Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Randy Seaver Presents at the San Diego Genealogical Society

The San Diego Genealogical Society was fortunate to schedule Randy Seaver for yet another 2 great presentations to go along with the yearly Ice Cream Social. Randy, who we are privileged to have as a member of our Society, is a nationally known Blogger, Genealogy speaker and Webinar host. Once again I found Randy to be a very informative and engaging speaker.



Randy’s first presentation was entitled Randy’s Top 10 Genealogy Tips.

I have been doing genealogy since before computers and sometimes wonder if there is something new I can learn from a speaker.  As usual, there are ALWAYS new things to learn and new tips to try. Sometimes we get going with the ways we typically research or the sites we typically use and we miss other possible sites or other options within our familiar sites. Randy started by reviewing why he chose these tips, both free and paid genealogy resources as well as Genealogy search processes.

Randy’s tips ranged from better search techniques, such as; beginning a search in Ancestry by first going to a specific person in your tree versus the general ‘search’ location to techniques to better use hints/matches found within various collections. Randy also identified the best collections for finding digitized records, such as; books, newspapers, BMD records, locations where our ancestors may have lived/settled, and finding information about living relatives. Randy discussed the wealth of information on Find A Gave, beside birth and death information, and the importance of remembering to research the FAN (Family, Associates, Neighbors) Club of our ancestors.

I decided to try out several of Randy’s Tips to see what I could find:
  • First, I thought I would try Randy’s tip about searching for information in Ancestry from a person in my tree to see what information might turn up that I didn’t expect or hadn’t thought to look for and found the following City directories on my great-great uncle Jacob King:


I had previously looked in US City Directories under the ‘Search’ and ‘Card Catalog’ but these records hadn’t shown up. This is great information for plotting Jacob’s movements over the years.
  • Next, when looking for digitized books I generally use Google Books or Internet Archives but I didn’t know that if I look in FamilySearch under ‘Books’ I could search for Family History books. I found the following right away that will help me on my ‘Luce’ family line:

This will be a big help in finding family histories others have published without going to local libraries or historical societies that may be thousands of miles away!


Randy’s second presentation was entitled Using Collaborative “Big” Trees.

Randy discussed exactly what ‘collaborative family trees’ are and why you might want to contribute to one or all of these four main ‘big’ trees: WikiTree, Geni, Ancestry and FamilySearch Family Tree.  Afterwards he went in depth about each of these trees and discussed the main features as well as the benefits and drawbacks of using each one. I was surprised to learn that the FamilySearch Family tree has about 877 million profiles.
Randy concluded with explaining why he uses collaborative family trees. In looking at my own practice I currently use Ancestry and MyHeritage to post my public trees. I can see the benefits of having my profiles in some of the other “big” family trees and will definitely work on doing that in the future.

With the digital age things are happening so quickly and it is very difficult to keep up with new sites and new features. Thank-you Randy for expanding our minds and giving us a new perspective!  

Don’t forget to check out Randy’s blog at Genea-Musings and follow him on Twitter for more great tips and the latest information available on various genealogy websites, as well as, what he has learned about his ancestors.

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















Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sunday Obituary - Catherine King Lewis

Before locating the following obituary I knew that Catherine, my paternal 2nd great-great aunt, was the first known child of Theodore and Mary King.  (Theodore and Mary King are my paternal 3rd great-grandparents.) 
  • I had conflicting birthplaces for Catherine, born about 1835, and her brother Jacob born about 1836-7.  According to some census records they were born in Pennsylvania and others stated New York. 
  • I can track Theodore and Mary to Brooklyn, New York by 1843 when my 2nd great-grandfather Louis was born there. 
  • Catherine’s siblings were Jacob and Louis King, Mary King ?, and Caroline King ?.  Did her sisters marry?
  • I knew that according to the census for 1850 Theodore was born in Germany and Mary was also born in Germany.  Other census records have Mary born in Pennsylvania. 
  • Did Theodore and Mary come to the United States together or meet in Pennsylvania?  And where in Pennsylvania?  I also knew that Catherine married Daniel Lewis, Jr. about 1853 and they continued to live in Brooklyn, New York.
Would finding this obituary give me any answers?


