Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sometimes You Just Get Lucky

Frequently you search for years and years putting together information on the members of a particular ancestral line.  You work hard and spend hours researching, writing letters, visiting research facilities and doing more research only to find a rather extensive family history right there in a local newspaper!  You just have to laugh. 

This time when I was searching in I was looking for my maternal 3rd great-grandfather Marvin Milton Coolbaugh (1821-1879).  I started by searching from 'M Coolbaugh' and found one article about his wedding anniversary.  Then I decided to search by the years '1820-1900' hoping maybe I’d find something on Marvin or his wife Betsey who lived until 1912.  Next,'I searched by 'Newspapers in Bradford County, PA'.  I selected The Bradford Star and just put in the family name ‘Coolbaugh’.  I decided not to limit myself by years.  This is what I found from The Bradford Star newspaper 9 July 1903:

 (click on image to enlarge)


After I realized the find I had, I wondered how closely this matches what I have already found?  Here is what I have:

  • My information about #1 William and his wife Sarah Johnson matches and it gives me some additional information about them and where they came from.
  • For #2 I have William Jr. as being married to Susannah Shoonmaker but I have also seen her name as Shoemaker.  This tells me where William and family moved to but does not mention my #3 Peter.
  • This account has Benjamin’s son Moses marrying Louisa Alden.  I have #4 Benjamin marrying Louisa Alden the daughter of Timothy Alden.  Hmmm…My research doesn’t match this and it’s through Louisa that I was able to prove my ancestral line to John and Priscilla Alden.  (See post General Society of Mayflower Descendants' Success!) I wonder where the information for the Newspaper article came from?  Who gave the information and what research was done to verify the information?  This article was published in 1903.  UGH!  Frustrating when the information doesn’t match.

So, I got lost for awhile in some more general ‘Coolbaugh’ searching while I thougth about what I should do about the inconsistency.  I then found in The Bradford Star on 23 July 1903:

YEA!! now I feel much better.  My research is still valid.  This ‘correction’ verifies what I have in that Benjamin Coolbaugh married Louisa Alden.  This correction also has my # 3 Peter along with #4 Benjamin.  My #5 Marvin is also in this correction, and the reason I started this search.
This ‘correction’ answers my question of where some of the information came from.  Thank-you to J. R. Coolbaugh!  I guess I need to determine how J.R. fits in to the family one day also.

As a result of this newspaper clipping I now have additional information (hints until proven) on members of additional lines of this large family and more research to do.  What a find this article is to my research!  How exciting to know that this family line was important enough in the history of the area that the family was mentioned in The History of Wysox Pioneer Families section of the County newspaper.  I think I need to look for some of my other 'pioneer families' in this column as well.  It definitely paid off for me not to limit my search to specific years and to keep searching and see what else might be out there in a ‘general’ search. 

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

Sunday, September 8, 2019

How Close Did my Ancestors Live to Each Other

Have you ever wondered how close your ancestors may have lived to each other? I found a land document that answered that question for me about the Benjamin and Warner lines.

When I am back East visiting family I always want to spend some time at the Suffolk County Land Records Department in Riverhead, New York. I am constantly amazed at some of the things I am finding in a location that many choose not to explore. A while back I discovered the Archives room in the Land Records office. The ledgers here are the fist record books dating back to the early 1700s, I believe. These ledgers and are not out on public display in the regular land deed section, I am guessing, due to their age. Ledgers from this time period need to be specifically requested and if the pages are not in sleeve protectors then you must use gloves to touch and turn the pages. When I was there in May I was waiting for the Archivist, Sharon Pullen, and stopped to look at several of the display cases that were there. I am usually in such a hurry to get copies of the records I am looking for and get on with my day that I rarely take the time to look at what is on display figuring it doesn’t relate to me anyway. This time was different…

The display case had to do with Unacknowledged Deeds.

(photo unacknowledged deeds)

Unacknowledged Deeds as stated in the display case are deeds that do “not contain a notary’s acknowledgement of the signature”. That’s interesting and I had never thought to verify that there was a notary’s signature on the documents I have found. Good information to have as a genealogist. I continued to look at the documents in the case and found the following:

(click on image to enlarge)


