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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Historic Note:

Hancock - "Settled before the American Revolution, the town was formed from Colchester in 1806. The East Branch of the Delaware River crosses the town and meets the West Branch in the Village of Hancock, which became a major lumbering and rafting center.  In the mid-19th century,  French Settlement was created by selling small lots of land to French and German settlers.  The Erie and Ontario and Western [O&W] Railroads aided the growth of the village, which was incorporated in 1888.  After Delaware Co's first wood acid factory was built at Kerryville in 1878, the wood chemical industry flourished, with more than 10 plants in the town.  This, along with tanneries and bluestone quarries, drove the economy in the late 1800s.  Railroad service declined in the 1950s and the reconstruction of Rte. 17 (I-86) as a four-lane highway in the 1960s reduced the tourist business.  In 2003, lumbering and quarrying supported the economy." -- Dorothy Kubik, in The Encyclopedia Of New York State , Syracuse University Press, 2005.

I thought some of you might enjoy this: 

In the box of stuff sent to me from Georgiana Swartwout was a little 2x3" sepia reproduction of Millet's Potato Planting with "Anna & George" written on the back; meaning Anna Wormuth and George Swartwout. 

I think it's cute. I don't know who wrote it but most likely Georgiana, their daughter. I found this sepia repro online: 

I remember Aunt Anna and, maybe, vaguely, George. Oddly, I don't remember Georgiana. I also remember George's brother, Guy, who used to arrange the baseball games at the reunions. I think I might have a photo of him in a baseball uniform. 

I remember one reunion (I think at Shinhopple) in particular when all the Wormuth women were together: Nancy, Anna, Maggie (Grandma)(our Wormuth branch); the others were probably there as well, it was a big one, over 100 people. Aunt Mary must have been there because I think that's the day that she was giving Grandma such a hard time at her house. 

The reunions were started by Elias and Phoebe and it was the Wormuth-Hulse reunion because those 2 sisters (Fannie and Phoebe Hulse) and those 2 brothers ([Thomas] James & Elias Wormuth) married each other but the other Wormuth brothers' families were always there as well. 

Aunt Anna and her daughter, Georgiana, were very beautiful.

Can you identify these two?

I thought this was 2 of my cousins but it's stamped "Nov. 1939" by the photo developer on the back and they aren't that much older than me and I'm told it's not them, in any case.  Please contact me, if you know them.

"Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living."  - no author given, from Family Tree Quotes

Friday, October 24, 2014

Research Tip:

It’s very important to look at each item of information thoroughly – at some point - and to:

  • decide how accurate the information is;
  • see if the information leads to additional sources;

When we find a bit of family information we’ve been looking for, we often take it at face value, don’t question it and accept it as it is.

We look for an ancestor that lived in a particular place in approximately a particular time.  We find a person, in that place, in that time with that name and almost always assume that we’ve found the person we’re looking for.  And, maybe we did -- and, maybe we didn't

But, after years of research, one finds that in any particular period of time, there are often many, many people with the same name, living near enough, and close enough in time, to possibly be the person we’re looking for.  It’s a mistake to accept one piece of information as valid and correct without looking at it more closely and without looking for corroborating documentation.

In addition, it’s a hard lesson to learn but many records, even original documents, have errors.  People can be forgetful; people can be careless. Just because it's an official document doesn't make it correct.

I’ve had a variety of disagreements with other researchers of my various families over particular bits of information but, most seriously, about the parentage of one particular individual or another.  If people are not careful about the information they accept as correct; if they share that erroneous information with others, soon the amount of misinformation has multiplied making it more and more difficult to find the correct data.

I hope the following analysis of the indicated record will show how I go about determining if the information in any particular record or document is valid and how it leads me to additional research:

Analysis of the Charles DOUGHERTY entry in Presidents, Soldiers, Statesmen Vol. II, Hardesty, Publishers, 1896.

