Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tombstone Tuesday A Cautionary Tale, The Partially Incorrect Warner Story

Information found on a tombstone should always be considered a gift and not fact until you prove or disprove it.  Growing up I knew of this tombstone and the story it told.  As a young girl I remember there was some concern that perhaps the story wasn’t quite right but that was all I knew.

On the side of the tombstone:

Transcription:  William Warner immigrated from England in 1637.  He had 2 sons and 1 daughter.  John, Daniel. and Abigail.  Daniel had a son in 1642 who was the father of Nathaniel Warner, who was born Oct. 1690.  Daniel son of Nathaniel was born April 30, 1731.  James son of Daniel was born April 26, 1762.  Daniel son of James was born Sept. 18, 1784.  Daniel son of Daniel was born June 9, 1818.

On the front of the tombstone:

Baiting Hollow Cemetery
Riverhead, New York

                                                   Daniel Warner                         Eleanor Howell, His Wife
                                                           Born June 9, 1818                   Born May 15, 1825           
                                                           Died June 15, 1895                 Died March 7, 1895

On the sides:

Their Children

Allen M.                                     Frances M.                                   Josephine A.                              Martha R.
b-Oct. 6, 1842                            b-July 11, 1844                             b-May 27, 1846                         b-March 3, 1848
d-Aug. 27, 1927                         d-                                                  d-Oct. 17, 1848                          d-

Franklin E.
b-Jan. 5, 1868
d-May 3, 1908  

Eunice                                       Mary A.                                         Julia                                          
b-Feb. 15, 1850                        b-Dec.   , 1851                               b-Dec. 14, 1853                       
d-                                              d-                                                   d-May 10, 1871     


Charles H.                               Eleanor F.                                      John B.                                      Eugene G.
b-May 17, 1858                       b-July 20, 1860                              b-Aug 12, 1862                         b-Nov. 27, 1864
d-                                            d-Aug. 8, 1892                                d-Jun. 20, 1920                        d-
   Waldo D.    
    b-Feb. 11, 1856

(see post The Joy and Blessings of Meeting Cousins to see pictures of several of the 13 children as adults)
I have a copy of a Memoranda page from a Warner Bible that lists this same story.  I am guessing this is what was used for the tombstone.  There is no date as to when this was recorded and I do not know who in the family currently has the Bible.  Where did the story first come from?  I remember as a young 13 or 14 year old being determined to solve this mystery.  I looked at the local library and while able to find William Warner I was not able to match up dates of the Warner’s from Long Island with the dates I found for William Warner’s line.  I was sure I was on to something when I found a listing for an Andrew Warner with a son Daniel and grandson Nathaniel but was never really able to pursue it at that time.  Later, I learned the story listed on the tombstone was indeed incorrect.

The Warner line on Long Island, of which I am a direct descendant, did indeed start with Nathaniel, born 1690.  He was the father of Daniel, born 1731, who was the father of James, born 1762.  James’ son Daniel was born 1784.  Daniel had a son Daniel, born 1818 who married Eleanor (parents of the 13 children listed above).  Nathaniel, who came to Long Island was the son of a Daniel Warner.  This is perhaps where the problem came.  This Daniel, born 1632 or 3, was the son of Andrew Warner and not William Warner.  Andrew came to America about 1630 from England.  Names that frequently repeat in the family, like ‘Daniel’ can create problems if you do not carefully review other vital record information.  (click on highlighted names to read additional stories)

I recently came across a document written by Justine Warner Wells, granddaughter of Eugene Warner, listed above.  Justine was the family historian for many many years.  This document, Justine stated, was a Historical Sketch of the Nathaniel Warner Family, Given at the Annual Warner Reunion on July 17, 1976 at Wildwood Park.  In this document Justine tells of having a letter sent to Eugene Warner in 1926 from a J. A. Warner of Brooklyn.  J. A. Warner stated that he was a direct ancestor of William Warner and his son Daniel.  J. A.  had done research on that line for over 20 years and did not feel that ‘our’ Nathaniel was a descendant of William Warner.  Justine also states that Elaine Warner Tuthill, granddaughter of John B. Warner, listed above, found a letter written to her father Hollis Warner by Alice Hammond Warner (Eugene’s wife) that acknowledged her concern that if the information inscribed on the stone was incorrect it should be removed from the stone.  The inscription was never removed but time and the elements make it hard to read now.  

Caution: Remember to use the information on tombstones as a starting point to research and do not assume they are facts until thoroughly researched.

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

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