Tuesday, January 23, 2024

      Suffolk County Historical Society

300 West Main Street

Riverhead, New York



Carrie's Letters A Glimpse into Rural Family Life 

Baiting Hollow, NY

A box of long-forgotten letters written by a young woman, mainly to her sister, provides an intimate insight into her life as she studies to be a teacher, becomes the wife of a farmer, then the mother of six sons before her untimely death at the age of 48.  You will get to know Carrie, her thoughts, sense of humor, and views of the world around her.  The addition of detailed sidebars containing connections of family members, along with newspaper accounts of events referred to in the letters offers an amazing glimpse into rural family life from 1880-1910.

For additional posts and information click Tab Carrie’s Letters

Hope to see you there,

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

Enjoy the journey,


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Ebenezer Barry Naturalization Record

 Ebenezer Barry is my paternal 3rd great grandfather. 

His young life and his parents are such a mystery to me, a very frustrating mystery. Where did you come from Ebenezer and who were your parents?  It’s almost as if you didn’t exist before you immigrated to the United States. 

Here is what I do know and can piece together about Ebenezer:

The first records I can locate about Ebenezer Barry anywhere are his Naturalization Records in the United States. 

Ebenezer’s Naturalization file

  • One of the earliest responsibilities of the court system in the United States was the conferring of citizenship.  The Federal statue in 1790 and 1802 stated that non-citizens or aliens appeared before the court presenting their Declarations of Intent as well as Oaths of Allegiance, Witness Affidavits and Petitions.  1802 was the first naturalization act, however, at that time immigrants were not required to apply for citizenship. 
  • Naturalization to become a citizen of the United States was a two-part process.  The First Papers or the Declaration of Intent to Naturalize was first.  The First Papers were normally filed five years before the Final Papers due to the residency requirement of five years in order to become a citizen.

The First Papers or Declaration of Intent

click on images to enlarge


In the Court of Common Please, for the City and County of New-York.  I, Ebenezer Barry, do declare on oath, that it is bona fide my intention to become a Citizen of the United States, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatever, and particularly to the King of Sweden & Norway of whom I am a subject.

Sworn this 7 day of May 1849.  Ebenezer Barry.

James Conner, Clerk.


I certify that the foregoing is a true copy of an original Declaration of Intention, remaining of record in my office.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name, and affixed the Seal of said Court, this 7 day of May 1849.     

James Conner  


  • Based on the Declaration of Intent Ebenezer was from Sweden or Norway and arrived in New York before 7 May 1849.

Final Papers



Superior Court of the City of New-York.

In the matter of

Ebenezer Barry

On his application to become a Citizen of the United States.

State of New-York, City and County of New-York}

Henry Meyers of New York  108 ½ Cherry Street, N.Y. being duly sworn, says, that he is well acquainted with the above named applicant, and that the said applicant has resided within the United States for the continued term of five years at least next preceding the present time, and within the State of New-York, one year at least immediately preceding this application; and that during that time he has behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order of the same.

Sworn in open Court, this 15th day of October 1851                    Henry Meyers

 D.R.F. Jones           Clerk.

 State of New-York, City and County of New-York} ss.  Ebenezer Barry


I do solemnly swear, that I will support the Constitution of the United States; and that I do absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance to any foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatever; and particularly to the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland of whom I was before a subject.

Sworn in open Court, this 15th day of October 1851} Ebenezer X (his mark) Barry

D.R. F. Jones           Clerk.

  • From this record I know that Ebenezer entered the United States in or before 1846.  I know that Ebenezer was unable, at this time, to write his name. Was he able later in life to write his name?  Why was the reference to Great Britain and Ireland crossed off?  Was this just a standard document that was used?  Why wasn’t ‘Sweden and Norway’ added?
  • The largest group of Immigrants during this time period in New York City were from Ireland.
  • Henry Myers who lived at 108 ½ Cherry Street (Ward 2 in 1850 Census) knew Ebenezer well enough to vouch for him for his Naturalization.  According to this he knew him for five years in order to vouch for him.  I wonder if they lived near each other in New York City and/or perhaps worked together?
  • Cherry Street is on the lower East Side of Manhattan (near the Manhattan Bridge today).  This part of a map from the Library of Congress shows Cherry Street.  108 Cherry Street is near the cross-street Catherine.

