Sunday, December 3, 2017

Tracing Family Stories- Sarah Hughes Rowan?

One of my paternal 2nd great-grandmothers was Sarah Agnes Hughes Rowan.  The story my grandmother told was that Sarah’s mother Susan Hughes disowned her daughter when she married John Rowan.  John was an Episcopalian and the Hughes family were devout Roman Catholic who had suffered oppression by the Church of England in Northern Ireland.  She said John and Sarah had their daughters baptized Roman Catholic to try and get back into her parent’s good graces.  A  cousin of my father’s remembers being told a story that Sarah took her first child to her parent’s house and knocked on the door.  Her mother asked who it was and she said, “Your daughter”.  Susan’s reply was “I have no daughter”.  Sarah then left.  Did this really happen?  As I do my research I wonder if I can prove or disprove this one of many family ‘stories’ that were passed down.
Sarah Agnes Hughes Rowan
Here is what I have been able to find out about Sarah:

1850 US Federal census- August 1st, 1850 in the 1st District of the 16th Ward in New York City. I was able to find a Patrick Hughes age 36, his occupation was a Laborer and he was born in Ireland.  Susan, his wife was 30 years old, born in Ireland.  Susan, their daughter, age 3 years old and born in New York.  The dwelling they lived in had 3 family groups.  There is also a woman listed with the family named Susan Quinn age 32 born in Ireland.  I wonder if Susan Quinn is a relative of the family?
  • This would mean that Susan and Patrick were in New York by 1847.  See post  The Luck O’ the Irish…Perhaps…  which, if I am following the correct trail, shows Susan and Patrick marrying in Ireland in Clonfeacle Parish, County Tyrone in 1846.  So far, I may be on the right track.
Sarah was born reportedly about 1850/1 in New York City (according to family recorded notes).  There was never a mention of her parents.   Sarah was first generation American born.  I have been unable to locate a birth certificate or baptismal record.  

US Federal Census 1860-Have not been able to locate them in the census yet.

On August 1st, 1869 John William Rowan and Sarah Agnes Hughes were married. On their Marriage license 18 yo Sarah’s address was reported as 318 10th Avenue, New York City.  23 yo John’s address was 239 10th Avenue, New York City.   When I found Sarah and John’s marriage license I was able to find out her parent’s names-Patrick and Susan McKenna Hughes.  The witnesses were:  Ellen Cavanagh and Charles A. Colwell.  Don't overlook the witnesses.  I wonder if Ellen Cavanagh could have been Sarah’s Aunt Ellen? 

1870 US Federal census-Have not been able to locate them in the census yet.
  • Joseph Valentine born 1871, born in Pennsylvania-lived to adulthood
  • William born 1872, born in Pennsylvania-lived to adulthood
  • Susan born 1875 and died at 3 months of age, buried in New York  If the family had gone to Pennsylvania where the previous 2 children are reportedly born then they were back in New York City by 1875 when Susan died.
New York State Census 1875-Have not been able to locate them in the census yet in New York or in Pennsylvania.
  • Mary born 1878-lived to adulthood
  • Sarah Agnes born 1879 (my great grandmother)-lived to adulthood
1880 US Federal Census- June 10th, 1880 New York City in District 1. I find ‘Jno’ was 34 years old, Occupation was Engineer, he and his father were born in New York and his mother was born in Ireland.  Sarah was 28 years old, Occupation was Housekeeper, she was born in New York, her parents born in Ireland.  Joseph 9 years old, attending school and born in Pennsylvania. William 8 years old and born in Pennsylvania.  Mary 2 years old and born in New York.  Sarah 10/12 months old and born in New York.  Ann, John’s mother, 68 years old, she and parents born in Ireland.  I wonder if Sarah worked outside the home as a Housekeeper since usually wives don’t have an occupation listed and her mother-in-law was living with them so she could have taken care of the home and the children?
  • Elizabeth born 1881 and died 1882 at age of 1, buried in New York
  • John born May 7th, 1882 and died at 4 days old, buried in New York
  • Hiram born 1884 and died 1885 at age 1 about 2 weeks after his mother, buried in New York
On August 18, 1885 Sarah died at the age of 33 in New York City at Presbyterian Hospital of Cerebral Endocarditis and failure of respiration.  Sarah’s death certificate also reports her parents as Patrick Hughes and Susan McKenna.

Sarah is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York.  My father and I went to the cemetery to see Sarah’s grave.  It was disheartening to find no cemetery stone to mark the resting places of Sarah and her 4 children or the other 2 children, I assume cousins, who also died as young children.  Sarah would watch 3 of her children die before her and know a 4th was ill when she herself was in the Hospital dying.  How heartbreaking!  I know it was common for children to die young but as a mother myself it's still difficult to imagine.

On Sarah’s death certificate it lists her occupation as Cap Maker.  I did some research and found out that many women did piece work at home to earn extra money for their family.  From the book entitled the History of Women in Industry in the United States reported that in 1871 in New York about 2,000 women cap makers earned from $6-$8 per week.  When I look at Sarah’s picture above she is wearing a cap.  I wonder if she made that one? 

There is so much I would still like to find out about Sarah.  I still don’t know if the family stories about Sarah and her parents are true.  I would like to find the ancestors of Sarah’s children Joseph Rowan, William Rowan and Mary Rowan White (called Mamie by family) to see if they have some additional information about the family.  Did they ever hear these stories?  My Great-Grandmother was the youngest in the family after all.