A work in progress

“Son of the late Gilbert and Mary (GARRISON) DOUGHERTY, was born at Shandaken, Ulster Co., N.Y., Sept. 16, 1843, and was a farmer, residing at Ashland, Greene county, when he enlisted in Brooklyn, N.Y., Feb. 27, 1865, as a private in Co. I, 80th N.Y. Vol. Inf.  His enlistment was too late for him to see much active service, but after the close of the war, he was on provost guard duty at Suffolk, N.C., where he remained until near the time of his discharge, which was received at Hart’s Island, N.Y., Feb. 20, 1866.  Mr. DOUGHERTY married at Ashland, Sept. 17, 1863, Frances Victoria OLIVER, daughter of Ezra and Esther (CRANDALL) OLIVER, both deceased.  They have had seven children – Albert, William, Joseph J., Lewis, Josephine, Lizzie May and Harper R.  Mr. DOUGHERTY had five brothers in the service; Henry, William, James and John in Infantry Regts., and Romaine in the Cavalry.  Mrs. DOUGHERTY’s brother, Alanson OLIVER, died at Hart’s Island; her grandfather, Elnathan CRANDALL, was a Revolutionary soldier, and her uncle, William OLIVER, served in the Florida War.  Mr. DOUGHERTY’s grandfather, Garrison DOUIGHERTY, was also a Revolutionary soldier.  He is a pensioner and a member of Martin Hallett Post, 462, G.A.R., Dept. of New York.  His occupation is that of a farmer and his post office address is Hedgesville, Steuben co., N.Y.”
  •  “[Charles was born, son of Gilbert Dougherty and Mary Garrison,] Shandaken, Sept. 16, 1843.”

The 1850 US Census, Ulster Co., Shandaken: (Sept. 26th) indicates a slight error in the above record; calculating that Charles had been born 6 years before Sept. 26, 1850, he would have been born in 1844.  The date of the census, Sept. 26, was 10 days after the previous record’s proposed birthdate.  He would have been 5, on Sept. 16, 1850.  

            Gilbert, 46, farmer
            Mary, 46
            William, 23
            Henry, 21
            Sarah A., 19
            John, 17
            James, 15
            Elizabeth, 13
            Malissa, 11
            Romeyn, 8
            Charles, 6
            Mary, 3
            Sybil, 1

The following military record indicates the same birth year.
  •  “…residing at Ashland, Greene county, when he enlisted in Brooklyn, N.Y., Feb. 27, 1865, as a private in Co. I, 80th N.Y., Vol. Inf.”

Verified by (except residence is incorrect in above entry)
New York, Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca 1861-1865, 39-40 as seen at Ancestry.com:  (this is a transcription)

Line 6

Dougherty, Charles Wesley
Residence:  Shandaken, Ulster Co.
Born Sept. 16, 1844, Shandaken, NY
Enlisted as Pvt, 13th Artillery, enlisted Feb. 1865, mustered in ? 1865, for 1 year in NYC. White, no relief granted, married.  Laborer, father:  Gilbert DOUGHERTY, mother Mary GARRISON, Transferred to Co. I, 20th NYSM Infantry.  Still in service at point of this entry.

Also, in this source and record are the registrations of Charles’ brothers:  Henry, James, John, William and (interestingly) Elbert Romayne; all of whom registered at different times.  This record doesn’t show the exact date of enlistment, nor the Co.  There is some discrepancy between the 2 records in terms of enlistment date, regiment and Co.  Comparing the letter of the company with other capital letters on the page, I did change my first impression from Co. J to Co. I, which brings me into agreement with the other record.  Again, comparing the # of the regiment to which he was transferred to other numbers on the page, I disagree with the other record that indicates it as 80th NY Vol. Infantry; none of the 8s on the page look similar and, while a bit too elaborate, it is a 2 and the regiment is the 20th.  In this record, the regiment is indicated as the 20th NYSM.  After much discussion online about the significance of the M and after visiting the regimental page of The New York State Military Museum, The agreement is that the M signifies Militia or Volunteer; therefore, in agreement with the other record.

Qualifying these investigations with the caveat that many documents contain one, if not multiple errors; it is therefore, important to find as many documents as possible to try to reach matching information which might be more trusted.
  • “His enlistment was too late for him to see much active service, but after the close of the war, he was on provost guard duty at Suffolk, N.C., where he remained until near the time of his discharge, which was received at Hart’s Island, N.Y., Feb. 20, 1866.”

I have no records, so far, to address Charles’ service as provost guard or his assignment to Suffolk, N.C.  I might find additional records, in the future, that verify this.  He was still in service at the date of the previous record so there is no discharge information in that record.
  • “Mr. DOUGHERTY married at Ashland, Sept. 17, 1863, Frances Victoria OLIVER, daughter of Ezra and Esther (CRANDALL) OLIVER, both deceased.”

The corroboration for the marriage date, so far, is from a family member and from apparent agreement in census records.  Family information and census records also seem to verify Frances OLIVERs parentage, although until receiving this record, we had no idea of Esther’s maiden name which has since been verified by several additional sources.
  •  “They (Charles and Frances) have had seven children – Albert, William, Joseph J., Lewis, Josephine, Lizzie May and Harper R.”

The children are verified by several census records with the addition of John and George.
  •  “Mr. DOUGHERTY had five brothers in the service; Henry, William, James and John in Infantry Regts., and Romaine in the Cavalry.”