Know all men by these presents that I Nathan Benjamin of the Town of Riverhead in the County of Suffolk and state of New York for and in Consideration of the sum of twelve hundred and fifty dollars to me in hand paid by John Benjamin of the town County of Suffolk and state aforesaid John Benjamin and I for my self and heirs executors and administrators do bargain and sell unto John Benj his heirs executors administrations and assigns for ever a sertain tract or parcel of land situate and lying in the town of riverhead County of Suffolk and state of New York and bounded as follows _ beginning at the North East corner of the land Called listcums place thence running westerly by the land of James Warner unto the land of Benjamin Edwards thence running easterly through the middle of the pond by that land of Benjamin Edwards until it strikes into the middle road thence Easterly by the middle road unto the highway that leads from Richard Albertsons mill to the north road thence northerly by said highway as far a the north end of James Hullses land lying the west side of the highway thence running easterly by the land of James Hulls twenty five rods thence running southerly by the land of James hulls unto the land of James Terry or middle of the pond thence easterly by the land of James terry unto the land of William Horton thence running northerly by the land of William Horton as far as a hedge fence North end of the first cleared lot Northward of the uncleared land thence westerly by the said hedge fence the north end the said cleared lot unto the North west corner thence westerly from the Corner a strait corse to the northeast Corner of theaforesaid listum place or place of beginning which closes the farm which is by Estimation one hundred and thirty acres be the same more of less To have and to hold the above written premises with all the privileges and appertainances there unto belonging on in any wise appertaining and I the said Nathan Benjamin for myself my heirs executors and administrators do warrant and defend the above written premaces to be clean and free from all lawful claim or Claims whatever from all person or persons whomsoever Unto the said John Benjamin his heirs executors administrators and assigns forever in witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal this first day of April in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and seventeen Signed Sealed and delivered in presents of
Nathan Benjamin                                                                                 Nathan Benjamin
Daniel Benjamin

Some background on my paternal ancestors and some interesting connections that I was able to draw: 

  • There were at least 3-4 generations of men named ‘Nathan’ Benjamin.
  • Nathan Benjamin I married Deborah Clark, my 6th great-grandparents.
  • Nathan Benjamin II (1733-1805) married Jemima Aldrich, my 5th great grandparents.
  • Nathan Benjamin III (1760-1838) married Joanna Swezey, my 4th great-grandparents and parents of Jemima Benjamin who is my 3rd great-grandmother.
  • The ‘Nathan Benjamin’ must be referring to my 4th great-grandfather Nathan Benjamin III who is the only one that was living at the time this document was written.
  • Were the Nathan and Daniel Benjamin that signed as witnesses the sons of Nathan Benjamin III? I believe so.
  • James Warner (1762-1803) is my 4th great grandfather. In 1817 James had passed away but his wife Anna/Glorianna Edwards was still living.
  • James and Ana’s son Daniel Warner (my 3rd great-grandfather) had been married about 5 years at the time this document was written to Jemima Benjamin. (They married about 1812). 
  • Daniel had a brother named James Warner, Jr. (1786-1853) who married Huldah Wells in 1817. This must be the James Warner owner of the property referenced in the above document.
  • I have yet to find any documents showing James Warner Sr’s original purchase of land in the Baiting Hollow area, so, I do not know the exact location of his land. Land deeds such as this one confirm the general area the family lived and the fact that land was owned. Perhaps some of the land referenced was land James Jr. received or purchased from his father James Warner Sr?

This would mean that my 3rd great aunt and uncle, James Jr and Huldah Warner and my 4th great-grandparents Nathan & Joanna Benjamin owned adjoining property in 1817.

The ‘Terry’ and ‘Edwards’ names are also ancestral Surnames from this area. I’ll need to do additional research to see if Benjamin Edwards and James Terry who are property owners referenced are also ‘family’.

It’s amazing how one document can locate several ancestral lines in the same location at a particular point in time. One of the many reasons I enjoying looking for property deeds, acknowledged or unacknowledged. Remember to also take the time to look at display cases that are right in front of you. You’ll never know what treasures you might find and the translation was already done for me!

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

Monday, September 2, 2019

Daniel Horowitz Presents for the San Diego Genealogical Society Fall Seminar

The first genealogy program I ever used was MyHeritage. Once a Family Tree is created in MyHeritage you are able to share your tree with family members and the program is free to download. Fast forward about 12 years and many, many hours of genealogy later.

Saturday, Daniel Horowitz, the Chief Genealogist for My Heritage, was the speaker at a full day seminar hosted by the San Diego Genealogical Society at Marina Village in San Diego, California. I found Daniel to be a very entertaining and knowledgeable presenter.

Daniel’s first presentation was entitled Discovering Family History with MyHeritage Unique Technologies. In this session Daniel provided us with an overview and walked us through some of the main features of the MyHeritage including Smart Matching (a unique technology that allows you to review information on people in your tree with others who have the same people in their trees), Record Matching (technology that finds matching historical records for people in your tree), Record Detective (technology that generates new leads by summarizing additional records and individuals in family trees that relate to someone in your tree), Instant Discoveries (a package of family history information that you can apply in one click to your tree that was found in someone else’s tree), Global Name Translation (a user interface for names in 42 languages that aides in searching for information), Search Connect (this allows you to find other people that are searching for the people you are looking for), Book Matching (searches for information in books that relate to someone in your tree), Pedigree Map (a visual display of all the events in your tree on an interactive map for reference), and DNA Matching (displays possible matches between you and another tested person at My Heritage).