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

Friday, November 24, 2017

2nd Blogiversary-Debby’s Family Genealogy Blog

A look back at the last year-

Over the past year I have created and published about 52 blog posts.

Some of my Favorite Posts this year-
  • It’s Official! I Proved it! This was a major accomplishment for me. I was able to find the information and prove to the Alden Kindred Society that I was a descendant of John & Priscilla Alden of the Mayflower. My perseverance and research skills were validated.
  • Recording a Family Thanksgiving Tradition. I enjoyed recounting my father’s memories and finding videos that added to his story.
  • Heading Back to School in 1880 and Back at College in 1880.  From my paternal Great-Grandmother Carrie’s Letters.  I enjoyed hearing about her trip back to college in Trenton, New Jersey and about the college itself.

All time History Page Views- 54, 464 (about 50,000 more than last year)

Followers – 12

My most viewed blog was – Finding my Pilgrim Ancestors-John and Priscilla Alden with 1304 page views. To date this is my most viewed blog post.

What I’ve learned:
  • Providing a link to my blog post on related Facebook groups has helped me find cousins and allowed me to share family history with them in a much easier format. I have received some very valuable research help from others. It really does take a community frequently and I am grateful for others willing to help and share their experiences. I have also tried to assist others when possible.
  • I think as I reach out to other people on public trees having a blog to refer them to gives me a little more credibility as a  researcher and someone who is happy to share information.
  • Using the right media to help tell a story can really enhance the information and help readers understand the time period.
  • I can enhance the sometimes just bare facts of a person’s life by adding information about the time period around the facts.
My Frustration continues to be that there never seems to be enough time and money to do as much research as I want.

My goals for this next year:
  • To once again publish at least 50 posts while continuing to work full time.
  • Prove to the Mayflower Society that I am a descendant of John & Priscilla Alden.
  • Make the stories of my ancestors’ lives be more than just dry facts. Help the readers understand the time period better.
Accomplishment: One of my goals for last year was to publish a book of my blog posts and I was able to accomplish that. How exciting to see all the research for a year published in to one place in a book format.

My updated Surname word cloud:

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 research or information that is questionable and needs verification.  

It has been another great year for me as a blogger.  On to new discoveries and new cousin connections and maybe some great new photos.

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

Enjoy the journey,

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Recording A Family Thanksgiving Tradition

I recently recalled my Father telling me what his family had done for several years when he was growing up for Thanksgiving and thought it was a tradition that needed to be recorded. 

My Grandfather had a duck farm out on Eastern Long Island that required constant attention.  It certainly wasn’t a 9 to 5 job.  It was difficult for him to get away on trips but around Thanksgiving he was able to take some time in the 1940s.

My father remembers my Grandfather Olin driving my Grandmother Agnes, my Aunt Gloria and him in to New York City early in the week of Thanksgiving.  My Grandfather would spend the night and then have to drive the 60 some miles back home to check on the farm and then return to the City by Thanksgiving.  They always stayed at the Hotel Pennsylvania (renamed the Statler in 1949 and in 1991 it was once again renamed the Hotel Pennsylvania) on Seventh Avenue across from Penn Station.  My Dad remembers that some years they had a window in their room that they could see the parade from and watched it right there from their room.  Other times he said they would go to the end of the hallway and watch from the windows there.  The family ate Thanksgiving dinner in the dining room of the Hotel.  He remembers being a young boy of 10-12 and always wanting to pay the bill for dinner.  My Grandfather would hand him the bill and give him the cash so he could go pay for dinner.  How important and grown up he felt.  They left their car in the parking garage under the Hotel and walked around New York City or used a taxi. During the day they went walking around looking at the many Christmas decorations and doing some shopping.  He remembered my Grandmother going to the Concierge desk at the Hotel to get tickets to shows such as Oklahoma, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, etc. and how much he enjoyed the shows. He also remembered going to dinner one night and having a table right next to the stage.  He said he was so excited to hear the famous trumpet player W.C. Handy-St Louis Blues.  He said he was so close he could almost reach out and touch Mr. Handy. After a busy and fun week Sunday came and it was time to head back home.  What a great tradition and memory to preserve!

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, as we know it, was originally called the Christmas Parade.  The parade began in 1924 and has run every year with the exception of 1942-1944 during WW II.

I was able to find the following mentions of the families’ trips to New York City in the local newspaper of the time:
The County Review newspaper dated Nov. 29, 1945
“Mr and Mrs Olin Warner and children spent the holiday and weekend in New York City.”
      In 1945 the big balloons were reported to be Bobo the Hobo (Clown), Acrobat, Teddy Bear, Pumpkin, Ice Cream Cone
                                                                                           Daily News photo from November 23, 1945
(click to enlarge image)
[You can even click the link and watch a video on YouTube from the 1945 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.]

The County Review newspaper dated Dec 5, 1946
“Mr and Mrs Olin Warner, Miss Gloria and Olin, Jr, spent the holiday and weekend in New York.”

The County Review newspaper dated Dec 2, 1948
“Mr and Mrs Olin Warner and son Olin Jr spent the holiday and weekend in New York, where they were joined by their daughter, Miss Gloria, of Lasalle Junior College, Aubarndale, Mass.”