  • Ebenezer has not been located yet in the 1850 US Federal census.  In the NY State 1855 census Ebenezer Barry is living in Brooklyn, Ward 12 and his occupation is listed as a Lighterman (worker on a flat-bottomed boat).
  • In the 1850 US Federal census there are no Henry Meyers living in Ward 2.  There are about 15 Henry Meyers living in New York City.  One of them listed in Ward 8 is listed as a Ship Carpenter (Ship and Boat Building and Repairing).  Another in the first Ward is listed as a Sailor.
  • Both men were very close in age to Ebenezer and in the same industry.

These documents were located years ago.  This was the second Naturalization record on my ancestors I was able to find but it wasn’t until now that I really took the documents apart to learn everything I possibly could from them.  Unfortunately, these early Naturalization records do not give the name of a town or city that my ancestor was from but they do give me several valuable pieces of information to help in piecing Ebenezer’s life together before he came to the United States and when he most likely came.  Now, what else can I learn about the life of Ebenezer?                 

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

Enjoy the journey,


Thursday, November 24, 2022

Walking in My Pilgrim Ancestors' Footsteps

Walking in the steps of my ancestors is always amazing.  This year I got to do just that by going back over 400 years to the towns where two of my ancestors lived in England.

In December 2018 I was privileged to become a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in the San Diego Colony.  After many years of research I was able to prove that I am truly a descendant of John Alden, William and Priscilla Mullins.  As a genealogist I thirst for any and all information I can find about my ancestors.  I want to know everything I can about them which is not always easy since they lived 400 years ago.

Last Summer an email was sent from GSMD about a Mayflower Tour that was taking place at the end of May this year.  I hesitated for about a week and then decided to register.  UGH, I was placed on a waiting list.  Before Christmas I was notified that friend and fellow Society Member Diane Gould Hall and I had been moved off the wait list and were able to go on the Tour. YEA!

One of the members of our Tour (about 35 in total) was Governor General Jane Hurt.  What a pleasure to meet Jane!  I learned that she was the one who had a vision for a ‘Mayflower Tour’ and had proposed her idea to Reformation Tours a few years ago.  Covid hit and plans were put on hold.  Finally in 2022 her vision became a reality.  Our Tour was so well planned and jam packed with activities it is difficult to recount them all here.  These are some of the many highlights.

We began our Tour in Amsterdam.  After a brief tour of the city, including a canal boat ride, and visiting sites related to the Pilgrims, we were off to spend several days in Leiden.  Each day of our Tour was filled with amazing experiences from early morning until evening.  There was just so much to see and learn.  Previously, I had never paid too much attention to the “Pilgrims” that had gone to the Netherlands since my ancestors were not among them.  I very quickly realized that as children what we learned about the Pilgrims is so very superficial.  The Pilgrim Museum in Leiden was astounding.  Seeing what a small area each family lived in and how many artifacts from the era the museum still exist was exciting.

our group at Den Waag in Leiden

photo credit Diane Gould Hall

After leaving Leiden we were off to visit Delshaven, the departure point for the Speadwell.  Next we were off on a six hour ferry ride to Harwich, UK where the Mayflower was built and where the ship’s captain, Master Christopher Jones was born and lived.  Our day in Harwich began on the Ha’Penny Pier with a proclamation being read in our honor. 

During a walking city tour of Harwich we visited the home of Mayflower Captain Christopher Jones, Foresters (the home of the Harwich Society), the Electric Palace (oldest theatre remaining in UK and seen in the current Downton Abbey movie) among other sites.  We just happened to be in Harwich on June 2nd, the day of the Queen’s Jubilee.  How exciting it was to see and partake in some of the celebrations honoring Queen Elizabeth!

Next we were off to Boston and the Guildhall where some of the Pilgrims had been held before escaping to the Netherlands. Our historian had a wealth of information for us and a tour of the building where some of the Pilgrims were confined including William Brewster.  Listening to the historian was so fascinating to learn what a ‘hot bed’ this general area (Boston, Cambridge, etc.) was for the development of religious beliefs differing from the King’s religion that would lead to groups such as the Pilgrims in coming to the New World.

Following Boston we spent a few days touring Babworth Church (where William Brewster and William Bradford came together), Scrooby Manor (home to William Brewster), St. Helena’s Church in Austerfield (where William Bradford was baptized) and Gainsborough (where the Pilgrims took off for the Netherlands).  The highlight was definitely a tour of Scrooby Manor and meeting the current owners who also joined us for dinner that evening.  Author and historian, Sue Allan (The Mayflower Maid) spoke with us briefly after dinner.  What an additional treat it was to be able to meet Sue and hear about some of her Mayflower research.