The second presentation was entitled Getting the most out of MyHeritage – Advanced Features. In this session Daniel took us through specifically how to use several of the features mentioned in the first session: Discoveries pages (Matches by People, Matches by Source), Smart Matching, Record Matching, The Record Detective, Photo Discoveries (finding Smart Matches that may contain photos you have never seen), Pedigree Map, Consistency Checker (a feature that identifies potential mistakes and inconsistencies in your data so that you can correct possible mistakes) and Statistics (analyzing data in your family tree using a variety of categories), and AutoClusters (organizes your DNA matches).

I clicked-Discoveries, Matches by Source-Record Matches, sort by-#of Matches-Compilation of Published Sources and this is one of the 139 matches I found-

  • On the left side is the information I have put in my Tree. On the right is the new is the Discovery that was found for Israel Alden. Now, in my researching, I never would have thought to look in a book entitled One Moral Standard For All Extracts From The Lives of Victoria Claflin Woodhull and Tennesee Cliflin, 1661-1898 for this information. Thank-you MyHeritage!

Next I selected Discoveries, Matches by People-Smart Matches-Sort by Last Name-Terry, Eliza:

  • Eliza has been a continuous, frustrating search for me to find information about her birth, parents, etc. Finally, I have been able to find someone on MyHeritage with additional information on her. I have always had ‘Tooker’ as her maiden name but this presents the possibility that is was her first married name instead? Perhaps her Maiden name was ‘Miller’. Wow! Another lead to search.

The third presentation was entitled How You Can Find Your Relative with a DNA Test. In this session Daniel explained several of the specific DNA features available in My Heritage and how to use them including Accessing your DNA Matches, Possible Relationships, DNA Match Quality, Contacting Other Users, Theory of Relativity, Smart Matches, Shared Ancestral Surnames, Shared Ancestral Places, Shared DNA Matches, Pedigree Charts, Viewing Family Tree Details, Shared Ethnicities, Chomosome Browser, and AutoClusters.

I decided to try out the AutoCluster feature.  To do this I selected DNA Matches-Tools-AutoClusters and this is what I came up with:

  • According to MyHeritage this tool “organizes your DNA Matches into shared match clusters, that likely descended from common ancestors. Each of the colored cells in the chart represents an intersection between two of your matches, meaning that both individuals match each other (in addition to matching you).” This is calculated with a minimum threshold of 30cM shared.  So, if I am interpreting this correctly and look at the light blue cluster I see a Surname I recognize in one of the members I match-‘Bentz’. I have maternal great grandmother from Iowa who’s father John was born in Luxembourg named Bentz. There are 6 of us who have matching DNA and are probably descended from the same common family member. Unfortunately, either their trees are private or have very few people. One person did have a full tree that I was able to access, however, I am not seeing any common Surnames. So, I have written to each to see if we can share information and see if my ‘guess’ is correct that we are all Bentz descendants. I will let you know what happens. I can see the value of using this when I have a brick wall.

The fourth presentation was entitled Research Jewish Genealogy Resources on the Internet. In this presentation Daniel spoke of many Websites and Groups along with their websites for doing Jewish research, major internet sites/companies for locating information on Jewish ancestors, and websites that have translation tools that will aide in research of Jewish ancestry.

Reviewing of features I have previously not used or are new features to MyHeritage shows why MyHeritage is a leader in genealogical research and worth trying.  I am happy for the opportunity to see how MyHeritage can help in my search for learning more about my ancestors.

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

Be sure to follow Daniel at, on Twitter @MyHChiefGen and on Instagram at horowiz_daniel.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Revolutionary War Pension of John Jacobs

John Jacobs is my maternal 6th great-grandfather from Pennsylvania. John was a Revolutionary War soldier who served in the battle of Sullivan’s Island (see blog post Revolutionary War Soldier John Jacobs). Beyond that battle there wasn’t a lot known about his service. After learning of the Wyoming Massacre (see post 3 July 1778 The Wyoming Massacre) and learning of John’s wife Eliza’s escape down a corn path I wondered where John had been during this battle?

After locating John’s pension # W2805 I was able to locate his Revolutionary War Pension Record. Now I could, hopefully, learn more about John’s military service.

First, I needed to learn more about Pensions for the Revolutionary War. Who was eligible and when where soldiers able to collect?

