June 30, 2014

Confused about Hannah Taylor of Newport 1762/3

Based on published work from the local historical society, I thought that Hannah was born in 1762 the youngest daughter of Robert Taylor and his 3rd wife Rebecca Coggeshall. Her father died that year at age 74 -- perhaps old to be having more children. Rebecca was in her 40s.

Hannah married John Easton in 1808 following the death of his 1st wife Ruth, who has been reported to be Hannah's sister.  Ruth was born in 1760 reportedly the daugher of Robert Taylor ... but could they both be the offspring of Robert Taylor Jr (son of Robert and his 2nd wife Elizabeth Stanton) born in 1762?

There are Newport marriage records of a Robert Taylor marrying Mary Pitman in 1759 (which could match up with Ruth's birth in 1860) and with Mary Lyon in Nov 1762. Not at all clear that they are the SAME Robert Taylor --- nor which is which. I have struggeled to find death records, newspaper items, etc which might clarify, but none has resolved the issue yet.

To confound the issue, I recently received a photo of a cross-stitch sampler created in Newport in 1774 by a Hannah Taylor, who lists her birth date as December 17, 1763 --- is that my target Hannah? If so, she clearly was NOT the daughter of Robert who died in Nov 1762.

Photo and permission to post it courtesy of UK-based Tony Meyer who owns it.

June 11, 2014

Who were the parents of Minerva Lester Fish?


She lived in Rensselaerville, Albany County, NY and married Dennison Fish about 1832. They had the following children: William, Jonathan, Lester and Mary. 

Minerva died in November 1858 and is buried in Rensselaerville Cemetery.  Wondering if her father could have been Ezra Lester … and if so, who was her mother?

If you know, please contact me. Thanks !

June 6, 2014

Scrubbing the Hudson, NY 1915 Census


I was going crazy trying to find Getzel Panush and his son Abram in this state census. They were listed together in the federal 1910 census and then Abram was listed as head in 1920. I was trying to determine if his father was still alive in 1915.

I had found their names spelled in various ways but was not finding a match in 1915. I tried to find them by searching for their neighbors from the 1910 and 1920 census, but no luck.

Finally I searched for anyone of any age who was born in Poland and was living in Hudson. Found a quite a few, many with the names spelled oddly. There I found them, listed as PENSAK and Abram without a first name --- it was there, a bit hard to read, but it was there.

So, when names don’t work, try using place of birth and place of residence.  It worked for me.

June 2, 2014

The Elusive Brockholst Livingston


I came upon him while researching the Peckham family of New York.  Miranda, daughter of Peleg Peckham and Desire Watson, was born in Rensselaerville, Albany County in 1802. The family relocated to Cooperstown and likely she met her husband-to-be there. They married in 1827 in New York City and lived in Albany where he died of cholera in 1832. They had no children.

That is almost all I knew of Brockholst except that he was a a lawyer and educated at Columbia Univerity. Then I found this record:

In the The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volumes 17-18 p 60 there is a notation: Anne Van Beuren, born 1789, died 1827, who married Brockholst Livingston, a lawyer of this city, died in 1832, grandson of Governor William Livingston of New Jersey, and had no issue.

Well !! Seems he had been married previously and that his first wife died in the same year that he married Miranda. New information !

Looking further, I discovered that he married Anne in 1818 and that she died in Cooperstown, NY where Miranda was living ... they married about 6 months after he was widowed.

But I was not sure who Brockholst's parents were. Governor William Livingston had a number of sons including a Supreme Court Justice known as Brockholst Livingston (1757-1832) although his first name was actually Henry which he dropped in favor of his middle name. Miranda's husband was NOT the Justice's son.

I could not find a baptism record nor other confirming references. Just today I found this record on page 1335 of vol 3, Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York by Cuyler Reynolds:

William Livingston, son of Gov William and Susannah (French) Livingston, was born on March 21, 1754, died 1817.  He married Mary Lennington and they had the following children:  Jane, Phillip, Brockholst, John L, Matthew, john Jay and Essex Ridley.

So, that seems to be him.  Now I need to find where he is buried. 

