March 16, 2012

Know the In-laws: the elusive George Kempton

In tracing the family of David Depeyster Acker (1822-1888), I was trying to configure the family group of his second wife, Julia.  Their 1865 marriage record listed her as the widow Floyd but I was not sure how to find her maiden name. Her 1892 will provided what looked like a great clue -- one of the executors was listed as her brother and his surname was Outcalt.  But that was not her maiden name.

Over time and examining many, many documents I found that she was the daughter of Moses and Amanda Pomeroy and she had a younger sister named Lucy.  Moses died in 1834 and shortly thereafter her mother married John D. Outcalt and added two young sons to the family, John and Cornelius.  I found that Lucy married George Kempton in New York City in 1855.  So know I knew the surnames of everyone.

The person who posed the greatest problem was George Kempton. I never ever found he and Lucy together in a census record.  I knew they married in Manhattan in 1855 and they were both listed as living there on 70th Street in Julia’s 1892 will.  I had found Lucy with her mother in the 1870 census (or, in one of the two enumerations done in NYC that year), but have not found her in 1860 nor 1880.

In 1900 Lucy was in New Jersey, listed as a widowed aunt in the household of David Outcalt, son of her brother John.  So it seemed that George had died between 1892 and 1900.  I searched again – not found in NYC death index, not in NY Times, not on familysearch, no matchups on ancestry family trees. 

I recently subscribed to the newspaper archives on genealogy bank and I got a match !!  A simple death notice:  George Kempton died on September 17, 1893 in Mt Pocono, Pennsylvania. That limited information would not have meant much without the next line plus the information I knew about Lucy’s brother Cornelius. The notice continued: the funeral will be held at St Peter’s in Spotswood, New Jersey.

Lucy’s brother Cornelius had a home in Spotswood and buried two of his young children there when they both died in October 1884.  I need to do more follow-up and check with the church and get his death certificate … but I feel I finally found George. Now I’d like to find where is buried and check to see if Lucy is buried there also. It seems that she died between 1910 and 1920 likely in New Jersey.

I do love to meander around all the family groups, cousins, in-laws … it makes the family story interesting and often helps to resolve a roadblock.

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