This information is verified by similar records in the above source:  New York, Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca 1861-1865, with one interesting addition, Romayne’s record indicates that his name was Elbert Romayne.
  •  “Mrs. DOUGHERTY’s (Frances Victoria OLIVER) brother, Alanson OLIVER, died at Hart’s Island; her grandfather, Elnathan CRANDALL, was a Revolutionary soldier, and her uncle, William OLIVER, served in the Florida War.”

There’s a great deal of data in this sentence:

The first error is Alanson OLIVER’s place of death.  Military records, in my possession, indicate that Alanson died, Feb. 1, 1865, St. John’s Hospital, Annapolis, MD.  He did serve in the military.

On receipt of the entry of Charles DOUGHERTY in Presidents, Soldiers, Statesmen, I began looking for Elnathan CRANDALL who, as Frances' grandfather, would have been her mother's brother.  Initially, I found nothing.  Then, I found several individuals with the same name.  The first Elnathan CRANDALL I encountered could not have been Frances OLIVER’s grandfather because he was born within a year or two of her mother and might have been a brother or cousin of her mother, Esther.  I have not yet identified the possible Elnathan, nor have I found an Elnathan CRANDALL in the Revolution.  More work is needed before accepting this piece of information, that he was Esther/Hester CRANDALL’s father.

On first reading and several subsequent readings of the entry, I assumed that William OLIVER was Frances OLIVER’s brother and clearly hadn’t read closely enough.  There are 4 William OLIVERs in the family tree, so far.  She didn’t have a brother named William.  The entry indicates he was her uncle.  For him to be her uncle, he had to have been her father’s brother.  Therefore, I have to assume that Ezra OLIVER, her father, had to have had a brother, William.  Since we don’t know Ezra OLIVER’s parentage, we also don’t know William’s.  However, If William served in the military, there may be a record which gives the names of his parents, and, therefore, Ezra’s.  This will extend the OLIVER family tree another generation and, perhaps, reveal more.  It may also be possible to find a William OLIVER living near Ezra OLIVER on one or more of the censuses; I haven’t checked yet.

It says William OLIVER served in the Florida War; there were several.  It will be necessary to figure out which one. 

I’m not currently interested in the rest of the entry since I’m related to Charles DOUGHERTY only through his marriage to Frances Victoria OLIVER.  Sometimes, it’s important and even necessary to research the families of in-laws in order to discover more about the target family.  I don’t expect that to be the case in this instance.

Monday, October 20, 2014

In Memorium

"Justin Harland Hulse, 30, of Sidney, joined the Lord and his special canine buddy, Timmone, on Thursday, October 9, 2014. He was born on June 22, 1984, son of James W. Hulse Sr. and Connie (Walley) Hulse in Sidney. Justin graduated from Sidney High School in 2003 and studied Cosmetology at DCMO BOCES. After becoming a NYS Licensed Cosmetologist, he taught the Cosmetology program at BOCES for three years. A gifted stylist, Justin was a master cosmetologist and barber at Majestic Beauty Salon in Sidney as well as a NYS Cosmetology Licensing Board Inspector.

Justin had a colorful personality: he was always upbeat and positive, kind hearted and caring, the life of a party, and like his favorite color, yellow, he brought sunshine to a bad day. He had many passions in life: he was a talented drummer; he enjoyed riding 4-wheelers and motorcycles, target shooting with his 380 Smith & Wesson, watching NY Giants football and had recently realized his ability to golf. He was a wonderful son, brother and friend who touched any life he came into contact with. He will be dearly missed.

He is survived by:  His father, James W. Hulse, Sr., Sidney; his Mother, Connie Hulse, Sidney; 4 Siblings: James Hulse, Jr. and companion, Amber, Unadilla; Jeffery Hulse and companion: Stephanie, Sidney; Jordan Hulse, Sidney; Ashlee Hulse and companion, Tyler, Sidney; Nephew, Nathan Goodrich and niece, Alyssa Hulse; Aunts and Uncles: Sandy (Sand Dune), Harland, Jr., Joseph, Yvonne, Patty, Sandy, Bobbie, Kathy, Sharon, David, Randy and Ronnie; His faithful dog, Rocco; And numerous cousins.

He was predeceased by his grandparents, Harland and Bernice Walley and Lew and Maude Hulse."

(Obituary from Landers Funeral Home web site.  Oct. 12, 2014)

It is always especially sad when someone so young passes.

Justin can be traced back to our common ancestors:  Samuel H. Hulse and Mary Schoonover of Orange County, NY.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New York Historical Note:

The Ramapo Mountain People is a small population of racially mixed people living primarily in Rockland Co., NY and in New Jersey.  The origin the the group is complex, controversial and disputed.

