1800 Wysox Township,  -(PA did not do a Federal census but did make enumerations of inhabitants every seven years for tax purposes and to determine representation in state government. These counts are called the Septennial Censuses.)
Granidier Jacob 
  • Name of Occupants, or –Jacob Granatier
  • Name of reputed Owner- Jacob Granatier
  • In what County, Township, Parish, Town or City in the Assessment District situated.- Wysocken Township
  • Dwelling-Houses and Out-Houses of a Value not exceeding One Hundred Dollars
  •     Number of Dwelling-Houses- 1
  •     Value, Dollars- 60
  • Quantities of Land, Lots, &c. subject to and included in the Valuation- 150 Acres
  • Valuations as determined by the Principal Assessors,  including Dwelling Houses
    &c., not exceeding One Hundred Dollars in Value- 573
What I’ve learned;
  • A new Surname for my list.
  • I see that the first son of Jacob’s was John and I’m noticing that his wife Catherine was a Heverly-perhaps related to the author Clement Heverly of the above mentioned book about Pioneer and Patriot Families?
  • I would like to find out more about Morgan’s Famous Riflemen unit during the Revolutionary War
  • Perhaps through this connection I can now join the DAR (Daughter’s of the American Revolution)
  • Jacob was a prosperous man based on the above Tax lists and owned a good amount of property.
I wonder if Jacob received a Land Grant after his service in the Revolutionary War in PA?  Is that why he moved from NY to PA?

I am anxious to see what else I can find on Jacob and his family.

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

Sunday, December 4, 2016

US Federal Non-Population Census-Agricultural

I wanted to take a look this week at my great great-great-grandfather Stephen Robinson.
When I started this is all I knew about Stephen:
  • Stephen was born 14 February 1805 in Southold, Suffolk County, New York
  • Stephen’s parents were Moses Robinson (age 30) and Susan Gould Robinson (28).
  • Stephen (age 19) was married to Caroline F. Overton (age 14?) on 24 January 1825.
  • Stephen and Caroline had 10 children-Barnabas Osborne, George W., Perry Stephen, Almeda Vincent, Dolisea, William Smith, Arthur M., Alonzo Martin, Huldah J., Carrie E.  Almeda is my great-great grandmother and the mother of Carrie Terry Warner.  (See Carrie’s letters)
  • Stephen died on 11 June 1871 at the age of 66 and is buried in Brookfield, Manorville, Suffolk County, NY.
This is what I learned about Stephen:
According to the 1865 NY census Stephen was a farmer.

While searching on-line I stumbled across the US Federal Non-Population Census for 1850 and 1860 for Stephen.  The US had Agricultural Schedules every 10 years from 1850-1900.  The census according to the US Federal Government “was a convenient form and had the advantage of showing the general condition of each farm on one compact sheet.”  I started reviewing what Stephen had recorded in 1850.

1850 US Non-Population NY Agricultural Census, NY-
Stephen had 40 acres of land improved, 260 acres of land undeveloped, the cash value of the land was $3,000, Value of Farming Implements and Machinery $50, 2 Horses, 4 Mileh Cows (milking cow), 2 Working Oxen, 6 Other Cattle, 30 Sheep. 6 swine, $300 Value of Livestock, 60 Bushels of Wheat, 60 Bushels of Rye, 150 Bushels of Indian Corn, 70 lbs. of wool, 100 bushels of Irish Potatoes, 30 bushels of Buckwheat, 200 lbs. of Butter, 10 Tons of Hay, $80 Value of Homemade Manufactures.
1860 US Non-Population NY Agricultural Census, NY-
Stephen had 75 acres of land improved, 100 acres of land undeveloped, the cash value of the land was $2,000, Value of Farming Implements and Machinery $100, 3 Horses, 3 Mileh Cows (milking cow),  2 swine, $450 Value of Livestock, 75 Bushels of Wheat, 40 Bushels of Rye, 200 Bushels of Indian Corn, 200 Bushels of Oats, 100 bushels of Irish Potatoes, 40 bushels of Buckwheat, 200 lbs. of Butter, 3 Tons of Hay,$150 Value of Homemade Manufactures.