Many years later I would take my young son in to New York City to see the parade two times.  Our first time was in 1986.

One time my sister was even able to join us.  We watched along the route of the parade and not at Macy’s.  I remember how cold it was standing there (I think one year it was 11 degrees and windy) and how quickly the parade was over compared to the 3 hour time it takes on TV.  My son also remembers having a loose tooth that came out while eating a New York pretzel. 

It was an amazing experience to be there in person and see the huge balloons and floats go by.  One we will definitely not forget.  I’m thankful we were able to continue that Family tradition of seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in person and to be able to record my father’s story.  What a great memory it was for him that we now have a record of!  It was fun for me to listen to my father tell me about these great memories he has.  With a little searching I was even able to locate the YouTube videos of the 1945 Parade and the one of W.C. Handy-St. Louis Blues on the Ed Sullivan Show and share them with my father who enjoyed watching them.  It’s so amazing what is available on the Internet and how we can share in my Father’s memories.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Be sure to record the memories of your Thanksgiving traditions.

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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Obituary-Timothy Alden

As genealogists we are always looking for obituaries to find those missing pieces of information such as a birth location, a missing family member, etc.  When I found the following obituary for my maternal 5th great-grandfather Timothy Alden, I was amazed at how different this obituary was from the others that I have been able to locate.  This has no mention of his wife or children, his year or location of birth, or even his connection to his very famous 5x great-grandparents John & Priscilla Alden of the Mayflower.  Yet, I feel like I know so much about him as a man from the following very eloquent description of the personality of the man Timothy was.  I believe it also shows the author’s admiration for Timothy.

The Bradford County Historical Society was able to locate the obituary for me from the
Bradford Reporter dated Thursday, Oct. 13, 1859:


Transcription:  In this village, on the 20th ult, Capt. Timothy Alden, of Monroe township, aged 89 years and seven months.
Capt. Alden was one of the pioneer settlers of northern Pennsylvania; emigrated from Massachusetts, and fixing his home in these sylvan wilds in December of the 1880.  His axe cut the road for the teams as he approached the place which he had selected for a home. -- He grappled manfully with the inconveniences of frontier life, and the wild beasts of the mountains, and the forests alike stood out of his way, and the earth and his mechanical industry were compelled to yield him a support.  He has lived until all the original surroundings have changed while he gazed upon them-the village, the church, the railroad, and all the accompaniments of thirst, now occupy the cities upon which he gazed, in their original attire.  The red man has gone to his imaginary hunting ground, the sturdy pioneer has fallen a martyr to his privations and hardships; and two generations have passed away from this western home, leaving a patriarch to tell us of events that were well nigh a century agone; and thus to stand as a connecting link, associating us with men and events of quite another era of time.  The aged oak has finally fallen and the connecting link is broken and forever gone.  Bowed with age and with locks whitened by the frosts of many winters, the sluggish stream is stayed and the weary wheels of life have ceased to move.  Panoplied by a life of rich experience, and fed by fruitful thought and meditation, and nerved for the event, by long and careful observation, he wrapped around him the mantle of his christian faith, and sat down to await the day of his appointed time as quietly as the infant reposing in the arms of maternal affection.  He has gone on that long journey.  Verily, “As the waters fail form the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up; so man lieth down and riseth not, till the heavens be no more.”

I wish I could thank the author of this obituary for the care he/she took in preparing this and the style of writing used.

See also Tombstone Tuesday-Timothy Alden and Using County Histories to Find Information-Timothy Alden for additional information.

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

Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Honoring a Revolutionary War Veteran

I think I have about 7 Revolutionary War Veterans among my ancestors.  While so many lines of my ancestors have been in the United States since the 1600s and 1700s it has made tracing them to their ‘home’ country towns a lot harder, but on the other hand it gives me great pride in knowing how many of them served in the founding of this great country.

Jacob Grantier (see post entitled Sunday Serendipity-Jacob Grantier) was my maternal 5th Great-Grandfather.  I found the following on the Tri-Counties Genealogy and History website about Jacob:

“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.”

I decided to do some further research to see what I could find out about Jacob and Morgan’s famous riflemen and Jacob’s military service.
  • The age of enrollment or enlistment during the Revolutionary War was 16 years of age.  They were able to serve until age 50.
Morgan’s Riflemen were an elite light infantry unit commanded by General Daniel Morgan in the American Revolutionary War.  They served a vital role because they were equipped with what was then the cutting-edge rifle instead of muskets, allowing superior accuracy up to ten times the distance of the typical troops of the day.  General George Washington, in his own words described them as "...chosen men, selected from the army at large, well acquainted with the use of rifles, and with that mode of fighting which is necessary to make them a good counterpoise to the Indian."  They were very skilled sharpshooters.  I was not able to find any verifying information yet that Jacob was part of this group, however, I have found information indicating this was true.  More research to be done in this area to confirm.
On Fold3 I was able to verify that Jacob was in the Revolutionary War and was in Colonel Peter Vroman’s Regiment of Albany County Militia (Fifteenth Regiment) which existed from about 1779-1783.  (click on images to enlarge)

Transcription:  Jacob x (his mark) Granetier four months 13 Dollars 3/4

Transcription:  Appears as shown below on a Receipt Roll under the following heading:  “We the Subscribers of Lieut. Dietz’s Company do acknowledge to have Received of Col. Peter Vroman of us the Sums affixed to our names as a Bounty Collected from Exampts in Schohary agreeable to an act passed by the Legislator for the Raising Seven hundred men.”  Roll dated, Schohary Jan. 27, 1779.
Jacob  X (his mark) Granetier four months 13 Dollars 3/4

