Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sunday Obituary-Harriet “Hattie” Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh

I recently wrote a post about my maternal 2x great-grandmother Harriett Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh.  (Please click on the link to see the post for details on Hattie’s life.)  After completing the post I was then able to find Hattie’s obituary through from The Ithaca Journal (Ithaca, New York) Wednesday, March 19, 1930:

Some thoughts:

In her obituary Hattie is listed to have been living at 502 North Plain Street, Ithaca, New York.  This is where I believed she was living, with her daughter Amanda Cooper and her family, after tracing her through the City Directories for Ithaca.

I knew my great-grandmother Nettie Cornell had died (1925) before her mother Hattie but I believe that Hattie’s son Max Morris Coolbaugh didn’t die until 1949.  Hmm… he was living in California at the time of Hattie’s death.  Was there a reason he wasn’t mentioned or was it an oversight?

Who was the daughter listed as Mrs. Harry Bruch?  Well, big thanks to my cousin Wendy, who made an amazing discovery about Hattie’s first husband, that is another piece of Hattie’s story to be told in a follow-up on her life.  I so enjoy working with my family to find the answers to those missing pieces!!  I was also given a lead on Hattie's death certificate.  Now to find family that may have a picture of Hattie…

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

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Tip-Searching City Directories

While I was researching (See post Harriett Browning Deleon Coolbaugh) the life of my maternal 2nd great grandmother Hattie Coolbaugh I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find her in City Directories after her husband Portis died in 1910 in upstate New York …but I did! I searched in City Directories on Ancestry, as I usually do, by her name and found her listed in only 2 different years. I wondered why I could only find her listed for those 2 years and not other years? So, I thought about searching in a different, more round-about way and found her in additional years and was even able to determine who she was living with in each year.

1. I try to remember to look in U.S. City Directories when I am researching ancestors in the 1900s. I found Hattie with no problem on Ancestry.

In the Elmira, New York, City Directory for 1914:
Coolbaugh Hattie H. wid (widow) Portis, bds (boards) 101 1/2 Front

I wondered who was she boarding with? Was she living with family or did she just rent a room? When I looked further, on the same page even, I saw another Coolbaugh at the same address and realized that was her son Charles.

Coolbaugh Charles D, teamster, h (home) 101 1/2 Front
                               *So, I knew she was living with her son in 1914.

2. I searched again and was able to find Hattie easily in a 1930 City Directory.

In the Ithaca, New York, City Directory, for 1930:
Coolbaugh Hattie, wid (widow) Portis, r (rooms) 502 N Plain

I wondered if she was once again living with family? I was unable to see any other Coolbaughs listed. Dead end? Maybe not…

3. I decided not to search by a name but by putting in the name of the City and the address under Key Words:

                                I found a listing of people at that address or a similar address but no names were familiar.

4. I decided to go back and look at who Hattie’s children were. I knew there were no Coolbaughs on the page. What about her daughters? What were their married names? I started with Amanda and I saw she married Ira Cooper. As I looked down the list when I searched 502 N Plain….there was Ira Cooper and wife Amanda! Wait…but this was in the 1927 City Directory for Hattie Coolbaugh and that hadn’t come up when I searched for Hattie by her name. Interesting!

In the Ithaca, New York, City Directory, for 1927:

                                                                     And there is was!
* Hattie was living with Amanda and Ira. Now who are Lee and Miles, living at the same address? Are those Amanda and Ira’s sons? That will need more researching.

5. Now what if I go back to the 1930 City Directory for Hattie that previously came up and try this again to see who she was ‘rooming’ with?

*Success! Hattie is still living with Amanda and Ira.

6. Using the same technique I was able to find Hattie living with Amanda and Ira in 1925 and 1926.

So now I know:
  • in 1910 Hattie and Portis were living in Genoa Town with their daughter Nettie and family.
  • in 1914 she lived in Elmira with her son Charles
  • from 1925 until her death in 1930 she lived with her daughter Amanda and family in Ithaca
There are still gaps I need to fill in. Missing years to account for but I was able to find out 5 more years of where Hattie lived by using this technique of searching by the address to see who else lived at the address. City Directories have a lot of information for us. Be sure to try this the next time you want to know who someone ‘boarded’ with.