They are generally considered and claimed to be a tri-racially mix of free black and Native ancestors with some white (Dutch) ancestors.  

The Ramapough Mountain Indians, now the Ramapough Lenape Nation have lived in the general area since the mid-18th century.  In 1978, they sought official federal tribal recognition.  In 1993, their claim was denied.  I don't know if they have gained federal recognition since then.  They have representation on the New Jersey Commission on Indian Affairs and are politically active in both New York and New Jersey.  They just held tribal elections last week.

Their Native ancestry is generally considered Munsee (Euro spelling) Lenape and there are Munsee speakers among their tribal membership.  They are headquartered here in New Jersey.

Source: The Encyclopedia Of New York State  

DNA Testing and Me

I'm not sure if I've written on this previously....

I started family history research because of a store that my maternal grandmother, Margaret Eleanor Wormuth Beismer used to tell me, about Native ancestors.  I grew up thinking I had/have Native American ancestry.

I began serious research in my mid-20s, over 40 years ago.  During my research, I met both white and Native individuals whose reactions to my claim of Native ancestry were less than thrilling.  After some soul searching, I realized that, even if the story were true, I wasn't raised in a Native community with Native traditions, therefore, I'm not genuinely Native.  However, I still want to know the truth and I'm still far from it.

In addition, I'm researching ALL my ancestors, maternal and paternal; I am, after all related genetically to all of them.  While visiting one of my father's great aunts, Beatrice Odell Beams Wilson Dempsey, she told us that the Olivers are/were "Delaware" Indian and that Ruben Odell's grandfather was "Iroquois".

So, I've had Y-chromosomal testing on my father.  As I understand it, and it was recently confirmed by several techies, Y-chromosomal testing only tests the tags that are passed from father to son, down through the generations; no tags are identified, in this test, that were passed from mother to son, etc.  Which means that there are no Y chromosome linked Native ethnic tags that were passed to my father, back through his male ancestors.  That doesn't mean that he didn't have any Native ancestors, but it means that Ruben Odell's paternal grandfather was NOT Native American.  There could have been any number of women in his ancestry who were Native.  More testing is needed on my paternal line.

Back to the original impetus for my research, the great great great grandfather that Grandma Beismer claimed went "to the mountains" and brought back "a squaw" as his wife.  I had my mitochondrial DNA tested.  Similar to Y-chromosomal testing, mitochondrial tests only identify the ethnic tags passed from mother to daughter down through the female descendants.  ALL my mitochondrial DNA tests European, back through Mary Hendrickson Hulse and farther.  That doesn't mean there are no Native ancestors in my maternal line; there could be male Native ancestors.

The tests I had run are quite inexpensive; around $100 each.  When I had them done there were only a few labs that did testing specifically for genealogical purposes; now there are a lot.  I use FamilyTreeDNA, our DNA is in their database and I recently signed up for additional matching and have actually connected with yet another 4th cousin, previously unknown.

I promised myself that on my birthday, when I'm completely retired, I will spend the money and have whatever test is necessary to test ALL my DNA to put this family legend to rest, or to spur it on.  I was recently told what test to have done and that birthday is a little over a month away.

Because my DNA and Dad's have been tested, it's not necessary for anyone along either my matrilineal line or Dad's paternal line to be tested for this specific information, if you're the same gender, since the results will be the same.  Let me know what you need to know and I'll tell you what I know or direct you somewhere that can help.

Mysteries Solved:

The maiden name of Esther Oliver, great, great, great, great grandmother of all of us who trace our OLIVER line back to Ezra and Hester (Esther), was Crandall, or a variant spelling.  I was sent an except from a register that made that claim but that was a secondary or tertiary source and I try to find several documents since so many errors are made.  The most recent documentation I've found is in the New York, Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War.... The entry is for Esther's son, Alanson.  It clearly has her name as Esther Crandall.  Now to solve her parentage.

The maiden name of Mary Hendrickson Hulse's mother, Anna, was McClannon.  The  1850 census shows James and Mary Hulse, living next to Mary's parents, John and Anna Hendrickson.  In James' and Mary's household was a 92 yr old Mary Mc-something, unreadable.  Others also found it unreadable.  In the same New York, Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War.... is Richard Clark Hendrickson, my great great grandmother's brother.  His parents clearly John S. Hendrickson and Anna McClannon.  This also clears up the surname as Hendrickson, not Hendricks.  And, apparently, Anna's mother's name was Mary as well.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

New York State Historical Note:

In 1785, the Oneida reluctantly succumbed to pressure from New York State to sell their land at Oquaga (Onaquaga), (now Windsor and Colesville, Broome Co., NY).  By the 1740s the large Oneida village extended along the Susquehanna River.  In 1756, Sir William Johnson, superintendent of Indian Affairs was asked to set up a trading post.  That same year he a fort built to protect local Oneida families during the French and Indian War.  Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant), Mohawk, gathered forces at Oquaga in an attempt to stop the expansion of European settlements.

