Sunday, May 22, 2016

Using City Directories to find William Rowan

I have very little information about my paternal 3x great-grandfather William Rowan.  I haven’t really known where or when he was born or died.  I know he and his wife Ann Meenan had a son John William Rowan (my 2x great grandfather) in 1846 in Troy ?  (according to John’s marriage license). 
I have found the following;  (you can click on image to enlarge)

                              1848 Doggett’s NYC Directory page 352                                 1849-50 Doggett’s NYC Directory page 364
Rowan Wm 1848 city directory Wm Rowan 1849-50 city directory
            Rowan Wm. harnessmkr, 268 Av, 6, h. W. 24thn. Av. 6              Rowan Wm. C. harnessmkr, 268 Av. 6, h. 62 W. 24th     
Then I was able to find :
                                     1850 US Federal Census Mortality Schedule                                                              1869 NYC Directory
Wm Rowan mortality record Rowan Ann 1869 city directory
line 12- William Rowan male, age 35, Married, Estimated birth year-1815,                          Rowan, Ann, wid William L. h 287 Tenth av.
birthplace-Ireland, occupation-laborer, cause of death-dysentery,
death date Aug 1949, cause of death-dysentery for 7 days
line 13- William Rowan  male, age-1/12, birth year-1849, birthplace-NY,
death date-Aug 1849, cause of death-poisoned?(hard to read), 1 day

Well, have I found the right William Rowan?  I’m not sure. 
  • I have no official middle name for William and there are several on the Directories.  At some point I thought it was Henry but on son John’s marriage certificate it just lists his father as William Rowan.  There is a Wm C. on the second of the Directory and in the last directory is says Ann is the widow of William L.  Hmmmm……  I wonder who gave the information for the Directory?
  • If I found the right William Rowan then I now know that he was a harness maker and where he lived in New York City.
  • I know that when John got married on 1 Aug 1869 (to Sarah Hughes) his address was listed as 239 10th Avenue which is close to his mother’s address listed above in the City Directory-287 Tenth Av.
  • My great-great-grandfather John was reportedly born in 1846.  It would make sense that another baby would have been born to William and Ann in 1849.  How sad to know the baby died in August when William also died.  How would the baby have been poisoned if he was only a month old?  An accident?
Still so many questions to find answers to.
I would appreciate any additional information or corrections you may have.
Enjoy the journey,

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday–James Jacob Warner

I have no photos of my paternal 4x great-grandfather James Jacob Warner (1762-1803).  In the 1980s, long before Billion Graves or Find a Grave, I thought to take pictures of many ancestor’s tombstones.  I guess I thought since I couldn’t have a picture of the person then this would be something that belonged to that ancestor and was a piece of time and information that I could have.
James lived in Baiting Hollow, Suffolk County, NY.  He is buried in the Congregational Church Cemetery also in Baiting Hollow.
Warner James Jacob
The transcription of the stone is:
to the Memory
James Warner
who died Sept. 30th
1803, in the 42d year
of his age.
The hour concealed and so
remote the fear
Death still draws nearer
never seeming near.”
I have always wondered about the quote on his tombstone.  I know that in the early 1800s tombstones generally just contained general information and to add quotes, etc. was rare.  James was reported by family lore to have been ‘a college bred man and taught school’.  To date I have not been able to verify his attendance at any college of his time or any record of his teaching school in the area.  It has been speculated within the family that perhaps James had a thirst for knowledge and educated himself by reading a lot.  (Definitely a family trait). 
I have searched several times over the years to find out where the quote came from or what larger poem it may be part of.  Yesterday I finally found out it is part of An Essay on Man, Epistle III written by Alexander Pope (an 18th century English poet) and published in 1732. 
Now I wonder ….why this quote?  Was this An Essay on Man something James had read?  Why did he die so young?  Can I find a record of his death?
More information can be found on James by clicking the link for the blog post Amanuensis Monday-James Jacob Warner.
I walked through this cemetery when I was back East in December and was unable to find this tombstone.  Many of the tombstones are so old and worn out they are hard to read.  Several others have fallen over.
Lesson: When you find an ancestor’s tombstone be sure to take a picture and to write down what is on the tombstone!  Remember- tombstones don’t last forever.
I would appreciate any additional information or corrections you may have.
Enjoy the journey,



Monday, May 16, 2016

Amanuensis Monday-James Jacob Warner

I decided to take a look at the the Will I have for my 4 times paternal great-grandfather James Jacob Warner.