I was able to also find the following listing of Jacob being paid for his service:

Transcription:  We the Subscribers for ourselfs or some other person for us Do acknowledge to have Received of Peter Vroman the Respective sums opposite to our names in Certificates Issued by Garard Banker Esq State Treasurer pursuant to an act of the Legislature passed the 27th April 1784 for Services performed in the Militia in the Late war-

Date     Persons names           No. of ceritifcates       Amount L   S   D           Signers names    Witnesses to persons making marks
1784  Nov 3   Jacob Kranatier  Pv     10                                  7  11  6 2/3      Jacob Granteer
                                                            7 Pounds- 11 Shillings - 6 2/3 Pence 
  • 12 Pence/pennies per Shilling and 20 Shillings per pound.  As best as I can figure probably the equivalent of about $150 in today’s currency.
  • I find it interesting the way the clerk wrote his name in the ledger and how, I am guessing, he signed his name on the right.
From New York State Legislative Records:

Transcription:  Certificates issued or to be issued by virtue of an act, entitled An act for the settlement of the pay of the levies and militia, for the services in the late war, and for other purposes therein mentioned, passed the 27th day of April, 1784.

I have not been able to determine what the certificates were ever worth to the soldiers, perhaps Land Warrants?

This is additional confirmation of Jacob's Military Service:


Transcription of gravestone:    Jacob Granteer      Vrooman’s N. Y. Mil. Rev. War

I so love it when all the pieces fit together so nicely and information from a variety of sources is consistent information.  I also find it interesting the many spellings of the name Grantier and Vroman.  I am guessing that the spelling of Jacob’s name may have changed since it looks like initially he was unable to write his name and then must have learned how and spelled it his way.

I am continually thank-full for the service of my ancestors and all Veterans in shaping this great country!

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

Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Lot More Questions Than Answers-Eliza Tooker Terry

All I knew when I started looking at the life of my paternal 3rd Great-Grandmother Eliza Tooker Terry was that according to her cemetery stone she was born on 6 January 1809 and died 28 July 1859.  My search, while very frustrating at times, gave me a little more information about Eliza.  When we start getting back to our ancestors in the early 1800s information gets a lot harder to come by.  There were no laws about collecting vital record information.  If it wasn’t for the US Federal census, which began in 1790, the sources of information beyond the census records are generally found in Church records, family Bibles, or recorded local histories.

I have no verification of where Eliza was born in New York.  I wonder if she was a local girl and met Walter in Southold or possibly in Brookhaven, Suffolk County, NY where I think Walter’s family may have been from.  Will I be able to determine that one day I wonder?

I found some information that Eliza Ann Tooker married Walter Franklin Terry about 1825 but I have no verification of the date or where they were married.   I wonder if I can verify through Church records someday exactly where and when they were married?

I do know they had 10 children: Walter Franklin (1826),  Albert Bunce (1829), Charles (1831), Gilbert -my Great-Great Grandfather (1833), Edward Henry (1836),Elizabeth (1838),  Ira Brewster (1840), Emily (1843), Josephine Virginia (1846) and Amelia H. (1853). 

1830 US Federal Census-I am unable to find Walter in the census so I have no idea where he and Eliza were living in 1830.

1840 US Federal Census- I know that Walter Terry (see post Using Census Records to Tell the Story of Walter Franklin Terry) was living in Southold with 1 White Female between the ages of 30-39 which presumably was Eliza Ann his wife who would have been 31 years old at the time.  So, I know Eliza and Walter were living in Southold at this time.
Southold was settled by English colonists in 1640, and in most histories this is reported as the first English settlement on Long Island in the future New York State.

1850 US Federal Census- Taken on the 13th of July 1850 in the Town of Southold it lists Eliza A. Terry as age 40 years old and the wife of Walter Terry a 45 year old Farmer.  Eliza’s birthplace is listed as New York. Their children are listed as Franklin age 24-occupation Farmer, Albert age 21-occupation Seaman, Gilbert age 17-occupation Laborer & attended school, Edward age 14 & attended school, Eliz age 12 & attended school, Ira B. age 9 & attended school, Emily age 7 & attended school and Josephine age 4 & attended school.  (Hmm, I doubt 4 year old Josephine was going to school.)

According to the census takers notes there were 986 families listed as living in Southold and 907 dwellings.  The population consisted of 2301 White Males, 2322 White Females, 41 Colored Males, 59 Colored Females with a total population of 4,723 residents.  There were reportedly 379 Farms and 110 Deaths within the previous year.

I was able to verify Eliza's death in July 1859 at the age of 44 with this record from the 1860 US Federal Census Mortality Schedule:

Eliza A. Terry 44 years old, Married, Place of Birth-New York, Died in July of 1859 of Dropsy which had lasted 2 weeks in duration.  When I searched on-line for old medical causes of death I learned that ‘dropsy’ is a swelling caused by accumulation of abnormally large amounts of fluid usually caused by kidney disease or congestive heart failure.  If it hadn’t been for this Mortality Schedule I would never have known how Eliza died.  Now I wonder if the birth year I have is wrong or if her age was reported incorrectly?  I thought she was 50 when she died?  If she had been 44 at her death that would have made her only 10 when her first child was born.  17 was still young but more probable in the early 1800s.  I am guessing that whomever gave the information was incorrect.