found on Newspapers.com originally from the newspaper The Brooklyn Daily Eagle 9 Jul 1927 page 2

Transcription:

Mrs. Lewis, 98, Oldest 12th Ward Resident, Dies
     Mrs. Catherine Lewis, 98 years old, oldest resident of the 12th Ward, where she lived for 92 years, died Wednesday at her home, 25 Wolcott St., after a long illness.  She was the widow of Capt. Daniel Lewis, a marine pilot. 
     Mrs. Lewis was born in Lancaster, Pa., and came to Brooklyn as a girl.  She was for 60 years a member of Christ Chapel Church.  she is survived by a daughter, Catherine; a sister, Mrs. Caroline Gill; a granddaughter, Mrs. Harry Cottam; six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
     The funeral service will be held at her late home tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 o’clock with the Rev. Jeffrey Jennings officiating.  The internment will be in Greenwood Cemetery.



Some thoughts:
  • How amazing that Catherine lived to 98 years of age and that she was the oldest resident of the 12th Ward at the time of her death!
  • I realized as I was writing this post that 92 years ago yesterday was the anniversary of Catherine’s death. 
  • Wow! Catherine was born in Lancaster, Pa.  Theodore and Mary were there before moving to Brooklyn.  Now I have verification that Catherine WAS born in PA and the location of Lancaster.  I can look for records of early Lancaster to see if I can find her baptismal record and perhaps some additional information on Mary and Theodore while there.  It also seems very reasonable that Catherine’s brother Jacob was also born in Lancaster.
  • I now know that Caroline outlived her sister and that her married name was ‘Gill’.
  • I know that Louis died in 1890 as did their mother Mary.  I have not been able to identify death dates for Jacob or Mary.  Both must have died before Catherine did in 1927.
  • The church that Catherine was a member of for 60 years “Christ Chapel” is the same church that her brother, my great-great grandfather Louis and his wife Sarah were married in.  (See post entitled A Christmas Wedding.)
  • My grandmother Agnes King was born in 1902 and raised in Brooklyn.  I wonder if she knew her great-great Aunt Catherine and ever visited with her and Catherine’s children?  Can I find any descendants who might have pictures or stories?
If you have any corrections, additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,
Debby





Thursday, July 4, 2019

Revolutionary War Soldier John Jacobs



In honor of the 4th of July this year I wanted to look at one of my Revolutionary War Veterans-John Jacobs to see what I could find out about his service.  John is my maternal 6th great-grandfather and the father of Eleanor Jacobs Coolbaugh  and the husband of Eliza Pensel Jacobs (click on links to see their stories).  John was a Pennsylvania native.

I was able to learn that John Jacobs (1748-1831) served as a private in the 1st battalion, Essex County, New Jersey militia, and was in the battle of Sullivan's Island.  I was able to find the following listing of Enlisted Men in the book History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey on page 34 which lists John as a Private in Captain Cornelius Speer’s Company; also Captain Craig’s Company, State Troops in Continental Army.



I was also able to learn that John was in the battle of Sullivan’s Island.  When researching the Sullivan Island Battle, sometimes referred to as Battle of Fort Sullivan or First Siege of Charleston, I learned that Sullivan’s Island is in Charleston County, South Carolina off the coast at the entrance to Charleston Harbor.  This battle, part of the Southern Theater 1775-1782,  took place on 28 June 1776.  This was the first attempt by the British with their superior navy to begin a military push into the rebellious southern colonies.  The British were unable to break the American defense following stiff resistance from an entire day’s bombardment and significant damage to their fleet making this an American Victory!

