May 15, 2012

Know the In-Laws: The Ludington Sisters of Catskill

You might be surprised by what is published in a local newspaper about someone who does NOT live there.  I happened upon a Texas death notice in a Saugerties, New York newspaper because the deceased's sister lived there.

The Ludington sisters, daughters of Tertullus, lived in Catskill, New York. Harriet was born in 1817, married John Lusk in the late 1830s and remained there even after being widowed in 1848.  Several years later she married widower Henry Turck of Saugerties (about 13 miles south of Catskill) and moved there with several of her children.  Harriet remained in Saugerties until her death in 1898.

One of Harriet's three older sisters, Amelia, married William McKinstry in 1826 in Catskill. A few years later they relocated to Matagorda, Texas where William died before 1845.  Amelia was a hotel keeper who then married Galen Hodges in 1845.  Galen was a Rhode Island native who had long lived in Texas.  They were last found in the 1880 census together with their only daughter Julia.

That long gap between 1880 and 1900 is often troublesome, especially when looking for records in a distant or unfamiliar state, as Texas was for me.  Luckily I was familiar with the Saugerties newspapers and although it never occurred to me that Amelia's death might be mentioned there, I happened upon it when searching for information about her sister who was a Saugerties resident.  If I had not been aware of both of their second marriages and their relationship to each other, I would have passed right by the death notice.  Amelia Hodges died in Matagorda on November 22, 1881 and was survived by her husband and daughter.

Get to know who your target person's siblings and their spouses were and where they lived -- the answers you are searching for might be found in something related to the in-laws.

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