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,