I had been unable to find Eliza when searching Ancestry’s data base for the Mortality Schedule because the transcriber had listed her name as Eliza A. Jerry.  When I realized she died in 1859 and I knew there had been an 1860 Mortality Schedule done in NY I was able to search the pages for Southold and I finally found Eliza.  A feature I like about Ancestry is that I was also able to go on Ancestry and correct the spelling of her name which will help other researchers.  A good reminder, if you can’t find someone in a record but you know they should be there, is to go page by page in the area you thought they lived.  Errors happen especially if the handwriting isn’t easy to read or the census pages are hard themselves to read.  This was 157 years ago after all.

I am guessing that my Great-Grandmother’s (Carrie Eliza Terry Warner) middle name Eliza came from her Grandmother Eliza Ann Tooker Terry.  Oh, how I wish there was a photograph of Eliza.    I have so many more questions I would like to have the answers to.  Will I’m frustrated I wasn’t able to find more I am grateful  that I was able to find the verification and cause of death for Eliza.  That and the 1840 and 1850 census records are additional information but so many more questions.  I will just need to keep searching and maybe a distant relative out there will be able to help, too.

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

Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Who was my Great Grandfather-Henry Hamman?

One of my maternal great-grandfathers was Henry Hamman.  I wondered what I could find out about a man I never knew?

Henry was born to Jacob (see post My First Naturalization Papers-Jacob Hamman) and Catherine ‘Katie’ Hein Hamman (see post Amanuensis Monday-A Will but….Whose signature is That?) on the 4th of March 1874 in Dubuque County, Iowa.  Jacob and Kate came to America from Luxembourg and settled by 1870 in Dubuque, Iowa.  Dubuque is located in Iowa on the western side of the Mississippi River.  Many immigrants, including many of German descent, settled in the area.  I wonder if Jacob and Kate were following other Immigrants they knew who maybe came to this area? 

Henry, a first generation American, was the third of 10 children: Lena (1870), Nicholas (1872), Henry (1874), Peter (1876), Michael (1878), John (1883), Joseph (1884), Margaretha/Maggie (1888), Theodore (1878) and Francessca/Frances (1892).  When Henry was born his father had not yet filed his ‘First Papers’ to become a Naturalized citizen of America. 

According to the 1880 US Federal Census Henry had moved with his parents and siblings and they were now living in Fredonia Township, Plymouth County, Iowa when the census was reported on the 22/23rd of June in 1880.  Henry was 7 years old and attending school.  The first Homestead recorded in Fredonia in 1868 so when the Hamman’s arrived Fredonia was still a very new settlement.  According to the census there were 197 families in Fredonia Township with an area of about 36 square miles.  The winter of 1880-1881 proved to be one of the worst on record noted for severe, long continued snow storms.  I can’t even begin to imagine the feeling of isolation and the hardships they endured to survive in such an area.

According to the 1895 Iowa State Census Henry was 22 years old and living in Fredonia, Plymouth County, Iowa.  Henry’s birthplace was listed as Dubuque, Iowa.  I wonder what the options for careers were for a 22 year old man in Fredonia?  Had he met Suza yet?
Henry married Suza Bentz (see post Susan Bentz Hamman) on 11 October 1897 in Plymouth County, Iowa but no Town or City within Plymouth County was listed .  When they married Henry was 25 years old and Suza was 20 years old and also a resident of Remsen, Iowa.  Henry and Suza had 6 children: Mary Jeannette (1898), Arthur (1899), Margaret (1901), James (my grandfather-see post Celebrating the Life of James Jacob Hammond) (1903), Michael (1904) and Joseph (1907).  The railroad built at Remsen in 1871 and the town of ‘Remsen’ came into being in 1881.  I wonder if the Bentz and Hamman families followed the railroad to Remsen?

Henry’s father Jacob died on 18 November 1900 in Fredonia, Iowa.

I have been unable to locate Henry, his wife Suza, daughter Mary Jeannette or son Arthur in the 1900 US Federal Census.  How did they manage to miss the census takers?  Both of their families were in Remsen.

According to the 1905 Iowa State Census Henry and Susie and 5 of their children are reported as living in Remsen, Plymouth County, Iowa.  In a 1905 Iowa Population Schedule Henry is listed as 31 years old, Occupation -Blacksmith, born in Sand Springs, Iowa.

Henry’s wife Suza died on 21 May 1908 of cervical cancer leaving Henry with 6 children under the age of 9.  I was able to find an obituary for Suza.  It mentions the children but not Henry.  I wonder why?  I know that Henry never remarried, which was definitely the custom at the time so was he devastated by Suza’s passing?  Was she the ‘love of his life’?  Was it too much for him to bear the passing of his wife and raising 6 young children?

Henry’s mother Kate died on 21 June 1908 in Remsen, Iowa, less than a month after Henry’s wife died.  How did the deaths of 2 important women in Henry's life shape how he would move forward with his life?  This had to have been a very difficult time for him.