A stop for a delicious traditional Sunday roast dinner was in store for us at a pub in Droitwich.

Next we were off for two days to Plymouth.  There was so much to see and do in Plymouth. New information to learn about the city, the Mayflower and the voyage. After a walking tour of the older part of the city, a tour of a building from the era of the Pilgrims, Sutton Harbor, the Plymouth Gin Distillery (oldest British distillery still active today) and a boat ride in Plymouth Harbor.  One of the highlights of this day was visiting the Pilgrim Steps.  While this is probably not the exact stop when the Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower we were in the area.

After Plymouth we were on our way to Southampton.  In Southampton we took a walking tour of the area, visited the Tudor House and Gardens (which existed at the time the Pilgrims were in Southampton), saw a pub where many of the crew were known to frequent, the Pilgrim Memorial and most exciting walked through the gate the Pilgrims would have gone through to board the Speedwell and the Mayflower.  How very exciting to walk through the city gate that we know our ancestors and the other passengers would have walked through!

Our next stop was one of my favorites.  We arrived in Dorking.  Dorking is where my Mullins ancestors lived before sailing for the New World.  It was so very exciting for be here!  We toured the Dorking Museum, had lunch at the White Horse Hotel and toured the city.  William Mullins was known to have owned a building of four shops in the city.  I was very happy to have had tea in the Mullins CafĂ©.  I wondered what it must have been like for Priscilla to have been in this building perhaps visiting her father’s cobbler shop. 

Unfortunately, our tour was coming to an end and we were off to London.  In London for a day we managed to take a cruise on the Thames River, go up in the London eye and end our visit with a luncheon at the Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe.  This Pub was known to the Mayflower crew.  While there, we were able to sign the Mayflower Descendants visitor’s book.  Quite a finish to a jam-packed historical tour!

In school we learned about the Pilgrims and their journey to Leiden before coming to America.  I had learned that John Alden was a Cooper and that Priscilla’s father William Mullins was a Cobbler.  I knew they had not gone to the Netherlands but that was about all I knew.  How exciting to be in the locations where they lived and learn from local historians that John may have lived in Harwich and been a cousin of Captain Christopher Jones when I was in Harwich and then when in Southampton learn that the historians there believe John was from this area.  When in Dorking I learned from the local historians that William Mullins was a rather wealthy merchant and probably owned a Cobbler shop but doubtful he actually made shoes himself.  William’s reason for going to America are unknown.  William is thought to have sympathized with the Pilgrims and was probably looking for new business ventures in the New World.  Records from Dorking during this time period are nonexistent.  John may have decided to stay in the New World to avoid conscription in the United Kingdom for an upcoming war.  There was so much to learn and many new questions to go unanswered. 

Our Tour group was composed of a wonderful group of people with amazing backgrounds.  Most of us were all members of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.  Among our group we found many new ‘cousins’ and great new friends that we will continue to keep in touch with. I would highly recommend a tour like this one to learn more about your ancestors. Actually walking in their footsteps can give us a much better understand of where they lived.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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

Enjoy the journey,



If you are interested in a similar tour FEAT Travel Inc. has taken over for Reformation Tours.  I know Chad Murray was trying to get enough people together for a Plymouth, USA tour next Summer but I think it will be 2024 before the next one happens.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Terry Family Reunion

Genealogists enjoy finding out all they can about the family that came before them.  Another great part of genealogy is finding and connecting with ‘cousins’ whether they are first cousins we’ve never met or, 2nd or 3rd cousins.  This year I had the amazing privilege of meeting a large group of my ‘Terry’ Family cousins at a reunion in upstate New York.

Probably about 10 years ago while I was working on Carrie’s Letters (see tab Carrie’s Letters) I became obsessed with finding the descendants of the siblings of my paternal great grandmother Carrie (Terry) Warner.  Carrie was the daughter of Gilbert and Almeda(Robinson) Terry of Peconic, Suffolk County, New York.  The children born to Gilbert and Almeda were Carrie, Forrest, Ella, Millard and an infant daughter.  The infant daughter never appeared to have been named since she only lived a few weeks.  Millard died suddenly of apoplexy at age 11.  I knew Forrest and Ella had children, so, I went on a mission to find them.  Carrie had written most of the letters to her sister Ella but also spoke of her brother Forrest.  Forrest came several times in the summer when he was out of school to help on Carrie and John’s farm in Baiting Hollow, New York.  While reading the letters I also obtained confirmation of my suspicion that my grandfather, Olin Forrest Warner, had been named after his uncle Forrest.