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

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Harriett Browning Deleon Coolbaugh

I thought I’d see what I could learn about my maternal 2nd great-grandmother Harriett Browning Deleon Coolbaugh.  Frequently as I search my ancestors in the mid to late 1800s I am unable to find much information of them in public records.  This is especially true for the women in my family.  I was certainly surprised at how much I was able to learn about Hattie.

Harriett “Hattie” Browning was born in June 1850 to Amanda Johnson Browning and William Browning in Orwell, Pennsylvania.

In the 1850 US Federal Census on the 20th of September in Orwell, Bradford County, Pennsylvania Harriett W. was 3 months old (born June).  Her father William W. Browning was 34 years old, a Chair Maker by occupation, birthplace Pennsylvania and owning real estate worth $400.  Harriett’s mother Amanda was 27 years old and her birthplace was listed as Pennsylvania. There are no other children or adults living with them.

In the 1860 US Federal Census on the 26th of July in Orwell, Bradford County, Pennsylvania (Post Office -Potterville) Harriett was 11 years old, birthplace listed as Pa.  Her father William W. was 44 years old, his occupation Chair Maker, with Real Estate valued at $1400 and Personal Property valued at $740.  Her mother Amanda was 37 years old, birthplace Pa.  Her brother Euster was 8 years old and birthplace PA.  Her brother Gay was 2 years old with a birthplace PA.  17 year old Edwin Sherman lived with them and is listed as a Chair Maker apprentice.

In the 1870 US Federal Census on 15 August for Le Raysville, Bradford, PA I can find William, Amanda, Eustace and Gay but not Amanda.
Harriett reportedly 1st married a man named __ DeLeon.  I am not sure what year or how long they were married before he died. I am unable to find them in the 1870 census but I know that Harriett was not living with her parents then.

Portis, who’s first wife died during childbirth,  married Hattie Browning Deleon on 22 June 1875.  (See post Portis/Porter M. Coolbaugh)
Their children were:
In the 1880 US Federal Census on 3rd of June in Towanda Borough, Bradford , PA shows Harriett 30 is Keeping House with Portis 35 with an occupation as Engineer Stationery.  Living with them are Portis’ son from his first marriage Lewis 11, their son Max M. 3 and daughter Amanda 2 months old.

In the 1892 New York State Census on 16 February in Barton, Tioga County, New York Harriett age 42 is living with her husband Portis age 48 with occupation Carpenter, son Max M. age 15, daughters Amanda age 12 and Nettie age 10, and son Charles age 7. This is the first record of the family living in New York.

In the 1900 US Federal Census on the 8th of June 1900 in Baldwin Township, Chemung County, New York Harriett is 50 years old and her husband Portis is 55 years old and his occupation is Farmer.  Their sons Max M. age 22 is listed as a Sailor and son Charles is 13 years old and at School. Everyone is listed as being able to read, write and speak English.

In the 1905 New York State Census on 1 June in Baldwin, Chemung County, New York Harriet is 55 years old living with her husband Portis age 60 who was a Farmer and their son Charles 19 years old who was also listed as a Farmer.

In the 1910 US Federal Census on the 20th of April in Genoa Town, Cayuga County, New York Harriett is 60 years old, has been married for 35 years.  She has had 5 children and 4 are still living.  Portis is 65 years old and they are living with their daughter Nettie Emily (my great grandmother) and her family.

Harriett’s husband Portis died 16 October 1910.

On 21 October 1910 Hattie filed for a Widow’s Pension after the death of her husband Portis, who was a Veteran of the Civil War.
In the Elmira, New York, City Directory for 1914 I see Hattie living with her son Charles at 101 1/2 Front Street.

In the 1915 New York State Census on 1 June in Elmira Ward 2, Chemung County Hattie was 65 years old and was living with her daughter Amanda Cooper and her family on John Street.

In the 1920 US Federal Census on 2 January in Town of Spencer, Tioga County, New York Hattie is 69 years old and living with her daughter Amanda and her family. 

In the Ithaca, New York, City Directory, for 1926 Hattie is living with her daughter Amanda and her family at 502 N. Plain St.

In the Ithaca, New York, City Directory, for 1927 Hattie is living with her daughter Amanda and her family at 502 N. Plain St.

In the Ithaca, New York, City Directory, for 1930 Hattie is still living with her daughter Amanda and her family at 502 N. Plain St.

Harriett died in March 1930.  She lived to be 80 years old.  I need to try and get a copy of her death certificate.  Hattie’s daughter Nettie Emily would die before her in 1925.