(Click on any image to enlarge)
IMG_0926 IMG_0927
What I know about my 4x great-grandfather:
  • James was born 26 April 1762 in Jamesport, Suffolk County, NY. 
  • From the book A History of Mattituck, Long Island, N.Y.  (page 274) I know that James, son of Daniel and Hannah Petty Warner, was baptized on 12 January 1769.
  • James married Glorianna/Anna Edwards in 1783.
  • They had 5 children-Daniel (my 3x great-grandfather), James, Hannah, Sarah and Elisabeth.
  • James moved from Jamesport to Baiting Hollow, NY (a distance of about 10 miles) around 1780. 
  • James died 30 September 1803 at the age of 41 in Baiting Hollow, N. Y. and is buried there in the Baiting Hollow Cemetery.
When I started to transcribe James’ will from 1801 I realized that there were several terms used in the will that I needed to understand the meaning of in order to fully understand his will.  I took the liberty of writing the definitions within the parenthesis to facilitate the reading of the will.
JW will 1 filename-1
I noted several things as I read James’ will:
  • He left his property and goods equally to his sons Daniel and James.
  • He left each of his daughters a good amount of money and left them each the same amount of money.   $250.00 in 1801 would be valued at about $4,810.00 today.
  • His wife was listed as an Executrix but was left nothing in his will.
  • His eldest son was listed as one Executor and I’m guessing since he was only 17 James also listed his brother Daniel as an Executor also.
I wonder how much James’ estate was actually worth in 1803 when he died?
For 5 generations, about 130+ years my ancestors lived in Baiting Hollow, NY and I grew up only about 6 miles away.

I would appreciate any additional information or corrections you may have.

Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Birth 1897 Style

My great-grandmother, Carrie Terry Warner, wrote letters over the course of 30 years mainly to her sister Ella Terry Billard.  (See Carrie’s Letters and blog posts for other excerpts).  This letter from 1897 details the birth of her 4th child…yet another boy.  I can feel the disappointment. 

7 may 1897 7 may 1897 2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             B. H. (Baiting Hollow)                                                                                                                                                                     May 7, ‘97

Dear Sister,           
          It is over at last, all in good shape, except that the two teams are completed. Another boy (Hollis Victor Warner) but a black one (black hair) from all appearance. Just the least encouraging to have a little change. I sent John after the nurse who was about half a mile north of R. H. (Riverhead) village before I had a single pain, but the baby got here before he got back. The quickest and easiest time I ever had. Came within a few minutes of being all alone. Alice and Ella came just in time. Am feeling very well yet though tis only about an hour and a half ago. I was going to write to mama but Terry is very anxious to tell Wesley first and I am sorter tired so will wait. If you have a chance let mama know. Terry can not write this morning because he must go to school.          

          Write to me if possible to cheer the monotony of getting up. Terry is going.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Hastily,

John is Carrie’s husband.  Alice, I believe, is John’s brother Gene’s wife (Alice Hammond Warner) and Ella, I believe, is John’s brother Charles’ wife (Ella Etta Terry Warner).  Thank goodness family lived close by and here she is writing only an hour and a half after the birth of her child!  Terry is Carrie and John’s oldest son who was 9 year’s old at the time.  Wesley is Carrie and John’s 2nd son who was 7 years old and must have been staying with Carrie’s parents in Peconic, NY at the time. 

I am very fortunate to have these letters. They provide such an amazing glimpse into everyday life from 1880-1910 in rural America. 

If you have any additions or stories to share I would appreciate hearing them.

Enjoy the journey,