First, I looked for the descants of Forrest and Ella through online family trees and then DNA matches.  After much searching I found Theresa who was a granddaughter of Forrest Terry.  An email was carefully crafted explaining that I believed we were related through her grandfather Forrest Terry and my great grandmother Carrie Terry, Forrest’s sister.  Then the hopeful reply came and I couldn’t wait to open and read it   only to hear Theresa say that she was sorry but she didn’t believe we were related because Forrest only had one sister named Ella.  I sent her a copy of a census report that listed Gilbert Terry, wife Almeda and children Carrie, Forrest, Ella and Millard.  Today we still joke about this initial email exchange. Because Carrie died so young and tragically she was not talked about by her siblings as their families grew.  Life goes on.  I know my grandfather and brothers kept in touch for a while (see post Discovering the Purpose of a Group Photo) but…life goes on.  They married and had families and as the generations continued, family lost touch.  But now I had found a connection to Forrest.  Theresa and I keep in touch and when I am in Florida I try to visit. 

Theresa had told me about a family reunion with her Terry cousins in upstate New York each year and said if I could ever come that would be great.  The timing never seemed to work until this year.  Finally, on Saturday, July 16, 2022 everything aligned and I was in the right area at the right time and was able to attend the Terry Family reunion.  What an amazing time this was!  For over four hours I was able to meet so many of my ‘cousins’ and their families.  I was able to soak up stories about their families and growing up a ‘Terry’.  I was able to gain information about their descendants and make connections on several DNA matches I have.  Harley (my furry companion) even had a good time with several of the dogs that were there.

Grandchildren of Forrest Terry and myself
click on image to enlarge

Grandchildren, spouses and Great grandchildren of Forrest Terry

After the party, on my way to my stop for the night, there was a huge double rainbow.  

What a great end to a wonderful day!  Hope to see everyone next year.

Remember whether you are connected by blood or are just related by heart to take time to be together and enjoy that time.

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

Enjoy the journey,


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

40th Anniversary Celebration

My parental grandfather, Olin Warner, Sr. was the 5th of 6 boys born to Carrie (Terry) and John B. Warner. My grandfather was only five years old when his mother, Carrie (Terry) Warner died suddenly and it was only 10 years later that his father, John B. Warner passed away.  My grandfather at the age of 15 then went to live with his older brother John Wesley and wife Alice (Aldrich) Warner. Olin and Wesley, and later with their wives, continued a close bond.

Alice (Aldrich) and John Wesley Warner

My paternal grandmother, Agnes (King) Warner was known for the lists she kept.  Whether she was getting ready for Christmas or planning a 40th Anniversary party you can be sure Grandma had a list going.  Several years ago while visiting my cousin Diane in Colorado she shared with me a small green leather notebook of my grandmother’s.  While enjoying my grandmother’s familiar handwriting and looking through the notebook I found a variety of lists, recipes, etc. One of the lists that caught my eye was the following:

click on image to enlarge

How exciting to find this list of information for the 40th anniversary celebration of Alice and Wesley Warner from 1958!  Alice and Wesley were married on 9 November 1918 and made their home in Riverhead, New York. 

This was a typical list of my grandmother’s.  Grandma was obviously in charge of planning the party and she listed everything out to the smallest detail.  It’s so interesting to see the menu and the cost of the party back in 1958.  McCabes was a stationary store in the town of Riverhead, so, I am guessing that was for purchasing the invitations.  There were also flowers and hmm…prizes. I am guessing that the ‘clock’ was the anniversary gift for the happy couple.

 I do have some questions though:

  • what was the ‘Hall’ where the party was held?
  • is this a complete list of those who actually attended?
  • was the party actually held on the 8th of November instead of the 9th, their anniversary?

Thinking about the details of this list got me to wondering, if, like so many other events in my grandparent’s lives, was this recorded in the local newspaper?  Growing up I remember that on Monday mornings the local reporter, Laura Rodgers, for the area where we lived would call my grandmother and ask what the family had done over the last week.  Was there anything to record in the newspaper?  I am so grateful today, as I search for family information to fill in the daily lives of my ancestors, that so much was recorded in the local newspapers.  Was this event recorded there also?  Could the newspaper account answer some of my questions and give me more details of this event?