According to the National Archives;
  • Not every Revolutionary War soldier received a pension.
  • Pension and bounty-land warrant application files contain mainly the records of enlisted men, not officers.
  • On 15 May 1778 the Continental Congress passed a resolution allowing half-pay for officers and $80 for all enlisted men who remained in service to the end of the war.
  • 24 August 1780 the Continental Congress passed the first act offering pensions to widows and orphans of Revolutionary War soldiers.
  • Pensions were offered to encourage enlistment, prevent desertion and resignation.
  • In 1818 Congress passed a pension law granting pensions to Revolutionary War Veterans who had not been disabled. Based on financial need these were granted for life.
  • This was amended in 1820 (due to the large number of soldiers that had filed), 1822 and again in 1832 when full pay was given to officers and enlisted men who had served for two or more years and partial pay for six months to two years of service.

One of the first documents I found in John’s Pension File was an affidavit from John’s son, John Jacobs, Jr. dated 1842 to help his mother, Eliza Pensel Jacobs, obtain a pension for John’s service. John died in 1831 in Exeter, Pennsylvania.

(click on images to enlarge)



In order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress of the 7th July 1838, entitled “An Act granting half pay & pensions to certain widows”

State of Pennsylvania

Luzerne County Pa

On this twenty ninth day of June AD 1842, personally appeared in open Court John Jacobs, a resident of Exeter Township, Luzerne County, & state aforesaid, aged Sixty Eight years or there abouts, & who was appointed by this Court among others to make a Declaration for Mrs Eliza P. Jacobs, who being f ? ? , according to Law, with, on his oath makes the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the Act of Congress, passed July 7, entitled “An Act granting of half pay & pensions to certain widows for his Mother Mrs. Eliza Jacobs-That she is the widow of John Jacobs declarants Father and that he has heard his father say that he was in the Revolutionary Army during the whole war as a Malitia Man, but does not know what State line he served in, that he was drafted-That he served in the Army & was in the battle of Sullivans island, that Genl Lee, Genl Moultrie & Rutledge Commanded, that he has very often heard his deceased father Speak of his being in this engagement: that he has no recollections of hearing his father speak particularly of any other engagement but he has heard him say that he was in many Skirmishes with the Enemy.

That he does not remember the names of the officers under whom his Father served, nor the time of his entering the Service-but he uniformly Stated the tour of his Service, to have been during the whole war_That he was in the Massacre of Wyoming, & that? his Mother escaped to Fort Allese, where his Father joined them after the battle, and this declarant who was then about four years old well remembers to have Seen a ball extracted from his fathers breast by a Surgeon, & which his father kept for many years; his father stated to him that he received it in the battle, that it struck his musket which he was in the act of priming it & shirred the musket & glancing lodged in his breast; that he was with Sullivan when he marched into the valley of Wyoming with his Army- That he remembers that many years since his father prepared & took evidence of his Services for the purpose of getting a pension, & that Solomon Dotter_ was one of this witnesses; but that his father gave it up as he understood because of his hearing some property which would deter him; that he was searched his fathers papers but cannot find them; that he has c? with Said Dotter Since that time, who told him that in the Said application he had proved his Service in the Revolutionary Army of this declarants Father, and that the said Dotter he thinks died before his Mother made application to the Pennsylvania Legislature for his pension- That he remembers to have heard his Father say that he performed services in the Army, in New Jersey, on the Delaware river & on the Minisinks, and that he was on the lines during the whole war and that this dependent does not know of every documentary evidence in the possession of his Mother or the family in Support of the claim, That his Father died on the 15 of March 1831-leaving no property, real or personal after the payments of his funerals expenses-And that his Mother has never been married to any person since-That his father has told him often he was a private soldier-That the said Eliza Jacobs his Mother now resides in Newport, in Said County, that previous thereto she resided in Hanover in Said County.

That he has known his Mothers age for a long number of years, and that as near as he can ascertain the day of Month it was the 15th of June, and that on the 15 of this present Month She was one hundred and four years old- and that she is unable to make the Declaration required, owing to Deafness and an ? ? of her mental faculties, and loss of memory-

That declarants father & Solemon Dotier have both told him that at one time they were in the Same Camp together when in the Revolutionary Army-

Sworn & Subscribed in Open Court 29 June 1842
__                                                                                     John Jacobs
(additional names are illegible)

Thank-you to Kathy and Allen Hughes who were able to provide me with a visual and help me in understanding how John was injured during the battle.
It appears that John was injured while loading his musket. Loading was a 2-part process done by taking some powder from a paper cartridge and pouring it into the pan by the Frizzen then putting the rest of the powder and ball down the barrel.  Before putting powder and ball down the barrel John’s musket must have been struck by enemy fire which deflected the round into his chest.