I also learned in my research that John’s widow Eliza received a pension starting in 1832.  After some additional research I was able to locate the following pension card for John Jacob:




Finally, I now have a Pension # so I can get a copy of John’s Pension Records to see if there is any additional information, perhaps even about his parents.  More to follow on this.

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


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

3 July 1778 The Wyoming Massacre

If you have ancestors that lived in North Eastern Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War, were they affected by the Battle of Wyoming, also known as the Wyoming Massacre?  Have you even heard of this battle?  When I think of ‘Wyoming’ I think of the 44th state, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks, and Jackson Hole.  I didn’t realize until I was researching my maternal 5x great grandmother Eleanor Jacobs Coolbaugh (click on link to read her story) in Pennsylvania that long before the state of Wyoming became a state in 1890 there was a Wyoming Valley and ‘Wyoming County’ in Pennsylvania.




The battle, part of the Northern Theater 1778-1782,  was an encounter between the American Patriots and the Loyalists along with Iroquois raiders.  The British saw the patriots, about 360 soldiers, gathering in large numbers outside of Forty Fort.  The large numbers that were gathering led the Loyalists to begin the Battle of Wyoming. 

The Battle reportedly lasted about 45 minutes.  The  inexperienced militiamen were confused when an order was given to reform their lines of battle, panicked and began to run.  Some reports show about 60 Patriots managed to escape.   Almost all those that were captured by the Loyalists and Iroquois were tortured and killed.  Coronel Butler reported Indian allies had taken 227 scalps.  Estimates of about 340 Patriots were killed.   The British suffered the deaths of about 3 soldiers and about 8 wounded.  All those Patriots that were killed were buried in a common grave.  The Patriots surrendered the next day of Forty Fort.  This fort had become a refuge for displaced settlers during the Battle of Wyoming.  Read more about this battle at The Battle of Wyoming Valley (Massacre).


While researching Eleanor Jacobs Coolbaugh I came across the following hand written account (in the Ancestry online Strunk Family tree) about the battle, written down by Eliza's great-great-granddaughter, and believe the ‘baby’ was Eleanor who was a little over 2 years old at the time.  Her mother Elizabeth was also pregnant with Eleanor’s brother Samuel.     


Transcription:
“Eliza Pensil Jacobs made her escape from the Indians at the time of the Wyoming Massacre by walking on the old corn path from Newport (near Wilkes Barre) to Easton and carried her baby with her …”

What an amazing story of how my ancestor survived and kept her baby safe!  I am glad this story was handed down and has survived.  I am always thankful for these accounts that others have saved for telling the story of how directly involved our ancestors were in the historical events of their day.

Today there is a Wyoming Monument located at the site of a mass grave containing the bones of many of the victims of the battle and massacre. Commemorative ceremonies at the site of the massacre began in 1878, to mark the 100th anniversary with President Rutherford B. Hayes as the speaker.  Since then there is an annual program on the grounds sponsored by the Wyoming Commemorative Association. One hundred and seventy-eight names of Patriots killed in the battle are listed on the Wyoming Monument, and the names of about a dozen militia who were killed or died in captivity a day or so prior to the main battle. A possible explanation for the difference between the number of names on the monument (178) and the reported number of scalps taken in the battle (227) is that allegedly numerous civilians (perhaps as many as 200)—instead of surrendering to Colonel Butler—elected to flee and died of exposure in a swamp known as the "Shades of Death" after the battle.    See the website Durkees Men of Wyoming for the list of names of those killed on the memorial. 


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







Sunday, June 30, 2019

A 1720 Family Land Deed for Nathaniel Warner and James Reeve

Land deeds are fascinating documents.  Sometimes land records are full of great family information and other times they can verify your ancestor was in a particular location at a particular time period.  As I was investigating early land records for Long Island, New York I started wondering about the earliest land records.  When were land records first recorded?  Who was the first to say they ‘owned’ the land?  How far back can I document my ancestor’s ownership of land?