When searching for old newspapers for Suffolk County, New York my first stop is usually the free online newspapers through New York Historic Newspapers.  The newspapers I was looking for in Suffolk County only go as far as 1940.   So, that didn’t work.  While visiting Riverhead, New York this summer I decided to see what I could find in the local newspapers for 1958.  Surely the local newspaper had copies somewhere?  The current local newspaper, The Riverhead News-Review, directed me to a nearby library (Mattituck-Laurel Library) where I found out they only had a few years and not the one I was looking for.  Disappointing!  A second call to the local newspaper told me they were in the process of digitizing all their editions so they had nothing available at the newspaper office but directed me to the Riverhead Free Library where they should have the microfilms of the years I was looking for.  A trip to the library finally yielded the microfilm for 1958.  Yea, success for step one!  Then I began searching for the newspapers for November and December 1958.  I was sure I would find something under the ‘Riverhead’ news section since my great Uncle and Aunt lived there.  I searched through several weeks and kept thinking Grandma, don’t let me down.  The party HAS to be in the paper.  Finally, I found the article I was searching for as a general article in The News Review, Thursday, November 13, 1958 edition on page 9:


J W Warners Observe 40th

Mr. and Mrs. J Wesley Warner of Riverhead were pleasantly surprised by their friends, neighbors and relatives on Saturday evening, Nov 8, at the Aquebogue Congregational Church dining room. The occasion was in honor of their 40th wedding anniversary.

A buffet supper was served climaxed by the “bride and groom” cutting a beautiful wedding cake.

Mr and Mrs Warner were the recipients of numerous lovely and useful gifts.

Present were Rev and Mrs Robert Samuelson, Mr and Mrs Abe Denholz, Mrs Berger, Mr and Mrs Robinson Goodale, Mr and Mrs Robert Dillilngham Sr, Mr and Mrs Lawrence Hulse, Mr and Mrs Roscoe Palmer, Mr and Mrs Halsey Penny, Mr and Mrs Henry Vail, Mr and Mrs William Vail, Mr and Mrs Raymond Young, Mr and Mrs William Young, Mr and Mrs Horace K. Hallock, Mrs Hulda Diamond, Mrs Milie Downs, Mrs Roswell Corwin, Mrs Florrie Mammen, Mrs Ted Breiling, Mrs. Addison Whitman Sr, Mrs Robert Guy Sr, Mrs Iona Wright, Mr and Mrs Milton Warner Sr, Mr and Mrs Hollis Warner, Mr and Mrs Olin Warner Sr, Mr and Mrs Olin Warner Jr and Mr and Mrs Allen Farrell.

We don’t often get to know how our ancestors celebrated this type of occasion or who our ancestors’ friends were or who would have been at a party like this.

What fun to look back in time and see what was done, say for an anniversary party, in 1958.  As for my questions I now know:

  • the “Hall” that was rented was at the Aquebogue Congregational Church
  • the party was on a Saturday night (8th) and wasn’t on their actual anniversary on the 9th.   Renting of a church ‘Hall’ would make sense that the party was on Saturday night instead of Sunday.
  • the clock was one of many gifts given

The newspaper article gives a little more information but is very close to the account found in my grandmother’s list.  What fun to add the newspaper article to my grandmother’s list.  This helps the event become alive for me and I feel like an observer of the 40th anniversary party.

If I had been able to search for this online it would have been difficult to find without just using the word 'Warner' and searching through pages and pages of findings.  I would never have thought to look for ‘J W Warner’.  A good reminder not to limit yourself when searching in online databases.

Was the picture above found amongst my grandparent’s photos a picture of Alice & Wesley from this party?  I have no way of knowing.  It could have been.  What a handsome couple! Alice and Wesley never had any children, so, I am honored to remember them here today. 

Happy Anniversary Alice and Wesley!

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

Enjoy the journey,


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Quilt Top

(click on images to enlarge)

Genealogists gather facts about their ancestors. We look for birth, marriage and death records. We search for newspaper articles, land records, wills, family Bibles, photos, etc. Anything that can help fill in the blanks about our ancestors’ lives. Have you ever thought about a quilt telling a story about your ancestors? Have you been lucky enough to inherit a family quilt?