According to the 1910 US Federal Census Henry was 30 years old, a widower, living as a boarder in the home of John and Mary Heyman (with their family and 4 other Boarders) and working as a House Carpenter, a wage earner, employed on April 15th, had been out of work 12 weeks in the year 1909 and could read and write English.  John Heyman was a Mason and like Henry’s parents was from Luxembourg.  I wonder if John and Henry worked on some of the same jobs?  I can imagine that for Henry there must have been some comfort in having many of the same cultural similarities.  None of the children were with Henry.  I found several of the children, including my grandfather, living in a Catholic Orphanage in Dubuque, Iowa.  I wonder if it was just too much for Henry to work and take care of the children?  Why didn’t family members take the children in to their families?  Henry had siblings living in the area.

According to the 1915 Iowa State Census Henry was living in Remsen, Plymouth County, Iowa and a 36 years old widower, his parent’s birth places are listed as Luxembourg, his occupation was Ditching, and his church affiliation was Catholic.  in 1914 he was employed for 12 months.  His earnings for 1914 from his occupation were listed as $600.00.  This would be about $15,000 per year today.

There were 2 draft registrations in 1917-1918.  The first one was for men ages 21-31, the second for men who had turned 21 since the previous registration and the third for men ages 18-45.  Henry registered during the third registration in 1918.  According to the World War I Draft Registration Card dated 12 September 1918 Henry is 44 years old and his permanent home address in Remsen, Plymouth County, Iowa.  His date of birth is listed as 4 March, 1874.  He is White and Native Born.  His present occupation is Laborer and his employer’s name is John Mai in Remsen, Plymouth County, Iowa.  His nearest relative is Arthur Hamman (son) of Remsen, Plymouth, Iowa.  (My grandfather Jacob was living in Upstate New York at this time.)  Henry’s height is Medium and his build is Medium.  His eyes are blue and his hair is brown.  He has not lost an arm, leg, hand, eye or is he obviously physically disqualified.  Thanks to the draft registration I can now begin to picture what my Great-Grandfather looked like with his medium build and height and his brown hair and blue eyes since I have not been able to locate any pictures of him.  I think of my grandfather and wonder how much he may have looked like his father.  I am even fortunate enough to see what his handwriting looked like.  I like the fluid way he made his ‘H’ on Henry.   His signature on his Registration Card is:


I am unable to locate Henry in the 1920 US Federal Census.    I know that in 1920 my grandfather James ‘Jake’ Hammond is living at Boy’s Town in Omaha, Nebraska with his youngest brother Joseph.  Children Mary Jeanette, Maggie, Arthur and John were married.  Michael was the only one that may still have been at home.

According to the 1925 Iowa State Census Henry was 52 years old and his son Michael age 19 was living with him, he rented a room, I believe for $20 per month.  Henry attended a Rural High School, Highest Reader Completed 7, no listing for Highest Grade Completed, was able to read & write in English.  Henry’s father is listed as Jacob and place of birth Luxembourg. No name of Mother is listed but place of birth Luxembourg and their place of marriage listed as Iowa. Henry was listed as engaged in  the Trade and Transportation Industry and he was affiliated with the Catholic Church.  St. Mary Catholic Church (dedicated in 1904) in Remsen, Iowa seems to have been the church the family attended.  Iowa asked some very comprehensive questions which helps me learn more about Henry.

According to the 1930 US Federal Census Henry was 52 years old, a widower, he rented a house in Remsen, Plymouth County, Iowa valued at $6, he could read and write and speak English, he was listed as a Laborer doing Odd Jobs and a wage earner.  He was not a Veteran.

Henry died at the age of 66 on 23 June 1939 in LeMars, Plymouth County, Iowa at the Zimmerman Home of Lobar Pneumonia with a contributing factor of cardiac-vascular failure. His occupation was a Laborer at the County Farm.  He last worked in June of 1939.

Thank goodness for the State and Federal Census since this is the only information I can find on Henry.  By listing out all the information in each of the records and research the time period and the locations I found I was able to put together a better picture of Henry.  Now I just wish someday I will find some pictures of Henry and some additional information to add to ‘his’ story.

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

Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Back at ‘College’ in 1880

My paternal great-grandmother, Carrie Terry Warner, in the Fall of 1880 returned to the Trenton Normal School to complete her studies to become a teacher.  She wrote in a letter dated 12 September 1880 to her father, Gilbert Terry, about getting settled back at the Normal School and about her classes.  (See last week’s post about the journey back to school-Heading Back to School in 1880)  I am guessing that her father, a mill operator in Peconic, Long Island, NY wanted a full account of what was happening since I’m sure he was paying for her ‘college’ experience.

1880 train car
“ As I got off the cars [train] at Trenton, I met Miss von Seyfried.  She came down from Newark on the same train with us.  I don’t believe I had been at the Hall ten minutes before my trunk was brought up and I began to unpack.
1880 trunk oldThe screw that you put in catches in front wore out and done when it got here.  I brought a couple of tumblers back with me and one of them was all broken to pieces.  Those grapes were in a pretty bad condition when I unpacked.  The juice had run out of the box and I found places all around in the tray of the trunk where the juice had run through on to it.  It got on within the trunk but my old water proof a nd a little bit on one of my sheets.  I think I was pretty lucky not to have something spoiled by it.  I found all my things just as I left them when we went away. 