I thought if I put the results of the 2 Agricultural census in a spread sheet it would help me see what changes there were over the 10 year period.  The additional information for items listed below is from the information given to complete the census.
Remember to always read about the record (census) before you look at the information.
AG census

WOW…what a different type of information this is!  It was very interesting to see what in June of a growing year my ancestor had. 
Some thoughts:
  • I was surprised by the amount of butter that was held by the family.
  • I’m interested in the change of acreage.  Stephen had 10 children so I wonder if he sold or gave the land to some of his children?
  • In the 1860 census, Stephen and Caroline still had 6 children at home with them.
  • I know that in 1850 and 1860 Stephen was living in Riverhead instead of Southold where he was born and not yet in Manorville which is where he is buried.  Did he move to Manorville or was he just buried there?
  • I wonder if they did sell any of the goods they made themselves or if it was just clothing, etc, for their family?
  • I found it interesting that many, my ancestor included, owned sheep.  I wouldn’t have expected anyone to have them since I haven’t seen them on Long Island in my lifetime.
  • Why can’t I find him in the US Federal Census for 1870?
There should be an Agriculture census for 1870 unless Stephen had given up farming at that time?  He would die a year later.
Now, I wonder if I can find a will for Stephen………….

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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Celebrating the Life of-Olin F. Warner, Sr.

Celebrating the life of
Olin Forrest Warner, Sr.
Warner Olin Sr photo 1918 14 years old
(1918   14 years old)
Today is the 112th anniversary of my paternal grandfather’s birthday.

Olin was born to John Benjamin Warner and Carrie Eliza Terry Warner in Baiting Hollow, Suffolk County, New York on 27 November 1904.  Olin was the 5th of 6 boys born to John and Carrie.
Warner Bros.
(left side-back row)
In a letter Carrie wrote to her sister, Ella Terry Billard, on 15 December 1904 she said the following about the birth;
“When baby came had hardly time to get Alice [her sister-in-law who lived near by] here, so little warning did I have.  Thought at first I would not telephone for the Dr.  Knew he would not get here before the baby, but thought better about it, and sent for him.  It was so early that he could come right here.  Reached here about nine o’clock or a little later.  Mrs. Gordon about half an hour later.  Soon after Dr. came when every thing was over and all seemed to be going on so nicely I was taken with sinking spells, and threatened heart failure.  Dr. staid six hours, and was back again early in the morning, but after the first day I had no more drawbacks.”
In a letter dated 12 January 1905 Carrie tells Ella;
“ Baby (we are thinking of calling him Olin Forrest, Terry’s named him that) has mild colic I think, do not know what else it can be..  Has had ever since he was born, lots of wind.  Some days can do nothing but tend to him.  He grows, is a big strong fellow.  Sleeps good nights, but days he minds noise so much to be be able to sleep any.”
‘Terry’ was Olin’s older brother- 16 years old at the time of his birth.  ‘Forrest’ was the name of Carrie’s brother who helped on the farm in the Summer’s.
When my grandfather was 5 years old his mother passed away very suddenly from a stroke.  Olin and his brothers, that were still at home, moved with their father to a farm a few miles away in Aquebogue, New York. 

Ten years later when my grandfather was 15 years old his father John passed away from cancer,  Olin went to live with his older brother J. Wesley Warner and his wife Alice Aldrich Warner on their duck farm in Riverhead.

Warner Olin Sr photo HS
My grandfather bought his own duck farm a few miles away in Calverton, NY. in 1926 and began farming.
Warner Olin Sr. photo young adult

On 16 November 1929 Olin married Agnes Sarah King of Brooklyn, New York.  They would have 2 children and 7 grandchildren.

Olin would continue as a duck farmer in Calverton until his death on 8 February 1977 at the age of 73.
Warner Olin Sr

I remember my grandfather as a quiet man who loved his family very much.  I remember he had a beautiful smile and gave great hugs.  I remember that once in a while he like to tease us a little.  I remember being amazed that he remembered all 7 of his grandchildren’s ages and grades in school.  He liked to play bridge and I remember people saying that they hated to play against him because he remembered every card played.  I remember him reading a lot, especially his National Geographic magazines, the local Newspapers and Readers Digest.  I remember him falling asleep in his lounge chair while reading in the evenings after dinner then heading back out to check the farm before going to bed.  He was also very patient with his grandchildren and we liked to tag along with him on the farm.  When, as kids, we were in a hurry to go somewhere or do something he would say, "Hold your horses".  I remember going sometimes with my grandparents to the cemetery and listening to him telling me stories about our Warner ancestors.  He was a very good man and I’m proud he was my grandfather.
Happy Birthday Poppy!