There is so much information in public records on Hattie!  I wish I could locate a photo of Harriett.  Maybe if I can find a descendant of Amanda Cooper’s family they might have one since they are the last ones that Hattie lived with.  I wonder if she preferred Harriett or Hattie?  As she was getting older I find her listed more as Hattie.

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

Sunday, January 14, 2018

DNA Chromosome Mapping

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the San Diego Genealogical Society’s annual January seminar with Blaine Bettinger as the presenter.  Blaine is an great speaker!  He is able to put genetic genealogy into terms that make it a lot easier for most of us to follow and he makes it very interesting.  He is enjoyable to listen to.  Blaine presented the following 4 topics:
  • Introduction to DNA and Genetic Genealogy
  • Using Autosomal DNA for 18th and 19th Century Mysteries
  • Using Third-Party Tools to Analyze Your atDNA
  • Phasing and Mapping Your DNA
Blaine Bettinger conference 01132018
We realized as we were having our picture taken that we are all fellow Bloggers.

People purchase DNA kits for a variety of reasons.  Some are mainly checking to verify or learn their ethnic heritage.  Some people who were adopted are looking for possible connections to determine who their ‘birth’ parents may have been.  Some are using DNA to find cousins and answers to our brick walls.

I have done my own DNA testing and asked several members of my family to help me by being tested also.  I have done the testing for a variety of the above reasons.  I was pretty sure of my ethnic heritage but wanted to see if the DNA backed it up.  (see post How do my Known Ancestral Places of Birth Correspond to My DNA Results?)  I also wanted to look for cousins I had lost track of or new ones I didn’t know existed.  We knew very little of my maternal grandfather’s family and I thought DNA might help, which it has.  I also hope that DNA will help me break some brick walls in my paper research.

I was particularly inspired by Blaine’s last presentation of the day - Phasing and Mapping Your DNA.  I have read and attended several days of conference sessions on DNA.  One of the issues I struggle with is how to maintain and display the information I have in a way that allows me to make good guesses as to how I might be related to someone I ‘match’ as I start to back it up with a family tree paper trail.  I wanted to start working on which sections of my chromosomes are from which part of my ancestral tree.  This is called Visual Phasing.  Blaine used a program called DNApainter to show us an example of this.  So, I decided to see what I could do with my own family tree:
(Click on image to enlarge)
Debby Chromosome mapping 01142018
On each chromosome above there are 2 lines.  The top line contains the areas of DNA I match to my father and my paternal line.  The bottom line contains the areas of DNA I match to my mother and my maternal line.  The key is nicely color coded to help see the segments we share in common.  I am in the process of getting my brother and sister tested.  When their results come back it will be interesting to look at the 3 of us to see who gets which sections from which parent and where there is overlap.

DNA painter was a relatively easy program to use if you have tested on Family Tree DNA or if you have uploaded your results to GedMatch (great third party free website).  I would highly recommend it if you are trying to ‘see’ the areas of chromosomes you have from which branch of your family tree.  If you use DNApainter and have suggestions I would like to hear them.

Thank-you to Blaine Bettinger for yet another great conference!  I look forward to hearing him again at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, CA in June.  Blaine also has 2 great books on genetic genealogy if you are interested in learning more.

Now what I need to do is ask some of my 3rd and 4th cousins if they would be interested in being tested.  I also need to ask my cousins who have tested on Ancestry if they would be interested in uploading their results to GedMatch so I can map their results.  So cousins…what do you think?

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

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday–The Old Burying Ground Cemetery, Cutchogue, New York

I was recently in New York (Long Island) for the Holidays and of course, had to do some local research while there.  I have paternal ancestors buried in the Old Burying Ground cemetery in Southold, New York.  I think sometimes we are so interested in locating where our ancestors are buried that we pay little attention to the history of the cemetery. (click on image to enlarge)

old buring ground marker
                                                                                                                     photo compliments of Rich H.

While at the Suffolk County Historical Society I found a document from the Southold Presbyterian Church records.  I thought the following information about ‘The Old Burying Ground’ cemetery was very interesting and I had never heard this before. 

The Old Burying Ground Cemetery was “ Originally one acre-“God’s Acre”.  Chosen because it was the highest ground in the settlement.” 

“The early gravestones are either slate or brownstone, some slate stones were said to have been brought from England by the early settlers themselves-using them as ship’s ballast.  The slate stones stand up better and are more durable than the brownstone.”