This Pension file was found on Fold3 and difficult to read due to age. Please excuse any transcription errors. If you are able to identify any of the missing words I would appreciate knowing them. Once again using Vivid-Pix Restore enabled me to have a higher quality version to transcribe. The handwriting in the document was not easy to read either. I needed to do additional research about the Revolutionary War and the Battle of Sullivan’s Island to know the proper spellings of several of the names mentioned in this document. I also did further investigation on Fold3 to find the name of the fellow soldier mentioned in this document who’s name was difficult to read. I was able to locate a pension record (#22735) for a soldier named ‘Samuel Solomon Dotter’ also from Luzerne County, PA for the correct spelling of his name.

Now I know that John fought in the Wyoming Massacre and was fortunate to be one of the survivors when so many others perished. There are other documents in John’s Pension file and more to be discovered.

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

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Voyage of Hope 1620

Have you ever wondered what goes in to making a float for the Rose Parade?  This year many of us will be participating in a variety of ways to help get a float ready for the parade and the beginning of a year’s celebration of our ancestors that arrived on the Mayflower in 1620.

The theme of this year’s Rose Parade in Pasadena, California will be ‘The Power of Hope’.  The Rose Parade Committee states “The Power of Hope, celebrates the influence of optimism and hope. The belief that what is wanted can be attained. From the struggles of those who came before us to dreams yet fulfilled, hope is more than simply the possibility of fulfillment.”  2020 will be the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower Voyage. 

The first step was for the California Society of Mayflower Descendants to submit an application to have a float in the Parade.   The float will be titled “The Voyage of Hope-1620”.   Approval was received to have a Mayflower Float in the 2020 Pasadena Rose Parade on 1 January 2020.  The float was then designed and will be built by Fiesta Parade Floats.

(design photo from FaceBook page for Fiesta Parade Floats)

The San Diego Colony of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants held a ‘Petal Clipping’ session yesterday.  So, what actually is a ‘Petal Clipping’ session and what does it have to do with the Rose Parade float?

Many of us volunteered to get together with box tops and scissors at the Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe to begin the process of getting flowers ready to be attached to ‘The Voyage of Hope-1620’ float at the end of December.  Yellow/orange straw flowers imported from Holland are the flowers being used.  

We carefully clipped the petals off the flowers

my hat was delivered with it's new band so I just had to try it out

the petals were collected in huge bags to be ready for December

There were about 35-45 people working in the afternoon when I was helping.  Here are the volunteers at the table I was at
clockwise from left -Vicki May (William Bradford descendant), Beverly Willey ( William Bradford descendant), Bill Peters (William Brewster descendant), Rick Bailey (descendant of George Soule, John Alden, William White, Edward Doughty, Thomas Rodgers, William Bradford, Miles Standish) and Kathy Hughes (seamstress of my costume)
  • While we were working we played Pilgrim Bingo and learned a few new things about our ancestors.  I learned that my maternal 10th great grandfather John Alden was the first to step off the Mayflower at their first stop on Cape Cod when they stopped for fresh water.  He was carrying a Wheel-Lock carbine rifle.  Read more about John’s Wheel-Lock at Thanksgiving’s First Rifle.
  • Fiesta Parade Floats is currently building the framework for the float and for objects that will be on the float.  Pictures were shown during our Petal Clipping of the progress they are making as they start the build.  (Tidbit: the masts for the Mayflower will need to be moveable so they can be lowered along the parade route due to bridge heights.)
  • See previous posts about the Aldens:  What Would Priscilla Mullins Alden Think? and San Diego Colony of Mayflower Descendants and others.
This was a great time to meet other descendants and ‘cousins’ of that Mayflower Voyage that started it all 400 years ago and learn the process of building one of those great floats we like to see on January 1st at the Rose Parade. 

William "Budd" Leef, San Diego Colony Governor and San Diego Colony Deputy Governor, Kathleen Loftman 
Kathleen did an amazing job organizing this event! 

Only 142 days to go before the parade.  A GoFundMe page is available for anyone who would like to contribute to this amazing undertaking.

The Voyage of Hope 1620 - Crossing the Waters for a New Generation

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

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Arrival of Anne Meenan Rowan

Sailing vessel in the 19th century

182 years ago today my paternal 3x great-grandmother Anne Meenan (Rowan) arrived in the Port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!  
What was that like for her?

print by John Casper Wild

This print was done about the same time period and I wonder if this is what it looked like when Anne’s ship first came in to the harbor?

92 ships reportedly arrived in Philadelphia that year
6 ships arrived on Aug 4th

 Anne arrived, listed as a Spinster at the age of 25, in Philadelphia on the 4th of August 1837 onboard the British Ship Emmanuel. The Master of the ship was John Dearness. She left from Londonderry, Ireland (Northern Ireland today) and the trip took 45 long days (leaving on 21 June 1837).