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

Thursday, November 24, 2016

My 1st BLOGIVERSARY-Debby’s Family Genealogy Blog

A look back at the last year- I owe so much thanks to fellow blogger and good friend Diane Gould Hall (Michigan Family Trails) who has helped me tremendously this past year, from setting up my blog to many suggestions and ideas to help me in my blogging endeavor.  I had tried several years ago to start a blog but never really got it off the ground.   Diane’s biggest suggestion was to blog regularly.  The goal I set for myself for the year was to write 50 blog posts.  While I have tried to post weekly, that hasn’t always worked out, but I’ve managed to write and publish – 53!   Some of my Favorite Posts this year- Are always my posts about my paternal Great Grandmother- Carrie’s letters.  Here are a few:
All time History Page Views- 3,698
Followers – 10
 What I’ve learned:
  • I think my research is more focused when I am working on a topic for a blog post.
  • When I am telling the story of my research I frequently find I have more information then I thought I had when I started writing the story.
  • Writing a summary of my research helps me realize where my gaps are and gives me a direction for more research.
My Frustration is that there never seems to be enough time to do more research and write more posts.

My goals for this next year: 
  • To once again publish at least 50 posts. 
  • To find some more ‘cousins’ to connect with
  • Finally complete my edits and research on Carrie’s Letters and get them published
I found out I can have my posts printed in a book format in order to save them.  I think this will create a good family story for me to save and share.

A Special thank-you to fellow bloggers Randy Seaver (Genea-Musings), Diane Gould Hall (Michigan Family Trails) Jana Iverson (Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog) and Thomas MacEntee -Genabloggers (May I Introduce to You….) for mentioning me in their blogs and patiently offering guidance as I learn how to do this.  
A VERY SPECIAL THANK-YOU TO ALL MY READERS!  I enjoy the comments you make and/or questions you ask.  I’m always looking for new directions to search.    It has been such a great year for me as a blogger.  I am looking forward to next year. On to future discoveries and new cousin connections.

Enjoy the journey,

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Finding my Pilgrim Ancestors-John and Priscilla Alden

Growing up we knew nothing about our Alden connection.  There were no precious hand me down items and no stories of ancestors past that would have connected us to the Pilgrims. 

Back in the late 1980s while visiting my maternal Grandmother, Edna Cornell Hammond, with my son and mother in upstate NY I was asking about where the older cemeteries were located for different ancestors.  After replying “Oh, you’re interested in ….that (genealogy)” Grandma pointed out a large envelope on the counter that someone had sent her that contained some family information.  She told me that a year or so before a Minister had stopped by and asked her a lot of questions about her family.  Then he sent her this packet of information.  I asked to borrow the envelop for the evening and was told to take it because she had no interest in it.  That night at the motel I was amazed at the treasure trove of information that was in the envelope!  It lead me back to my Pilgrim Ancestors- John and Priscilla Alden.  HOW EXCITING!!!!

Over the years I have done a little research here and there to try and verify the information in the envelope.  Recently I decided to make the commitment and seriously work on confirming this line so I can join the General Society of Mayflower Descendants and the Alden Kindred of America.  (See blog post entitled Which Historical Societies Will You Join?)

When I was researching John & Pricilla’s great-great-great grandson Timothy Alden (see blog post entitled Using County Histories to Find Information-Timothy Alden) I came across the following information from a booklet HISTORY OF BRADFORD COUNTY (PA) by H.C. Bradsby published in 1892.