Normal Schools, Trenton, N.J.
I found an old postcard online

There were very few of the old girls when we got back but, Oh! so many new ones.  I heard that Mrs. Deane said there were one hundred new girls.  They have had to put two extra tables in the dining room so we have eighteen tables now all full.  In the boarding hall every room is full, and in the small hall it is the same.  Besides these two buildings there is a third building which belongs to these establishments and which they keep to fall back on in case of necessity.  This year they have to put five or six in there.  It seems strange that while the number of girls increases every year, the number of boys decrease.  Very few boys entered this year.

Wednesday morning we went over to school and got our books and had lessons assigned for the next day.  Thursday morning there was a teacher meeting so we had not recitations [period of classroom instruction] the first two periods, and one thing and another kept hindering so we had only two recitations that day.  Friday everything went on as usual except two periods occupied in seating us.  I have a seat second from the front.  They have divided the chapel into two rooms so we will hereafter have opening exercises in the school room and will have no marching.  

The first period we have rhetoric and American Literature; the second Mental Science or Outline of Man, the third Arithmetic; the fourth Zoology; the fifth drawing, the sixth Methods in Arithmetic or Carr’s Methods as they are called because they are taught by Prof. Carr; the seventh period we have elementary methods or methods in objects, color, geography, &tc.  Hannah is with me the first period, third period, fourth &tc; fifth periods.

We went down town yesterday morning.  The Universalist Church has been closed this summer.  I supposed it would be open by this time, but I heard it is not.  To day nothing has been said about it.  We have all remained at home.  I think it will open again in a few weeks, but it is doubtful because I heard yesterday they thought some of giving up the society.  It it doesn’t open so I can go there where shall I go?  I will not go to the Presbyterian or Baptist, if I can help it.

It was said when we went away last summer that there would be several changes made in the Hall before our return.  The laundry was going to be moved and various other changes intended, but none of them have been accomplished, everything is just the same as it was before.  I suppose you have often thought of me because I was so nearly sick when I left home, but I got all over that in a few days.  Last Friday afternoon we went to call on Mrs. Packer to find out about church but she was not at home.  

Don’t forget to send me some stamps when you write and I trust that will be soon.  I feel so tired and stupid today that I can’t write any more to you this time.
I have done a lot of research around Carrie’s letters that has helped me understand who people were and understand things she talked about.  While Carrie gives me a lot of description in her letters, research and photos was helped me bring them a little more alive.  I start to see the connections between people and places that only add to my understanding of Carrie and the time period she lived in.

By looking at the 1880 US Federal Census for Trenton, New Jersey I was able to find a section for the Normal School and I learned that:
  • there was a Miss Sophie von Seyfried who was born in Brazil that attended the Normal School
  • there was a Mrs. Susan Deane listed as a matron of the girls boarding school
  • Ironically, Carrie’s name does not appear on the census record.  Not sure why.  The census was taken on 12 & 14 June 1880.  Hannah King is listed.  Was she home already in NY or just somehow forgotten?
I found a listing on-line for New Jersey State Archives and was able to get a copy of the dates that Carrie attended and a copy of the Graduation Program.

While I have no way of knowing what Carrie’s trunk or the train cars she rode in from Newark to Trenton actually looked like I can search on-line and find pictures.  I picture Carrie’s trunk looking like the above picture of an 1880 era trunk that I found.  From a picture of train car seats I can imagine Carrie and Hannah sitting side by side as two young women heading to their second year of ‘college’ at the end of a long, over night journey from Long Island.

I believe this all adds a richness and an understanding to the story of Carrie’s Letters. 

Almost 100 years later I too became a teacher.  I did not know at the time I was taking classes about Carrie being a teacher.  I would love to know more about the composition of her classes and how they laid the groundwork for education today.

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

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Heading Back to School in 1880

My Great-Grandmother Carrie Terry Warner left a wealth of information for us without ever intending to when she wrote letters to her family over the course of 30 years.  (See Carrie’s Letters for the first of many stories).

At this time of year as students are headed back to college I am reminded of a letter Carrie wrote to her father Gilbert Terry dated 12 September 1880 from Trenton, New Jersey.  Carrie was beginning her second year in a 2 year program at the Normal School in Trenton, New Jersey where she was taking classes to become a School Teacher.  The ‘Normal School’ in Trenton was  established in 1855 as the first teacher training institution in New Jersey and the 9th in the Untied States.

“Misses Hannah King and Carrie Terry have returned to the State Normal School at Trenton, New Jersey”

First-I wondered what her journey would have looked like on a map set to her own retelling of her journey.  Could I see the route of her trip and try to remember it was happening in 1880?

Map of Long Island 1802  from New York City Map 1700
                                 light brown line shows trip by boat from Eastern Long Island to New York City
                                                                             (click on images to enlarge)
“Dear Father,
I suppose you have been looking for a letter ever since I left home.  I meant to have written immediately but circumstances prevented.  I will commence at the beginning and tell you about all that has happened since I left home.  We had a very pleasant trip on the boat.  It was a little foggy but not enough to hinder our progress.  We arrived at New York about six o’clock.