What was happening at the time:
·        In 1837 an oratory by Daniel O’Connell to the British Parliament helped focus Europeans’ attention on Ireland stating, “The Irish poor-a third of the population-had no food except the potatoes they grew, and not enough clothing to cover themselves.  They went hungry for two months of the year, and half-naked for all the year.”  Yet this would be their last “good” decade before more than a million of them would vanish into unmarked graves in the 1840s.
·        4 March 1837 Martin Van Buren became the 8th President of the United States
·        10 May 1837 (Panic of 1837)  NY Banks fail and unemployment reaches record levels
·        20 June 1837 -Queen Victoria gained the British throne

How did this affect Anne’s decision to leave Ireland and how would this affect Anne’s new life in America?

Originally an Emigrant Savings Bank Record (See post- SUCCESS!! Emigrant Savings Bank-Ann Meenan Rowan) stated that Anne had arrived in 1837 from County Monaghan, Ireland.  An Immigration card for Anne documented her arrival in Philadelphia, not New York as I had believed:

Eventually the ship’s passenger was discovered:

Transcription from the top of the Passenger List:

Transcription from the top of the Passenger List:
Report or Manifest of all the Passengers taken on board the Ship Emmanuel whereof John Dearness, is master, from Londonderry, Ireland, burthen 430 tons and owned by ____________ of _____________ and bound to Philadelphia.
  • Further investigation showed that the ship was from the port of North Shields, England and the owner of the ship was E. Taylor.
Columns represent: Names, age, occupation, the country to which they severally belong, the country of which they intend to become inhabitants, and baggage
  • All passengers came from Ireland and intended to reside in the United States.
  • Passenger List contained 172 names
On an earlier manifest from July 1837 for the Emmanuel I found the following statement by the Master of the ship. I assume he would have declared the same for the arrival on the 4th of August:

*I, John Dearness, do solemnly, sincerely, and truly swear, that the within REPORT and LIST, subscribed with my name and now delivered by me to the Collector of the District of Philadelphia contains, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the Names, Age, Sex, and Occupation of all Passengers, together with the name of the Country to which they severally belong, and that of which they intend to become Inhabitants, which were on board the Ship Emmanuel whereof I am at present Master, at the time of her sailing from the Port of Londonderry or which have at any time since been taken on board said vessel. And I do likewise swear, that all matters whatsoever in said Report and List expressed are, to the best of my knowledge and belief, just and true.

From book Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping. From 1st July 1837 to the 30th June 1838. Established 1834. Published London 1837 Page- 128
From Key to the Register:
Ship Master: John Dearness
Tons: 424
Build: Where - Timber of ship-S nd rld- S-Spruce, nd-new deck, rld-?
           When - September 1835
Owner: E. Taylor
Port belonging to: North Shields
Destined Voyage: Sld.N.Brns
                               Sld (Sunderland) N. Brns.-?

Character for Hulls & Stores: vessel last surveyed 1 (Jan) 35 (1835)

Lingering questions:
Learning about the ship and what was happening at the time Anne arrived in America gave me so much more of a feel for what it must have been like for her.  Oh, how I wish there was a diary or letters to tell of her daily experience on the ship.  I know she made it safely from great poverty in Ireland to a fresh beginning in America 182 years ago today.

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

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Final Resting Place

In my previous blog post, Update to the King Family of Brooklyn, I detailed how I identified the parents of 3 toddlers that are buried with my paternal 3x great grandmother Mary King at Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York.  

I had not known of the children’s existence until I obtained the internment records for the plot where Mary King is buried  (see post Don’t Forget Cemetery Records-Additional Children Discovered).  I would learn that these 3 children are my great-great Aunts and Uncle.

I knew that Mary had a memorial page listing on FindAGrave #109897695 but there was no photo of a headstone.  I wondered if there even was a headstone.  FindAGrave has an amazing feature, if you have never used it, where you can request a photo of headstones.  You can make a request for a photo and an amazing group of volunteers will pick up requests and post a photo for you.

photo by Bob Collins

I was very fortunate that Bob Collins not only picked up my request but posted the photo within about 24 hours.  Thank-you Bob! and all the volunteers who help out those of us who live far away from our ancestors’ final resting places.  (See post How Many People Does it Take to Locate a Cemetery? for a time when I was able to help someone out.)

Now I know the final resting place for Mary, Lilly, Caroline, Frank and Louisa.  While I am sad that there are no headstones it does look like a peaceful location.

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

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Update to the King Family of Brooklyn

I have been researching the family of Theodore and Mary King, my paternal 3x great grandparents. I am researching all of their children in hopes of learning where in Germany Theodore was born and what the maiden name and birthplace was for Mary King. While working on this I realized I found information that would solve another mystery about the family I had forgotten about.