I am not sure who wrote the paper but how interesting!  I had never thought about where the early grave markers came from until I read this. 

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

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Riverhead, New York Soldiers in the War of 1812

While I was researching recently at the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead, New York I came across the following rather unusual record in the Ackerly record set of notebooks, Volume 15, pages 142-144.  Mr. Ackerly went around the area and copied legal documents of the time before the County or State kept a copy of them.  Several of my ancestors are listed in this rather unusual and interesting document.  The document is dated 1813 and 1814, so, I am guessing this had to do with the War of 1812?  Time to do some historical research since I don’t remember anything about it except that this was a War with England and it was when the White House was burned.

1812 musket
                                                                                                                   musket photo from Military Heritage
The War of 1812- a few highlights for perspective:
  • James Madison was President
  • The President signed a declaration of War against Great Britain on June 18, 1812
  • The House and the Senate were bitterly divided on the issue of War
  • One issue was trade restrictions with countries such as France imposed by the British (Naval superpower at the time)
  • There were issues with Canada (a British Colony) and the Native Americans (who were seeking help from the British to fight the American colony expansion)
  • The War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1815
I am not a historian and as in any conflict there are so many more issues than what I have listed above.  I can understand how towns along/near the waterways were at danger since this was a major Naval battle of the time.
                                                                                               (click on images to enlarge)
1812 page 11812 page 21812 page 3          

Know all Men by these Presents that Zacharias Hallock, James Gardiner, Richard Brown, David Horton, Abraham Luce, Phinehas Benjamin, Jedediah Corwin, Nathaniel Wells, Joseph Wiggins, Jason Aldrich, Benjamin Youngs, Isaac Reeve, David Williamson, John Jennings, James Terry Jr., Thomas Wiggins, Samuel T. Raynor, Jacob Benjamin, Chapman David, Higby Raynor, David Edwards, Henry Conkling, Luther Tuthill, Calvin Cook, Daniel Terry Jr., John C. Terry, Barthalomew Collins, Jonathon Dimon, John Clark Jr., Nathan Corwin, David Howell, Daniel Edwards Jr., Richard Skidmore, William Horton, Thomas Corwin, Israel Wells, Christopher Youngs, Luther Youngs, Thomas Youngs, Selah Corwin, William Hallock, Benjamin Horton, William Horton and Hezekiah Skidmore all of the Town of Riverhead in the County of Suffolk in the State of New York are held and firmly bound unto Daniel Youngs Jr., Benjamin Edwards, Josiah Reeve, David Warner, David Brown and Ezra Hallock of said Town in the sum of One Thousand Dollars lawful money of said State for which payment well and truly to be made and done we bind ourselves our heirs, executors and administrators Jointly and severally firmly by these presents.  Sealed with our Seals and dated the tenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirteen.

Whereas Richard Platt Esquire Commissary of the Military stores of the State of New York by and with the consent of the Governor of said State, hath through his deputy Henry P. Dering Esquire delivered to the above named Daniel Youngs Jr., Benjamin Edwards, Josiah Reeve, David Warner, David Brown and Ezra Hallock, the following arms, ammunition and Military stores belonging to said State-That is to say, Fifty muskets, Fifty Bayonets, Fifty Cartridge boxes, Fifty Bayonet belts, Fifty gun slings, one hundred and fifty flints, Fifty prickers & five gun screws with six boxes containing the said munitions of War and fifteen hundred fixed musket cartridges and we the above named Daniel Youngs Jr., Benjamin Edwards, Josiah Reeve, David Warner, David Brown and Ezra Hallock have delivered to the above named Obligors the above said Arms, Ammunition and Military Stores.  Now the condition of the above obligation is such, That if the above bounden obligors shall Keep the said Articles above mentioned securely and without damage and shall upon the request of the said Daniel Youngs Jr., Benjamin Edwards, Josiah Reeve, David Warner, David Brown and Ezra Hallock return or cause to be returned to them the above enumerated Military Stores in as good order as the same now are (excepting the loss or damage thereof by the inhabitants in actual service in case of invasion or other emergency without the fault or neglect of the dais Obligors or either of them) then the preceding Obligation to be void and of no effect, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.
Signed Sealed and delivered in the presence of
  • Nathaniel Warner
  • Joshua Terry
(Legal Signatures of 50 men listed above)

These are to certain that I Josiah Reeve captain of the exempt company have demanded and received of Joseph Wiggins the Gun and Accoutrements that were drawn from the Arsenal at Sag Harbor within mentioned.
Witness my hand February tenth A. D. 1814
Josiah Reeve

I was able to find a website entitled 1812 History with additional information and great pictures of muskets, prickers, etc. from the time period.  I learned that a ‘pricker’ was a Y shaped musket tool that could be used as a screwdriver and to prick vent holes in the cartridge.