While researching in Suffolk County, New York I learned that the King of England claimed the land as the country in this area was being settled.  Land ‘patents’ were frequently given to a small group of men as they began settling an area.  As the population grew the land was then ‘sold’ off to others.  According to the Suffolk County Clerk’s Online Records website there are land record transactions since 1857.  While searching at the County Land Records Division of the Suffolk County Center in Riverhead, New York I also discovered the Archivist room.  In a vault in the back of the room are the oldest ledgers.  When looking in the ledgers gloves are needed to turn the pages do to their age.  Several of the ledgers have been protected with archival sleeves which makes it easier to search but harder to take photos of the documents.

I recently discovered a land record attributed to my 6th and 7th great-grandfathers Nathaniel Warner and James Reeve. 


Nathaniel was the first Warner on this line to come to Long Island and remain for the rest of his life.  



(click on image to enlarge)

Transcription:                                                              from Liber B page 187
                                                                                       1739
To all Christian people to whom these presents shall come Benjamin Youngs and Samuel Hutchinson of the Town of Southold in the County of Suffolk in the Colony of New York Send Greeting whereas James Reeve, Joshua Tuthill, Mathias Huchinson, Richard Terry, Charles Booth, Thomas Goldsmith, Caleb Horton, David Horton, Daniel Tuthill, Joshua Wells, Samuel Conklin, Thomas Reeves, Nathaniel Warner, Joshua Youngs, David Stackhole, Joseph Wickham, Joshua Wells Junior, Joseph Hale?, Jonathan Dimon ?, Samuel Conkling, John Conkling and Henry Conkling all of the Town of Southold aforesaid Did and have agreed to Joyn with us the Said Benjamin Youngs and Samuel Hutchingson for to purchase of Cor. Henry Smith all the Tract of Land within mentioned and who did agree that the Same Tract of Land should be amounted Sixty Rights or Shares and that each parson abovementioned Shall have his proportion of the Said Tract of Land as follow that which is awarding to Each of their _ to Viz. James Reeve three Rights or Shares, Joshua Tuthill one Right, Mathias Hutchinson for Six Rights, Richard Terry one right, Charles Booth three rights, Thomas GoldSmith three rights, Caleb Horton three Rights, David Horton three Rights, Daniel Tuthill three Rights, Joshua Wells one Right and half, Samuel Conkling three Rights, Thomas Reeve Two Rights, Nathaniel Warner three Rights, Josiah Young Three Rights, David Pershale? three Rights, Joseph Wickham five Rights, Joshua Wells Jun. one Right and half, Joshua Wells Jun. one Right and half, Joseph Hale? One Right, Jonathan Diman one Right, Samuel Cafe One Right, John Conkling one Right and half, Henry Conkling One Right and half, We the Said Benjamin Youngs and Samuel Hutchinson the saving to Our Three Rights a piece which make up the Sixty Rights as above paid/Now Know Yee that we the Said Benjamin Youngs and Samuel Hutchinson have granted and assigned and Set over and by these present Do grant assign and Set over Unto the Several Person abovementioned and to their Heirs and assigns forever all our Right title and Interest to the Several Rights and Shares of Land which this Said persons are to have as is above Except the Joyned with us to purchase the Same always Refering our Own three rights a piece as abovesaid in Witness wereof we have hereunto set our hands and sealed this Twenty first day of February in the Year of Our Lord Christ One thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty or Twenty One.
                                                                                                                                               Benj. Youngs Seal
                                                                                                                                                       Sam. Huchinson Seal
Signed Sealed and Delivered
In the presence of
Josiah Davison, Jo_el Parshale
Recorded May the 29th 1735
? Wm Smith ?

I do not know how big the area was that James and Nathaniel obtained since the document refers to a ‘Right’ or Share.  I also do not know exactly where the land was located in the ‘Town of Southold’.  Southold was a very large area that encompasses what today is also the Town of Riverhead.  My guess, since I have looked at land ownership on a map in the Village of Southold with no mention of Nathaniel, that it was probably located around the Mattituck area.  I know that Nathaniel was frequently noted as being involved in this area.