Researching a family’s life in Brooklyn, New York in the late 1800s is made easier when you use City Directories. I have found city directories useful not only for the physical location someone lived but also for listing the occupation. The city directory listing with the occupation helps me tell several of the same named people apart.

I am fortunate that there are actually 2 directories I have found for Brooklyn. The first is the U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 which is a database of city directories for U.S. cities and counties in various years. Luckily Brooklyn is covered. The second one is the Brooklyn, New York Directories, 1888-1890: Lain & Co. Both of these databases are available on Ancestry.

Theodore and Mary had 5 children that lived in Brooklyn. I was able to trace sons Louis and Jacob, wife Mary as a widow and daughter Catherine’s husband using the city directories over the course of about 18 years. Viewing the information in a spreadsheet format helps me visually follow the family and see patterns of where they lived and who the mother, Mary, a widow, lived with as well as how close they lived to each other.  This format, and some color coding of the addresses, also helps me recognize street addresses when they come up again:  

(click on image to enlarge)

Going back and reviewing information you have already gathered is always valuable because usually you see something that was always there, that you missed at an earlier time. I went back once again to Mary’s burial card for Greenwood Cemetery to see if there was anything additional I could find to help answer my questions about her maiden name and where she was born. I was reviewing this in a blog post I wrote entitled Don’t Forget Cemetery Records-Additional Children Discovered (click on link to read post) and realized I had never answered the question of who are the parents of Lilly, Caroline E., and Frank Albert King?

I realized the 3 children had the same ‘last residence address’ of 44-41st Street, Brooklyn in the years 1885, 1886, and 1887. Then I recognized that address and went back to my spreadsheet above and the answer was there. Louis is the one living at that address according to city directories in the years 1887, 1888. In 1885 he was living at 34-41st Street, Brooklyn. (Directory information is gathered and then later published, so, they could have moved by the time the Directory came out and the address for 1885 is in the same block as the address for 1887.) I am still not sure when Jacob married but I have him during this time period at 40 Wolcott Street. With this information from city directories and knowing where the family was located I believe that Lilly, Caroline E., and Frank were the children of Louis and Sarah King and siblings of my great grandfather George Washington King.

What I previously had for Louis and Sarah’s children:
  • Sarah E. born 1872
  • Louis born 1873
  • William born 1876
  • George W. born 1878
  • Walter born after 1880
  • Katie born 1883
These were all the children I knew about. Now I can correctly add to this list:
  • Sarah E. born 1872
  • Louis born 1873
  • William born 1876
  • George W. born 1878
  • Walter born after 1880
  • Katie born 1883
  • Lilly born 1884
  • Caroline born 1886
  • Frank born 1887
Sarah was 36 years old when her last and 9th child was born. Sarah and Louis lost their last 3 children to early deaths. Louis would die in 1880 only 3 years after his last child was born. Sarah would live to the age of 75 and die in 1926. If it hadn’t been for the Internment Records at the cemetery I would never have known of the existence of Lilly, Caroline and Frank. Now I can correctly add them to my family tree as children of Louis and Sarah.  Except for the Internment Records there are no other records that I have been able to locate that verify the existence of these three children or their parentage. I am glad to have found them and can now remember them as children of Louis and Sarah.

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

Reminder: When using city directories remember to check out the meaning of abbreviations and look beyond your ancestor to see what else might be of use in telling your family’s story. Is there a business directory, street directory, a listing of deaths in the previous year, churches, etc.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

What Would Priscilla Mullins Alden Think?

Priscilla Mullins Alden was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and a woman of immeasurable strength.  Priscilla is also my 10th great-grandmother.  John Alden and Priscilla Mullins both came on the Mayflower and after arriving would marry, have children and eventually settle in Duxbury, Massachusetts.  (See post Finding My Pilgrim Ancestors-John and Priscilla Alden)

As 2020 quickly approaches, and the 400 year Mayflower celebrations begin, what does it mean to say you are a descendant of one of the families of the Mayflower?

I grew up never knowing of any Mayflower ancestry.  There were no stories passed down from generation to generation.  Somehow, the story was lost years ago.  I remember as a young girl that one year my mother, who is an amazing seamstress, was going to make me a ‘Pilgrim’  costume for Halloween.  Life was busy and it didn’t happen for Halloween but she would try for Thanksgiving which didn’t work either.  Fast forward about 20 years and as I’m reviewing some documents that were given to my maternal grandmother I find a supposed connection to John and Priscilla Alden as being ancestors.  As usual, life happens, and it takes about another 30-35 years for me to really do some serious research.  In 2017 I was able to successfully prove my Alden connection and before a member of the Alden Kindred of America.  (See post It’s Official! I Proved it!).  On 8 December 2018 I was also able to successfully prove my ancestry and become a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.  (See San Diego Colony of Mayflower Descendants and General Society of Mayflower Descendants’ Success)

Wow!  I successfully proved my ancestry to two major societies that are involved with Mayflower descendants.  So, what’s next?  When I work on my ancestry I want more than just the dates my ancestors lived.  I want to learn as much as I can about them.  
Unfortunately there are no pictures, no videos, not even a diary for me to read and learn about Priscilla.  What was she actually like as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and a woman?  What did she think of this new land?  Was it what she expected?  What did she think of her legacy?  Did she ever think about those of us that would come after her?