April 28, 2014

Look carefully at household members in a census


In working on my Peckham line, I became interested in Walton Hazard Peckham, MD, born in 1800 to Peleg Peckham and Desire Watson. Though trained as a physician, he abandoned that profession and took on a property investment and management role with his wealthy father-in-law Christopher Mildeberger in New York City.

I knew that Walton and Margaret Mildeberger married in 1839 and had two children. In 1850 they were living with her parents in NYC, part of a large household with numerous servants.  Margaret’s brother Oliver was in the household along with another couple (Charlotte and Marshall) that I initially overlooked, assuming they were servants too.  DON”T ASSUME !!  I must keep reminding myself.

The 1855 census is now more widely available and with the notation of “county of birth”, it adds information.  What struck me as I reviewed the Mildeberger household’s record today was the fact that Margaret was listed as Mildeberger (not Peckham, though her husband and children were listed as such) with relationship of “child” in reference to her father who was head of household. And then it was clearly laid out that Charlotte Pipoon, wife of Marshall, was her sister – listed here also as a Mildeberger “child”.

It seems simple, but becomes easy to glide through a record only picking out the individuals you are looking for. I get excited to move on … but a slow analysis reveals the extended family lines that are of great interest to me. I think knowing the siblings and in-laws tells us a lot about our target individuals.

March 25, 2014

Ludington – Comfort marriages in Catskill, NY


Brothers Archibald and Tertullus Ludington were born to Col Henry Ludington and his wife Abigail in Dutchess County.  Both migrated to Catskill in Greene County where they raised their families.  Each had a daughter who married into the Comfort family.  Emeline was born to Archibald and his wife Elizabeth Sears in 1805.  Julia was born in 1807 to Tertullus and his wife Rebecca Brown.

Brothers Hiram and Joel Comfort were born in Montgomery, Orange County, NY to Samuel Comfort and Ana Maria Youngblood in 1791 and 1800 respectively. They both migrated to Catskill in Greene County in early adulthood.  Within a three month time period in 1822 the brothers married the Comfort Cousins – Joel and Emeline in May followed by Hiram and Julia in August. The girls were both quite young (17 and 15) which may have been the custom at the time and/or may have been a necessity in light of their fathers’ deaths a year or so earlier.

Between the 2 couples, they increased the Comfort clan by 11. Five daughters were born to Hiram and Julia and 3 sons and 3 daughters to Joel and Emeline.  The migration continued with only a few of that next generation remaining in Catskill.

March 19, 2014

FAMILY FOCUS: John I Hill 1801-1884


John was a lumberman in Wawarsing, Ulster County, New York, born to unknown parents possibly in Shawangunk.  About 1830 John married Esther Furman (1808-1902), daughter of Joseph Furman and Polly Sheeley.  My challenge this year is to identify John’s parents and siblings.

Interestingly one of Esther’s sisters, Catherine (1816-1880) married Isaac Dubois Hill (1812-1888).  I’ve been wondering if Isaac (who often seems to have gone by his middle name) and John might have been brothers or cousins.  Isaac reported that he was born in Orange County and John reported Ulster. They were born 11 years apart and the 2 counties are adjacent. Some unsourced online records show John as the son of John W and Charlotte Mullaney Hill; I have not been able to confirm this.

Assuming that John was in fact born in Shawangunk, I checked the 1810 census and found two families with boys under 10, headed by Isaac and Sturgis Hill.  But that trail goes cold in 1820 when neither Isaac nor Sturgis show up as head of household in Ulster County. Might they have moved to Orange County? There was a family headed by Isaac but it’s almost impossible to know if it is the same household.

John and Esther had 8 known children – perhaps one of their descendants knows something of John’s birth family and will stumble upon this post. That would be my lucky day !! The children and spouses are listed here.

1833   JOHN  + Phebe
1835   JOSEPH + Mary (moved to VA)
1837   LUCINDA (unmarried)
1840   JANE + James Cutler
1843   ALMIRA + August Stangle (Brooklyn)
1844   EMILY + Francis Sheeley
1847   WILLIAM + Eliza (moved to VA)
1850   MARY A + Lorenzo Low (moved to CT)

I don’t know where else to look. I’ll search out church records for Shawangunk and see if they show up. If you have another suggestion, please drop me a note