This was an extremely difficult document to transcribe due to it’s age, about 280 years.  I took several pictures at different angles to try and minimize light reflections on the document due to the plastic sleeve the document is in.  After first transcribing the document from my photo I ran it through a program Vivid-Pix which helped me read several of the words I could not previously decipher.  I would definitely recommend this program if you are working with old documents and photos.  Vivid-Pix even has a free trail if you want to try it out before buying.


(click on image to enlarge)

I believe that the year ‘1739’ is at the top of this document.  My guess is that while the transaction is reported to have occurred in 1720 it was not actually recorded in this Ledger until 1739 probably copied from the actually document possessed by one of the holders of the deed perhaps.  The older handwriting, spellings of the times and age of the document made several of the words and names difficult to decipher.  I welcome other interpretations of the missing or incorrectly noted information.  Perhaps you can read it better or know of the missing names of several of the men?  Be sure to let me know.  I also find it interesting to see how several common in the area Surnames have changed spellings over the years.  This is definitely a document that others need to review so we can obtain all the names for historical reasons.

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
















Saturday, June 15, 2019

2019 International German Genealogy Conference Day One


This year is the 2nd International German Genealogy Conference.  The conference is being held in Sacramento, California with the local host being the Sacramento German Genealogy Society and supported by the International German Genealogy Partnership with volunteers from 4 continents and over 30 U. S. cities.  The theme of the conference is “Strike It Rich with Connections 2 Discoveries.

Last night there was a preconference activity for us to participate in.  We went to a Biergarten at the Tern Verein 



for a fun evening of German food, German music, dancers in costume dancing and German bier (beer), of course.  The Tern Verein has served as the center for German traditions in Sacramento for 164 years.  It is a place for locals with German ancestry to socialize, learn to speak German, celebrate, carry on German customs, etc.  A great time was had by all and now we were in the mood for the conference to begin!





The conference officially began this morning with the Plenary Session.  Conference Co-Chair Bill Cole led the session by pointing out specifics about where rooms were, what the WIFI password was, etc.  We learned that there were attendees there from many parts of the United States as well as Australia, Brazil, Germany, and Switzerland.  Bonnie talked about the over 125 volunteers that made this event possible.  While Bill began speaking again a woman entered in an 1840 period costume and interacted with Bill.  The woman turned out to be Co-Chair Ingeborg Carpenter who spoke briefly as a woman and wife from the time period of the Gold Rush days.  Bill went back to speaking and was interrupted throughout the next half an hour by others in period costumes from the time including John Sutter, several young Union soldiers from the Civil War and their sargent, a gold miner, and a female brothel owner Madame who all contributed to this time period in California’s history.  John Sutter reminded us that the Eureka is that we are all enriched by the culture of our families.  This was a very engaging, lighthearted way to begin the conference.


I attended 4 sessions today.  My first session was by Tesesa Steinkamp McMillin entitled Kickstart Your German Research.  I found Teresa to be a knowledgeable speaker who first gave us a brief history of German in order to understand what was happening during various time period in Europe and the names of the areas over time with the reminder that the German Empire was formed in 1871.  Teresa shared various maps to show border changes over the years.  Very important when trying to locate where ancestors may have come from during various time periods.  Next Teresa talked about major Migration waves which helped me understand what was happening at the times that may have been he ‘push’ for my ancestors to migrate to America.  She also gave me some clues and where to look for the records that will help tell my ancestors’ stories.

My second session was by Annette Burk Lyttle entitled How Advertising Brought Our German-Speaking Ancestors to the Midwest.  Annette has been able to locate a variety of posters and advertisements from America and other countries where groups such as the Railroad lines were trying to entice emigrants from other countries to head to the Midwestern part of the United States.  I found it interesting to see how even in the 1850s these groups were ‘stretching’ the truth with what they were saying to get the emigrants to come such as in Minnesota stating that “the winters in that section are cold but delightful”.  I will definitely look for advertisements in newspapers from the areas my ancestors lived to see what they may have been lead to believe about the area before they arrived.