Bennie Moore, Uncle Calvin’s son, was on board and since he is Hannah’s cousin and devoted himself particularly to her, of course, I became acquainted.  He has been to Yale College and is now engaged in teaching somewhere in Brooklyn or New York.  He is well educated but for all that he is sometimes a little queer, and it is amusing to hear him talk.  There were a great many on the boat among them three negro women who had births in the cabin.  During the evening I went into the cabin to put on my cloak and they sat there talking.  It seems one of them had been talking with a medium.  It was really interesting and laughable to hear her talk.  I did not listen long so am not able to repeat anything that she said.  We were met at the boat by Mr. Higgins and another young fellow, Mr. Henderson by name.  Mr. Higgins was at Mr. Baldwin Terry’s boarding and we met him there on the fifth of July when we were there.  Perhaps you remember him, I did.  Mr. Henderson has been boarding at Mr. Terry’s too this summer although he was not there at the time we were.  Mr. Higgins, because he had met me before I suppose, devoted himself to me and left Mr. Henderson to wait on Hannah.
                                               1880 New York City Guide Map from David Rumsey Map Collection
Inked1880 lower Manhattan_LI
-light green line is Fulton Street  
-red line is Broadway  
-gold line is Cortland Street to Ferry  
-blue line is Ferry to Jersey City to pick up train 

We went up Fulton St., stopped at a restaurant and had breakfast.  I think it was Cabel’s, but I am not sure.  We then went on up Fulton St., along Broadway and finally down Cortland St. to the ferry.  We had consulted the expressman on the boat and had expressed our trunks over to Cortland St. ferrys,  He told us that would be the best way.  When we reached the ferry the trunks were not there so we had to wait half an hour for them.  On account of them we missed the 8.20 train for Trenton and so were obliged to wait until nine.  We got our ticket there for Trenton and had our trunks checked so there was no more bother with them.  After disposing of our trunks we went across the river {Hudson]and got on the cars [train].  We had not a great while to wait over there.  The gentlemen waited to see us off.”

brown line is one of the train lines from Jersey City to Trenton, New Jersey

Wow, what a journey for a young woman of 19 years.  Two young girls traveling alone.  I guess this was there second year and second time doing this trip but it was 1880.  The remainder of her letter tells about arriving at the Normal School and her classes.  (More to follow on that.)

I am glad that I did the research to find the maps and I am amazed at the types of maps I was able to find.  I was surprised to see how many docks and ferrys there were around New York City in 1880 as well as the number of train lines in New Jersey at that time also.  There were train lines on Long Island so I am not sure  why Carrie and Hannah went by boat to New York City.  Maybe it was cheaper or easier with them taking trunks to go by boat to New York City?  I think the maps really enable me to picture her journey of about 164 miles in 1880.  A journey today that would take about 4 hours to drive…depending on traffic, of course.

As I think about my Great-Grandmother’s exciting journey all the way to another state to attend school to become a teacher and her adventurous spirit I can’t help think about 3 of her great-granddaughters who had a similar adventurous spirit in their teens and because Exchange Students to other countries.   I went to Bolivia, then my cousin Marie went to South Africa and then my sister Ann went to Brazil.  Years later even my niece Nicole would study abroad for a semester in Chile.  I would like to think that, unbeknownst to us at the time of Carrie’s journey, she was cheering us along on our adventure of a life time, exploring new places, languages, cultures and meeting new people.  I’d like to think she would have been proud of us carrying on her adventurous spirit.  Not all treasures passed down from generation to generation are material items.

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


Monday, September 4, 2017

Silas Bailey

Silas Bailey was my 3x Great-Grandfather.  I seem to know very little about Silas.
I believe he was born in New Jersey about 1795 or 6.  His parents are probably Eunice Buckbee and Nathaniel Bailey.

He moved to Tompkins County New York in the early 1800s where he met and married a local girl named Sarah Cornell.

They had the following children:
  • Septor,  born in 1820 in Tompkins County, New York
  • Sarah Catherine, born in 1830 in Chemung County, New York
  • Silas K.,  born in 1835 in Catherine, Schulyer County, New York
  • Charlotte R., born in 1840 in Chemung County, New York (my 2x Great-Grandmother-see blog post What Can I Learn About Charlotte R. Bailey Cornell)
  • Frederick L.,  born in 1846 in Chemung County, New York

Where Silas lived according to the records I have been able to locate:
  • 1830 US Federal Census – Veteran, Tioga County, New York
  • 1840 US Federal Census – Dryden, Tompkins County, New York
  • 1840 New York Index – Catherine, Chemung County
  • 1850 US Federal Census -  ?  Where were they??  I cannot find a record of the family...yet…
  • 1860 US Federal Census – Enfield, Tompkins County, New York
  • 1870 US Federal Census, Mortality Schedule – Dec. 1869 Catherine, Schuyler County, NY

Silas died, according to the US Federal Census, Mortality Schedule in December 1869 of Dropsy of the Heart at the age of 74.  The record confirms his birth in New Jersey and parents are not reported to be of foreign birth and he was listed as a Farm Laborer.  (Thanks to Causes of Death in the Late 19th Century mentioned in the Register of Deaths, 1893-1907 by Karin L. Flippin  that Dropsy was considered to be an unnatural accumulation of serous fluid around an organ such as the heart.)

Chemung Co-Tompkins County-Schuyler County 
(I always need a map as a reference.  Click on images to enlarge,)

I wonder if since Silas was a Farm Laborer they moved around following his getting work?  He stayed in Upstate NY but seemed to moved within and around several counties.

Thanks to my cousins Wendy and Madeline for knowing who Silas’ parents were.  This work definitely takes a village to piece together especially when we get back this far.

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

Enjoy the journey,