“HON. JOHN ALDEN, ancestor of most persons bearing the name of Alden in this country, was one of the Plymouth Pilgrims, and the last male survivor of those who came in the " May Flower," and signed the compact in her cabin in 1620. He was not of the Leyden Church, but as Bradford in his " History of Plymouth Plantation informs us, was hired for a cooper at Southampton, where the ship victualed, and being a hopeful young man, was much desired, but was left to his own liking to go or stay when he came here, so stayed and married here. He was distinguished for practical wisdom, integrity and decision, and early acquired, and retained during his long life, a commanding influence over his associates. He was much employed in public business, was an assistant to the governor many years, and, in every position he occupied, fulfilled his duties promptly and to the satisfaction of his employers. So far as is known his ancestry in England has not been traced. He was born in 1599, and died at Duxbury, September 12, 1687, in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people, and his sons buried him. He married, in 1621, Priscilla, daughter of Mr. Molines or Mullens, who with his family came also in the " May Flower," and both died in the February succeeding their landing. Tradition represents Priscilla to have been very beautiful in her youth, and John also was a comely person, and considering his other accomplishments, it is not surprising that when he was sent by Capt. Standish, after the death of his wife, to solicit her hand in marriage, she preferred the messenger to the message:
      But as, he warmed and glowed, in his simple and eloquent language, Quite forgetful of self, and full of the praise of his rival,
      Archly the maiden smiled, and, with eyes overrunning with laughter,
      Said, in a tremulous voice, why don't you speak for yourself, John?
      Their residence, after a few years, was in Duxbury, on the north side of the village, on a farm which is still in possession of their descendants of the seventh generation, having never been alienated. It was supposed, until recently, that John and Priscilla Alden had but eight children. Bradford, however, states in his history, that, at the time of his writing, they were both living and had eleven children : John (born about 1622), Joseph (born 1624), John, Elizabeth (born 1625), Jonathan, S'arah, Ruth, Mary, David and two whose names are unknown.”

      Thanksgiving now holds a new meaning for me.  Among the list of things I am thankful for this year I also want to take the time to be thankful for John & Priscilla.

      I will continue to research John & Priscilla and their heirs.  As I learn more about the Pilgrims and the lives they led I can’t begin to imagine what it was like for them.  Priscilla was a young woman of 17 traveling with her parents and brother to this new, unknown world so far away, hoping for a place to practice their religion without problems, only to have her parents die during the winter.  John taking this wild adventure as a ‘cooper’ (barrel maker) on the ship and then deciding to stay in this new world so far from home.  I know their lives were beyond hard and so much like food, shelter and the Native Americans were such unknowns in this new world.  But they survived and prospered despite all the odds against them.  I am grateful they persevered in this great new land!
            Happy Thanksgiving!
            If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
            Enjoy the journey,

        Monday, November 21, 2016

        Amanuensis Monday-Daniel Warner’s Will 1781

        Daniel Warner was my paternal 5th great grandfather.  In my direct Warner line there are 4 Daniel Warners.  This can get a little confusing, to say the least.  I am calling this Daniel - Daniel Warner I to keep them straight.

        Daniel was the sixth of 7 children born to Nathaniel Warner and Deborah Reeve Warner.  Daniel was born in 1731 in Jamesport, Suffolk County, New York.  (His father Nathaniel was reportedly the first Warner to come to Long Island, New York in the early 1700s.)

        Daniel married Hannah Petty on 16 Dec 1756.  Daniel and Hannah had 10 children; Daniel, Nathaniel, James, Deborah, John, David, Benjamin, Hannah (lived to 3 years old), Hannah, Mehetable.  At the time of the writing of Daniel’s will in 1781 only 5 of the 10 children were still living; James, Deborah, David, Benjamin and Mehetable.

        Daniel passed away on 6 Mar 1787 in Jamesport, New York.  Hannah lived another 27 years dying in 1814 without remarrying.