I attended the Keynote Luncheon, sponsored by Ancestry,  where the speaker was Ingeborg Carpenter, herself an Immigrant from Germany.  The title of the Keynote was Forget What You’ve Heard!  The Real “Gold Rush”-A Woman’s View.  While still in costume as the wife of an early German settler, Ingeborg did an amazing job of telling the stories, with some humor inserted, of the long, difficult journeys to even get to California and what the reality of life was like during the Gold Rush days as would have been experienced by a woman of the time period.

My third session of the day was again by Teresa Steinkamp McMillin entitled Many Paths to Lorenz’s Home: A Town of Origin Case Study”.  This was of particular interest to me since I have an ancestor that immigrated in the early 1830s from Germany but I have no idea where in ‘Germany’ he was from.  Teresa gave a great account of the variety of records that could lead you to find the town of origin.  If you are not able to find the information from the ‘typical’ sources she reminded us to look at other family members, associates and neighbors (FAN) since many immigrants came in groups or followed others from their family or neighbors to America.

My last session of the day was given by Dr. Kenneth Heger entitled Immigration and Citizenship in the Early years of the Republic: Records of the American Consulate in Bremen, 1797-1850.  Now I would never have thought prior to this lecture to look for records from the American Consulate in Bremen.  I am not sure I would have even thought that America had a Consulate in Bremen during that time period.  It was very interesting to learn about the types of records that were kept at the Consulate and have been digitized.

After the formal sessions were done for the day there was a ‘Connections 2 Discoveries’ session.  Various topics were available where you could speak to someone who is an expert in a particular area informally and ask questions.  I attended one on the Civil War with Michael Strauss for suggestions on locating a possible Civil War soldiers service record. 

What an amazing day!  Everything at the Conference went smoothly thanks to all the extensive planning, the speakers I attended today were all great speakers with a lot of valuable information to share and I was able to talk though out the day with other genealogists.  What more could a genealogist ask for?  I look forward to what tomorrow’s speakers will have to offer.

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

Enjoy the journey,
Debby



Saturday, May 25, 2019

How Many People Does it Take to Locate a Cemetery?

Recently, while I was preparing for a trip to visit family back East, I remembered visiting a very small cemetery of about a dozen headstones in the woods off River Road in Calverton. I had taken a few pictures of the headstones but thought I’d double check to see if the cemetery had been recorded on FindAGrave. If not, then I should take a few minutes and get photos of the headstones to post. I found that the ‘Wells Cemetery’ had been documented on FindAGrave. I did, however, notice another cemetery listed in Calverton, NY entitled the ‘Edwards Cemetery’. Hmm…I grew up there and NEVER remember hearing anything about an ‘Edwards Cemetery’. 



When I opened the cemetery link there was a listing for several people but no headstone pictures. I also noted a request for a photo. I knew I would have very little time while in Calverton but maybe I could find this cemetery and take a photo for the person requesting it. I was very puzzled by the idea that this cemetery even existed and I had no idea about where to find it. Genealogists do love a quest!

I contacted the gentleman looking for a photo of a headstone. Rick was looking for the headstone of David Edward Dayton, reportedly buried there. He had no idea of the actual location of the cemetery besides it being listed as in Calverton, New York. OK, I know there is an Edwards Avenue in the area. So, maybe the cemetery is off that road on a dirt road behind one of the farm fields? I know ‘Edwards’ lived there and were farmers for generations. I even have a 4th great grandmother who was an Edwards from the area. Maybe I have ancestors buried there?

When I got to New York I asked my family. My Dad has lived in that area for over 80 years (and my grandparents since 1929). Surely he would know. No, he’d never heard of it. My brother recommended a family friend who knows everything all about the area and his family has also been there for generations. Jay said he’d ask his sister, the genealogist. His sister thought it was maybe in the triangular area where Edwards Avenue, River Road and Railroad Avenue come together. My Dad never remembered a cemetery there but maybe it’s in the little bit of woods there.