I believe the men whose names are in green lettering are my ancestors.  I am proud that they were ready to protect their families, the area of Riverhead and this relatively new country called America. It was interesting to learn what the men were given and how they were expected to care for their equipment.  I guess I should now check to see if any of them received pensions as a result of the War of 1812.  What an interesting document and an amazing find!

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


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017-A Year of Genealogical Research

I like to use the New Year to take a look back and see what I have accomplished.  I still work full time and can only do my genealogical research in little bits at a time.  By taking the time to look back at the statistics and what I have been able to do I feel more of a sense of accomplishment then I might otherwise feel.

I use Legacy Family Tree software to maintain my family tree.  I have trees in Ancestry and My Heritage but those are not the most up to date trees.  (Sometimes in Ancestry and My Heritage I may collect information from hints and store them in my trees for future research and then discard them if the information is not correct.  I use it as a ‘holding place’.)

From my Legacy tree:

     A review of the statistics in my Legacy tree that I am most interested in:

One of my goals for 2017 was to try and add more people to my 5th and 6th generation gaps.  This has proven to be quite a task since I am researching back in the early 1800s and late 1700s.  Many ancestors are also from other countries and this is proving to be a lot more challenging but I will keep at it.  This is a time period for very scanty records and records in other languages.  I was actually only able to add 2 on my paternal side- Hannah Lupton and Micah Howell, Sr. the parents of my 3rd Great-Grandfather Daniel Howell.  (More to follow this year on them.)

In 2017:
I completed 49 Blog Posts (my goal was 50) with an all time total of 55,911 page views.

I’ve connected with several new cousins and some I haven’t seen in years:
  • 3- 2nd cousins on my paternal side as a result of DNA.  (Two of the cousins I knew about but the family had lost contact with and I have been searching for-SUCCESS!).  I’ve also learned a lot more about DNA this year through major conferences (DNA Day at SCGJ, 4IGG, etc.) with tremendous speakers like Blaine Bettinger and CC Moore.
  • with 3 other paternal 2nd cousins and a 3rd cousin we have started a new tradition of getting together at least once a year.  A great time to catch up on our lives and eat some great food.  Last year three of us met and hopefully next year we get a few more to join us:
Hollie, Debby, Kallie, Suzanne and Marie
  • Hollie, Suzanne, Marie and I share Great-Grandparents John and Carrie Terry Warner (see posts about Carrie’s Letters).  I can’t help but think how happy they would be to see all these girls in the family when they longed for a daughter but had 6 boys instead.
  • I’ve been able to connect with a new 2nd cousin on my maternal side and was even able to surprise her with the news that she, like myself, are descendants of John and Priscilla Alden of the Mayflower.
  • I was able to find several more distant cousins as well how I am happy to connect with as we share information and common ancestral bonds.
  • While finding new cousins it was also important to maintain those new connections from last year too.
I was able to prove with documentation to the Alden Kindred Society that I am a descendant of John & Priscilla Alden, maternal 10th Great Grandparents.  (See post It’s Official-I Proved it)

Goals for next year:
  • Completing 50 blog posts.
  • Learning more how to make those cousin connections using DNA with my research.
  • Continuing from last year along with my research this year I will continue to edit the transcribed version of Carrie’s Letters.  I’m currently working on an index of all the people Carrie mentions in her letters (to date I have about 430 people). 
  • I am scheduled to again be the Presenter at the San Diego Genealogical Society on April 14th to talk about how I researched the people Carrie spoke about in her letters over 100 years ago.

In summary, I think it’s been a great year for research and a great year for people connection (my favorite).  I can’t believe what I have been able to learn about my ancestors beyond their names and dates of birth and death.  They have come alive as the courageous people who worked hard, loved their families and did the best they could.  I owe so much to so many that have listened to my stories, read my blogs and helped me find the missing bits of information that added to my ancestors stories.  As frustrating as my brick walls can be it’s remembering the people I have met along the way and the information I have found that make this so rewarding.  It truly is the ‘journey’ that is the reward!

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