        Daniel’s will:
        Warner Daniel I Will original Warner Daniel I Will original 2
        Warner Daniel I Will original 3 Warner Daniel I Will original 4
        The transcription of the Will is:
        In the Name of God Amen the eighth day of October in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand, seven hundred and eighty one. I, Daniel Warner of the Town of Southold in the County of Suffolk and province of New York in America Yeoman being in Common health of body and of a sound disposing mind and memory (thanks be given to God for the same) and Calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die Do make & Ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say, principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God who gave it and for my body I recommend it to the earth to be buried in a Christian like and decent manner at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life I give, devise and dispose of the same in the following manner & form, that is to say,   Imprimi’s [in the first place] I give and bequeath the Improvement of all my lands meadows and buildings unto my beloved wife Hannah Warner so long as she remains my Widow and no longer.  
        _Item my Will is that all my lands and meadows with the buildings, privileges and appurtenances there unto belonging be equally divided in quantity and quality into three equal parts or divisions between my three sons James Warner, David Warner and Benjamin Warner after my Wife’s Interest in the same, and after the legacys are paid which I give as follows, the one third part of all my lands meadows and buildings I give and bequeath to my son James Warner his heirs, and assigns forever after my Wife’s Interest in the same he having his first Choice.

        _Item I give and bequeath unto my son David Warner his heirs, and assigns forever one third part of all lands, meadows, buildings as above said after my Wife’s Interest in the same he having his second choice.

        _Item I give and bequeath unto my son Benjamin Warner his heirs, and assigns forever one third part of all lands meadows, buildings as above said after my Wife’s Interest in in the same.

        _Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Deborah Warner two hundred pounds in York money to be levied out of my moveable estate.

        _Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mehetabel Warner two hundred pounds in York money to be levied out of my moveable estate and my will is that if in case either of my sons shall decease before they arrive at the age of twenty one years and without lawful heirs of their body that then is here intended for them shall be equally divided between the surviving brethren.

        _Item my Will is that after all my just debts, funeral and other necefsary Charges are paid and also the legacys above said that then all the remainder of all my movable estate give and bequeath to my beloved Wife Hannah Warner to dispose of as she shall think fitting among my Children.

        _Lastly I do hereby nominate, Constitute and appoint my well beloved wife Hannah Warner to be my Executrix and my trusty and well beloved Cousin James Reeve Esqr to be my Executor to execute this my last Will and testament according to the true meaning and intent thereof and I do hereby make void, revoke and dysanull all and every other former Wills, testaments and legacies, ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my last Will and testament. In Confirmation whereof I have to set my hand and seal on the day & year first written

        Daniel Warner     LS_
          Signed, sealed, published, pronounced and declared by the said Daniel Warner as his last Will and testament in the presence of us subscribers. _Daniel Wells, Matthew Beale, James Youngs ________ Suffolk Co}fs.   

        Be it remembered that on the twenty seventh day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand, seven hundred and eighty seven personally came and appeared before me Jared Landon Surrogate of the said County Daniel Wells Esquire and James Young Yeoman both of Southold in the County and being duly sworn on their oaths declared that they and each of them did see Daniel Warner sign and seal the within written Instrument purporting to be the Will of the said Daniel Warner bearing date the eight day of October in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty one and heard him publish and declare the same as and for his last Will and testament that at the time thereof he the said Daniel Warner was of sound disposing mind and memory to the best of the knowledge and belief of them the Deponants, and that Matthew Beale and the Deponants severally subscribed the said Will as Witnefses thereto in the Testator’s presents.

         __________ Jarod Landon Surrogate

        The People of the State of New York by the grace of God Free and Independent to all to whom these Presents shall come or may Concern Lend Greeting. Know Ye that at Suffolk County on the twenty seventh day of March last before Jared Landon Esquire thereunto by us delegates and appointed the last Will and testament of Daniel Warner deceased (a Copy whereof is hereunto annexed) was known and is now approved and allowed of by us and the said Deceased having whilst he lived and at the time of his death goods, Chattels or Credits within this State by means whereof the proving and Registering the said Will and the granting Administration of all and singular the said goods, Chattels and Credits and also the auditing allowing and final discharging the account thereof doth belong unto us. The Administration of all and singular the goods, Chattels and Credits of the said deceased and any way Concerning his Will is granted unto Hannah Warner an Executrix in the said Will named she being first duly sworn will & faithfully to Administration the same and to make and exhibit a true and perfect Inventory of all and singular the said goods, Chattels and Credits and also to render a just and true account thereof when thereunto required. In Testimony where we have caused the seal of Office of our said Surrogate to be hereunto affixed.