I contacted the person who had listed the names for the Edwards Cemetery on FindAGrave.  The information she had came from Elbert N. Carter & Leigh Phillips in 1973, “this cemetery is located approximately 0.3 miles west of Edwards Avenue on South River Road or Mill Road. It is about 70 yards south of the road and to the East of a house and garage. The cemetery is in very bad shape and is completely overgrown with briars. Most of the stones are down.”

My son happened to be visiting for about an hour and heard us talking about this and our wondering who to ask next. The woman who had listed the cemetery responded as we were talking. At the same time my son showed me his phone and said “Here are the coordinates for the Edwards Cemetery.” SURPRISE! Mill Road, this matched what the woman from FindAGrave said. I had looked on FindAGrave for information about the cemetery and there wasn’t any but I had forgotten what my son always tells me “GOOGLE it Mom!”



The next morning my Dad said, “Well, let’s go see if we can find this cemetery.” He and my stop mother and I drove the couple of miles to Mill Road, Calverton, NY. Then we went exactly .3 mile and saw nothing … but trees, brambles, overgrowth, etc.





A little bit farther there was a sign for a Nursery.




We saw a truck pull in so we parked on the side of the road and my father went to ask the driver if he knew of a cemetery nearby. I HAD to look also. So off I went through the brush.  My son had dropped a ‘pin’ on Google Maps for me. I walked with my phone showing the location of the spot for the cemetery and my location as I walked in to the woods through the brush following the ‘pin’. I was determined to find some tombstones in the bushes. 




Nothing. I came out by the road in to the nursery and asked someone if they knew of a cemetery. A worker told me to go in the greenhouse and find someone. I found someone who knew exactly what I was looking for. I had walked right past it looking for her. There it was…in the middle of the Nursery. WOW!! SUCCESS!!




I went back to the car to find my parents and share and show them my discovery. The owner of the Nursery happened to come by and explained that she had purchased the Nursery in 2004. She had placed a retaining wall around the cemetery to help preserve it. She said the previous owners had repaired the broken stones that were there to help save them.

Unfortunately, the headstone of David Dayton was not there. It may have been at one time but may have been lost to time. There were 7 stones in total with 6 carrying the Surname Edwards.

A very special thank-you to everyone who aided me on my Quest and has helped over the years preserve this small cemetery! It took a lot of people to find this cemetery but it is now found. I will add the photos for the headstones to FindAGrave as soon as possible and the location of the cemetery for others to find as well.  Don’t give up on your Quest to find those little known cemeteries you are searching for and know there are people out there to help you!




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













Sunday, May 19, 2019

The ‘Dark Day’ 19 May 1780

Knowing what my ancestors experienced in their daily lives is very important to me in helping understand and tell the story beyond the dates of their life events. I always want to know more about their daily lives.

I recently came across the following article at the Suffolk County Historical Society in a collection entitled ‘The Salmon Record Scrap Book’. This collection was compiled and presented by N. Hubbard Cleveland on 12 September 1921 to the Suffolk County Historical Society. Here is a record of a major event that my ancestors living on Long Island, New Jersey, and New England experienced. I had to stop and wonder what it must have felt like 239 years ago today for my 4x great grandparents James and Anna Edwards Warner as the ‘Dark Day’ happened? Were they afraid?