Several weeks ago I was able to attend a talk about a quilt top. A dear friend, who is also a genealogist, asked if, while I was visiting, I’d be interested in attending a talk about a quilt top that had names, dates and towns listed on it. While I had no ancestors in the particular county the quilt seemed to be from it was a neighboring county to where some of my ancestors lived. The idea of researching a quilt seemed intriguing to me. Spending time attending this event with my friend sounded like a great thing to do. After all, when have you ever done research on a quilt? What would be involved in researching a quilt? What can be determined by researching a quilt? How would this research compare to what I do as a genealogist? Who knows, maybe I’d learn something new about my ancestors.

The talk was sponsored by the Dryden Town Historical Society. We met at Dryden United Methodist Church on a Thursday evening. The speaker was Anita Loscalzo. The quilt was purchased at an auction in Massachusetts. Anita is a member of the American Quilt Study Group. Have you ever heard about or been involved with the American Quilt Study Group? Prior to this talk I knew nothing about the existence of a group that studies and researches quilts. Their Mission Statement-“The American Quilt Study Group establishes and promotes the highest standards for interdisciplinary quilt-related studies, providing opportunities for study, research, and the publication of works that advance the knowledge of quilts and related subjects.”

Anita started by detailing her vast research, which included:

  • the names (30 women and 21 men)
  • dates (1846-1849)
  • towns handwritten on the quilt (primarily from Dryden, Tompkins County, NY but also a few from Chemung and Greene Counties as well)
  • ages of names on the quilt top at the time the date was recorded (from 11-69)
  • the relationships of the people named (several people were related but others were not)
  • makeup of the quilt top itself-
    • the number of stitches per inch
    • the types of fabrics used
    • the manufacturer of the fabrics
    • what stores in the area at the time might have sold these fabrics
    • the types of ink used at the time, etc.

From this information she determined most likely two people wrote the names on the quilt and two people worked on piecing the quilt top together.

After Anita gained all the information she could about the makeup of the quilt she then wanted to know what was the purpose of these names and dates being together on one quilt top? After researching surnames, religious affiliations, town histories, political happenings from 1846-49 including Abolitionism, Temperance Movement, Turnpikes/migration patterns in the mid-1800s in the area, Military tract land divisions, etc. Anita’s conclusion after doing her research is that the people whose names were on the quilt were probably participants in the Temperance Movement at the time and the dates may have been when they made or renewed their Pledge of Abstinence. We will never know for sure but based on the information from the time this seems like the most probable reason for the group of names that were on the quilt.

Why the quilt top was never put together as a finished quilt we’ll never know. We’ll never know who the two people were that pieced the top together and wrote the names on the quilt. The fact that it was most likely folded up and set aside for about 170 years probably helped preserve the handwritten names, dates and places. It looked like they had just been written yesterday. The fabric pieces were still very vibrant in color, due to the types of fabrics used, the coloring at the time and partially due to this only being a quilt top and I doubt not washed much over the last 170 some years.

Anita and the quilt top

Hearing about Anita’s research and how she approached her task was very interesting. A lot of what genealogists do is similar in the way we research, the tenacity we show. Hearing about all the aspects of what and how she researched was so very fascinating. If you are fortunate to have inherited a family quilt remember to not only research the person who made the quilt but how and why the quilt itself was constructed.  You may learn some interesting tidbits about your own family history by researching the quilt.

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

Enjoy the journey,


The names on the quilt: Linus Bartholomew; Marilla Belknap; Mariette, Maryette & Mrs. Susan Bogart; Mrs. Mary Bouton; Mrs. Harriet Carpenter; Mrs. Esther & Mary J. Esthira Carr; Mrs. Charlotte Clapp; Albert, Eliphalet & William Crasper; William Deul; Mr. John, Lafayette & Mrs. Maranda M. Deusenbery; Isaac P. Ferguson; Thomas & Thomas P. Ford; Alanson, Calista, Charles M., Chauncey, Lenie, Mary & Mrs. Sally Hemingway; Lydia A. Judd; Catharine, Gilbert, James W., Lina & Martha Knapp; Daniel, Mrs. Eliza & Jane Montgomery; Amy Morgan; Mrs. Eunice & Mary Overbaugh; Isabella Rose, Socrates Scutt; Robert Smiley; Helen Squires; Edward Stringham; Elmira Todd; George Truesdale; Artemas L. & Leartus Tyler, James Vanorder; Betsy, Mariette, & Mrs. Sarah Vanpelt; and Adelia Whitcomb.