        Witnefs Thomas Tredwell Esquire Surrogate of our said County at Smithtown the nineteenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand, seven hundred and eighty seven and of our Independence the Eleventh.

        Thomas Tredwell
        Some thoughts I had after reading Daniel’s will:
        • Daniel was obviously a God fearing man by his statements
        • Daniel loved his wife Hannah (“my well beloved wife”) and trusted her decisions
        • I was pleased to see that he named his wife as Executrix and put her interests first
        • Sad to see that he was predeceased by 5 of his children
        • Pleased that he left something to both of his daughters and not just his sons
        • Daniel felt blessed by the life he had lived in the 1700s
        If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
        Enjoy the journey,


        Friday, November 11, 2016

        Veteran’s Day–Honoring My Hero


        Today is our official day to thank the many men and women who have served, or currently serve, our country in the Armed Forces.  Veterans Day has been celebrated on November 11th to commemorate the day that World War I ended. Originally known as Armistice Day until being changed in 1954 to Veterans Day.  A day of honoring Americans veterans of all wars. 

        So, today I would like to honor my hero, my Dad, who is a Veteran of the Korean War.  He served in the Army from 1954-1956. 
        Dad in uniform Dad in uniform 4
        He was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey and at Fort Richardson, Alaska (land of my birth).

        Dad in uniform 2
        Dad in uniform 3
          Serving in the Snow in Alaska
        So, thank-you Dad for serving our Country and thank-you to all the men and women who have or are currently serving!
        Enjoy the journey,

        Sunday, October 30, 2016

        Who was Louis Arthur King

        My paternal great-great grandfather was Louis Arthur King.  I thought I’d take a look at the information I have and what additional information I can find on him.

        What I know about Louis:
        • Louis Arthur King was born about 1843 in Brooklyn, NY to Jacob and Mary King. 
        • Louis had a brother Jacob born about 1836 who married
        • Louis had a sister named Caroline born about 1847.

        According to the 1850 census, Louis, his siblings and parents were living in Ward 6 in Brooklyn.

        Louis’ father Jacob died between 1850-1860.

        According to the 1860 census, Louis was still living at home and his occupation was listed at the age of 18 as a Laborer.  He and brother Jacob and sister Caroline were all living with their grandmother Mary King who was widowed in Ward 12 in Brooklyn, NY.

        According to the 1870 census, Louis was still living with his brother Jacob and his grandmother Mary still in Ward 12 Brooklyn, NY.  Louis’ occupation was listed as Engineer.

        Louis married Sarah Maria Barry on 25 December 1870 in Brooklyn, NY.  It looks like Louis and Sarah each signed their license with an X.  Louis was listed as an Engineer.

        Louis and Sarah had 6 children:
        • Sarah E. is believed to have married Alexander Shaw ?
        • Louis Arthur – not sure he ever married
        • George Washington King (my great grandfather) who married Sarah A. Rowan.
        • Walter- not sure he ever married
        • Katie – possibly married Sidney Hunn ?
        According to the 1880 census, Louis, Sarah and 4 of their children were listed as ‘boarders’ on the 2nd floor at the home of Sarah’s parents Ebenezer and Catherine (Bolen) Barry in Brooklyn.  Louis occupation was listed as the Captain Dredging Machine.

        I found the following picture from an 1880 dredging machine that was used for the Suez Canal.  Perhaps the one that Louis was Captain of was similar.
        Image result for 1880 dredging machine

        Louis died at the age of 47 on 8 May 1890 of Bronchitis and Acute Phthisis (Tuberculosis).  His wife Sarah lived until 1926. They are both buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.

        I wish I was able to find out more about Louis then the dates based on the census records.  I wonder if the Brooklyn Historical Society may have more information about the type of job/career that Louis had on the water.  I would like to learn more about the actual work that Louis did.

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

        Sunday, October 23, 2016

        County Historical Societies-A Source of Different Information

        When I head back East (Eastern Long Island-Suffolk County) to visit family I usually try to squeeze in some research time.  My paternal side of the family has lived in the area since the late 1600s so there are always new records to find.  There are Town Clerk Records, County Land Records or Probate Records that I ‘need’ to search for.  I like going to physical locations because there are still records that aren’t available online and I learn some interesting things by….talking to people that deal with local records.