In my quest to know more, and remembering that little girl who was excited about the possibility of dressing like a “pilgrim”, I decided I could see what it would be like to dress like Priscilla did, at the least.  At the first San Diego Colony of the  Mayflower Society meeting I attended, thanks to an invitation by a friend, Alden cousin and blogger Darlene Connor Sampley, I met a Historical Seamstress named Kathy Hughes.  I enjoyed listening to Kathy talk to others about ‘Pilgrim Costume’ and decided to talk to her about making me a 'Pilgrim Costume'.  I met with Kathy and decided that yes, this is important to me and I want to have a set of clothing like my ancestors would have worn.  There would then be styles, colors, fabrics, shoes, hat, and stockings to pick and measurements to be done.  Then I had to patiently wait for my costume.

Saturday, Kathy had my ‘Pilgrim Costume’ ready and I could pick it up.  How exciting!! Good friend and fellow blogger Diane Gould Hall was able to go with me to get my costume.  We were not only able to share the excitement but I was sure I’d need some help remembering how to dress using all the pieces of clothing I would need to put on.  It’s fascinating learning about the names of the pieces of clothing Priscilla would have typically worn, how they were worn, beliefs about fabric color choices, and why things were worn the way they were.  So much to learn!  I really appreciate Kathy’s knowledge about period costume and her desire to be true to the time period.

Here is what I am wearing:
  • a white linen 'smock' with bone buttons and a collar-women wore these for day and night time wear 
  • a 'bum roll' tied at the waist-a crescent shaped pad worn under petticoats to accentuate the hips and make the waist appear smaller
  • 2 linen 'petticoats', hand hemmed-the first with a reddish color since the custom was that you should wear red close to your body and the top petticoat was cartridge pleated, both tie in the front
  • a linen 'waistcoat'-mine has ties.  I chose a simpler design for the common woman
  • a white linen 'apron' folded book style for Sunday best wear
  • a white linen 'forehead cloth' tied in the back and worn to protect the forehead
  • a white linen 'coif '(close fitting cap) tied in the back-women also wore these at night tied under their chin to keep the lice out of their hair
  • a black felt 'hat' to keep the sun out of the eyes while outside-no buckles at that time as are often seen in pictures
  • cotton 'stockings'
  • black leather shoes, reminiscent of the time period
It probably took me about 30 minutes to get ‘dressed’.  Once dressed I thought about what it felt like to wear these clothes the same type Priscilla would have worn.  They felt heavy and bulky and made me feel 20 pounds heavier.  How amazing to be able to wear clothing like Priscilla would have worn!  The dream of that little girl years ago was accomplished.  Priscilla, what do you think?  Am I dressed properly?  I think it would take some getting used to in order to do those everyday chores of cooking, cleaning and tending to the animals or gardens.  I bet all the layers and the woolen cloak Kathy is also making for me really helped in the cold New England winters.  As a teacher, now that I have my ‘costume’, what a great opportunity to visually show students what a Pilgrim wore, let them feel the fabric, shoes, hat, etc.   I can visit classrooms and read stories of the Mayflower voyage and the Pilgrims to help them get a feeling of what life was like 400 years ago.

When it’s all said and done…for me it is an honor to say I am a descendant of these ordinary people, John and Priscilla Mullins Alden.  They were adventurous and fought to make a new life in a strange new world.  I do respect what they did and how they persevered.  I wonder what Priscilla would think about so many people, all these generations later, caring about her and her family.  Would she think us ‘silly’ to be making such a fuss or honored that we remember them?  I am hoping she is smiling down on us.  As I often quote from this poem:        
“I honor their history.      
I cherish their lives.       
I will tell their story.       
I will remember them.”

The celebrations for the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower will begin 1 January 2020 at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA.  I am applying to be an ‘Outwalker Participant’ to march in the parade alongside the Mayflower float.  What an honor that would be to represent my 10th great-grandmother Priscilla Mullins Alden.  Stay tuned to see if I am selected.  I will also participate in the decorating of the float and will be sure to tell you about that in future posts.  Then next Fall I plan to be in Plymouth for additional celebrations and remembrances with my ‘Pilgrim Costume’.

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