If you enjoy quilts, be sure to check out the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts when you are in the area.

Thursday, April 14, 2022


In a previous post, Joel Johnson, Finding the Facts, I learned about a land sale that occurred 187 years ago today where my maternal 5th great grandfather Asahel Johnson (67 years old) sold some of his property to his youngest son Joel Johnson (36 years old), my 4th great grandfather.  Here is the documentation of this transaction:

(click on image to enlarge)


This indenture Made the fourteenth Day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty five between Asahel Johnson of the township of Orwell in the County of Bradford Pa and Buleh his wife of the first part, and Joel Johnson of the township: county and state aforesaid of the second part, witnesseth that the said party of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred Dollars Lawful Money of the United States to him in hand paid by the party of the second part, his heirs executors and administrators by the present have granted bargain, sell, alien, enfeoff[invest with a fee], release and confirm, unto the said party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns all that certain message Lot, piece or parcel of land lying and being in the township of Orwell aforesaid and bounded as follows, viz-

Beginning on the line of lands owned by the heirs of the late Samuel Wells, thence north forty six degrees East two chains and twenty links[145.1'] to a large Beech post and stones for a corner-thence north north forty one degrees west forty seven chains and four links[3,104.64'] to Birch tree for a corner-thence South twenty-eight degrees west eight chains and eleven links[535.26'] to Beech saplin for a corner-thence south forty eight degrees East forty four chains and fifty links[2937'] to the place of beginning containing Twenty one acres fifty-seven perches[940.5'] and four tenths of a perch[6.6']

and allow and ? being a piece or parcel of land conveyed to the said Asahel Johnson by William Pointett and Marianna F. his wife by deed bearing date the Sixteenth day of August AD 1815 and recorded in Bradford County in Deed Book No. 2 page 200.  Together with all the singular the rights, privileges, hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining, and the servitudes[part of easement] and remainders[future interest in the land], rents issues and profits thereof: And also all the estate, right, title, interest, claim and demand whatsoever of the said party of the first part in law or equity of, in, to or out of the same.  To have and to hold the said hereditaments and premises hereby granted or mentioned or intended so to be, with the appurtenances unto the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns forever, and the said Asahel Johnson for himself, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns all and singular the hereditaments hereby granted unto the said Joel Johnson his heirs and assigns against the said Asahel and his heirs and against all and every person and persons whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents In witness whereof the said parties of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals Dated the day and year first above written

                                                                                                                           Asahel Johnson (seal)

                                                                                                             Beulah (X her mark) Johnson (seal)

Sealed and Delivered in presence of 

Chauncey Frisbie

Byron Flitcher

              Bradford County On the 14th day of April A.D. 1835 before me the subscriber one of the Justices of the peace in and for the said county the within named Asahel Johnson and Beulah his wife and separately acknowledged the within Indentured to be their respective act and deed and desired the same might be recorded as such The said Beulah being of full age and by me separate and apart form her said husband examined and the content made known to her declared she executed the same of her own free will and accord without any compunction[misgivings] or control of her said said husband Witness my hand and seal the day and year appointed 

                                                                                                             Chauncey Frisbie

              Recorded May 14, 1835 

Some thoughts:
  • There is always a challenge reading old land deeds and trying to understand them.  First, I needed to understand the measurements used in a Metes and Bounds survey system.  If you look carefully at the photo on the top of the page (above the word "deed") there is a picture of Gunter's Chain which was an English system of measurement introduced in 1620.  A "chain" is equal to 66 feet.  A "link" is 7.92 inches.  A "perch" is 16.5 feet. If the math is done correctly, I added the distance in feet for additional understanding above within the description of the land.
  • This piece of property was about 21 acres in size.
  • Beulah was unable to write her name and used a mark.
  • After some additional genealogy, I was able to determine that the recorder of the land deed and a witness to the signing, Chauncey Frisbie's father and Joel's father Asahel were two of the early settlers in this area.  An interesting connection between the families.
  • Care was taken by Chauncey to determine that Beulah was in agreement with the sale of the property and was not coerced by her husband to sell the property.
  • I always chuckle at the markers for the property description: the line of lands owned by the heirs of the late Samuel Wells, to a large Beech post and stones, Birch tree, Beech saplin.  I doubt the markers could be found today.
  • Asahel would live another 22 years after the sale of this property.

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

Enjoy the journey,