        I have been to the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead, New York before and have found some great info.  I know that they have original copies of the local newspapers.  While many of the local newspapers are online through Live-brary I have found some gaps.  I was looking for some obituaries that I was not able to find online so I decided in July while back there to go to the Suffolk County Historical Society to look for them. 

        I was very fortunate to find Wendy Polhemus-Annibell working on the day I went.  Wendy was a tremendous find!  Many times when we go looking for records we don’t know what to look for because we don’t know what is available.  Wendy was able to tell me about a variety of different types of records or files that they possess.  I was able to find the obituary records I was looking for and I found a lot more. 

        Wendy told me about a man named Ackerly who, long before the County began keeping land records, etc. took it upon himself to travel around the County to individual homes and copy land records into ledgers.  I am amazed and so very grateful to this gentleman (need to find out more about who he was) for taking it upon himself to record all the deeds of the times so that I, and other family historians can find records back in the early 1800s.  One of the documents I found in the Ackerly Records (as they are referred to) Book 12 pages 191-192 was a record of the land purchase (1841) by my paternal great-great grandfather Daniel Warner III.

        Warner Daniel III land deed 1841 1
        Warner Daniel III land deed 1841 2

        This is the transcription of the land deed:

        This Indenture made the sixteenth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty one between Daniel Warner and Jemima his wife of the town of Riverhead in the County of Suffolk and State of New York of the first part and Daniel Warner 3rd of the Town County and State aforesaid of the second part Witnesseth that the party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of twenty dollars to them in hand said by the said party of the second part the receipt where of is hereby acknowledged have granted bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain sell remise release alien convey and confirm unto the said party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns forever all of a certain piece or parcel of land situate lying and being in the town of Riverhead and bounded Easterly by the land of Jacob Benjamin Southerly by the North road (so called) and Westerly and Northerly by the land of Daniel Warner, it being fifteen rods in length along the road and eight rods in width, containing three fourth of an aker (acre). Together with all and singular the hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining and the reversion and reversions remainder and remainders rents issues and profits thereof and all the estate right title interest claim or demand whatsoever of the said party of the first part either in law or equity of in and to the above bargained premises with the said hereditaments (estate) and appurtenances (things that go with it) . To have and to hold the above particularly described premises to the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns, to the sole and only proper use benefit and behalf of the said party of the second part and his heirs and assigns forever. And the said party of the first part for themselves their heirs executes and administrators do covenant grant promise and agree to and with the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns against all and every person lawfully or equitably claiming or to claim the whole or any part thereof will forever warrant and defend. In witness whereof the party of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals on the day and year first above written.
        Sealed signed and Delivered Daniel Warner L.S.
        In the presence of:
        Israel Wells
        Jonathon Horton
        State of New York Suffolk County SS. On the 15th Day of May 1842 before me came Daniel Warner a person well known to me in and who Executed the written instrument and he acknowledged to me that he executed the same for the purposes therein contained.
        David Edwards Justice of the Peace

        Ackerly Book 12 Pages 191-192

        Suffolk County Historical Society

        Riverhead, Suffolk, New York

        I think it’s interesting to see that Daniel bought the land from his father and mother, Daniel Warner II and Jeminia Benjamin Warner.  Daniel bought the land in December and 10 months later on October 19, 1841 Daniel Warner III married Eleanor Howell.  This past Wednesday would have been their 175th Anniversary.  I wonder, was Daniel a young man of 22 already thinking of marriage when he purchased the land or just a young man ready to be a land owner?  Daniel and Jemina had a total of 3 sons, including Daniel III, who all are listed as land owners on a local map.  Think I’ll need to see when the other brothers Lewis and Goldsmith purchased their land, from whom and at what cost also.  Check out my post entitled Using Tax Records and Maps-Warner Family for a map of where the property most likely was and another find from the Suffolk County Historical Society.

        So the lesson I learned that day was that the local Historical Society held some really interesting information I wouldn’t have been able to find online.  In future posts I’ll show some additional finds.  I also recommend you join a local Historical Society so they can continue to manage these great, unusual records that are housed there.  You never know what you may find.

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


        Enjoy the journey,