from the N.Y. Herald;
“Anniversary of the “Dark Day.”
One hundred years ago to-day, May 19, 1780, was one of the most famous of dates in the legendary tales of our grandfathers. It was the “Dark Day,” when, according to the chronicles, candles had to be lighted at midday, the birds were silent or disappeared, and the domestic fowls retired to roost. This darkness prevailed over the whole of New England and the Middle States, and its memory is even now preserved by the Indians of the Six Nations, who use it as a time mark for estimating the ages of children born about that period. Many were the bits of doggerel [verse or words that are badly written or expressed] verse which were current a few years ago about this phenomenon, and wonderfully varied were the experiences which the spectators transmitted to their posterity. Barber, Webster, and Mursell have referred to the circumstance in their historical compilations; but the most interesting anecdote is that referring to the attitude of the Connecticut Council, then in session at Hartford, and discussing an interesting bill about the shad fishery. As the darkness became more intense, suggesting to many the arrival of the day of judgment, the legislature on motion adjourned; but Colonel Abraham Davenport of Stamford, opposed a similar motion in the Council, saying, “I am against adjournment. The day of judgment is approaching or it is not. If it is not there is no cause for adjournment ; if it is, I wish to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.” The lovers of poetry may find a beautiful version of this incident in Whittier’s “Tent on the beach.” Other dark days cited in more recent annals especially October 21, 1816, but none ever attained such celebrity as that of which the centenary occurs to-day, and of whose cause no satisfactory explanation has ever been offered.”

Immediately, I thought there must have been an eclipse but was that what happened? What was the explanation for this event? What did they believe was happening? Did they believe daylight would return? This seemed to be such a major event in the lives of so many of my ancestors that 100 years later people were still recalling this event in the newspapers. I had to do my own research to see if this could be explained.

Our ancestors, at this time, lived along the coasts of America and there was still a vast unknown world to the west of them. Many had very strong religious beliefs. There was no TV or radio to report the event. No telephones to call and ask about what was happening. How frightening this must have been!

From my research through a variety of sources I learned:
  • There are many theories still today as to what actually happened.
  • Records were kept of Solar eclipses and they generally only last a few minutes. There is no record of this being an eclipse.
  • There are no records of any volcanic activity creating an ash cloud or of a meteorite crashing.
  • The most prevalent theory seems to be that there was a combination of smoke from forest fires, a thick fog and cloud cover.

I came across the following personal accounts of this event in my research:

Revolutionary War soldier Joseph Plumb Martin noted:
“We were here [New Jersey] at the time the "dark day" happened, it has been said that the darkness was not so great in New-Jersey as in New-England. How great it was there I do not know, but I know that it was very dark where I then was in New-Jersey; so much so that the fowls went to their roosts, the cocks crew and the whip-poor-wills sung their usual serenade; the people had to light candles in their houses to enable them to see to carry on their usual business; the night was as uncommonly dark as the day was.

Wikipedia has the following reports:
“The earliest report of the darkness came from Rupert, New York where the sun was already obscured at sunrise. Professor Samuel Williams observed from Cambridge, Massachusetts, "This extraordinary darkness came on between the hours of 10 and 11 a.m. and continued till the middle of the next night.” Reverend Ebenezer Parkham of Westborough, Massachusetts reported peak obscurity to occur "by 12", but did not record the time when it first arrived. At Harvard College, the obscuration was reported to arrive at 10:30 a.m., peaking at 12:45 p.m. and abating by 1:10 p.m., but a heavy overcast remained for the rest of the day. The obscuration was reported to have reached Barnstable, Massachusetts by 2:00 p.m., with peak obscurity reported to have occurred at 5:30 p.m.
Roosters crowed, woodcocks whistled, and frogs peeped as if night had fallen at 2:00 p.m. in Ipswich, Massachusetts. A witness reported that a strong sooty smell prevailed in the atmosphere, and that rain water had a light film over it that was made up of particles of burnt leaves and ash. Contemporaneous reports also indicated that ash and cinders fell on parts of New Hampshire to a depth of six inches.”

What I would give to be able to ask James or Anna for their accounts of what happened. How did this dramatic event shape their lives? I guess I will never know the impact of this event but I now know that this event occurred and they witnessed it.

***Thank-you to Paul Elliott for realizing I incorrectly wrote 1790 instead of 1780 when I posted this and letting me know.

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














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
    d-

(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,
Debby