Family Member Profile:

William Marcus Wormuth – Uncle Marcus – son of Thomas James Wormuth and Fanny B. Hulse – was born 16 Jan 1892 in Peakville, Delaware County, NY.  He died 26 Aug 1956 in Harvard, Delaware Co. and is buried in the Harvard Cemetery.  He remained a bachelor all his life.
He worked for and lived with John D. Houck and Nancy Wormuth Houck on Houck Mountain.  Nancy was his sister as was my grandmother, Margaret Eleanor Wormuth Beismer.
He was my great uncle but I remember him as Uncle Marcus.  I remember him as taller than his sisters, handsome and pleasant, but shy and quiet.
I’ve only seen one photograph of Uncle Marcus.  He was standing in either a hay wagon or a manure wagon.  My mother had a copy but it was lost, possibly in a roof leak.  If anyone has any photos of him, I’d appreciate and would pay for a copy.

SoftwareAncestral Quest

You may have read that I recently purchased Ancestral Quest to replace PAF (Personal Ancestry File) which is no longer being supported.  I was nervous about how well my database would migrate into Ancestral Quest and was very happy that there were no problems and the process was very quick.  Ancestral Quest appears to be modelled on PAF, many screens and reports are identical and it has many enhancements that I’m only beginning to discover.  I will report on features that I find useful.  I’ve applied to be an affiliate and will shortly have a link to their web site where you can purchase the software.  It’s very reasonable and easy to install and use.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I discovered an index card today, written in someone else's hand, with notes of connections between relatives and relatives of relatives.  I have no idea who gave it to me or when.

I admit it; I'm a sloppy note taker and very disorganized.  

I also recently discovered a photo of my paternal grandfather that I've had for years.  I don't remember ever seeing it.  I didn't know I had it but I do remember other items in the envelop I found it in.  The photo is attached to my grandfather's enlistment card.

Over the years, many people have given or sent me notes, photographs, newspaper clippings.  I have boxes and files full of things.

Over the years, I've visited a lot of people who have spent time talking to me, giving me information about relatives and ancestors.  I've taken notes, returned home and looked at the notes weeks and months later and not been able to figure out what I'd written, or who I'd visited or when.

Sometimes, I'm able to piece together these things and fill in holes in family trees and take another step forward in the family history.  Sometimes, I have to put the note back into a file folder or envelop and hope I'll figure it out later.

I apologize globally to all who have contributed to the information I have on my families, for being so disorganized that I can't always remember who gave me what.


Get yourself a plan together, a routine for research, for taking notes.

If nothing else, whenever you're working, visiting somebody, looking at some kind of record, use the basic journalistic practice of writing down:  Who, What, When Where.  Sometimes you need to record How and/or Why, as well.

Whether you use spiral notebooks, a 3-ring binder, loose note paper, when you begin, write down, on the top of the page:  Date, Place, Title of Resource, Name of Person Spoken to, etc.

As you take notes - write down the surname of individuals discussed.  Draw a miniature family tree chart.

Use separate pieces of paper for different surnames.

When you get home, look over the notes briefly to be sure you know what you've got, then file them in surname file folders.

This index card I've found has mostly given (first) names related to the writer's "Dad".  Since I don't know who gave the card to me, I don't know who the Dad was.  Fortunately, there are a few surnames given and some are familiar, although not directly related.

The next few blogs will be about a filing system, correspondence and genealogy etiquette.

I really would appreciate your comments.  I'm sure you have methods and practices that would be helpful to me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Switching Software

I'm definitely a creature of habit and I like my routines and familiar tools.

But, every once in a while, something changes that you can't avoid and you have to make a change:  new dentist, new hair cutter, new software.

I've used PAF, Personal Ancestral File, the Mormon family history software, for decades.  I first acquired it because it was free and it proved to provide everything I need and it improved over time.  I did try another software for a very short time, for whatever reason.  It was inexpensive but had more of a learning curve than I wanted and it also linked my database to a well-known online genealogy site that I pay to use, and appreciate, but I don't have any interest in supplying them free data.  So I uninstalled it.

I used to have my own free family history web site with charts, photos and lots of information but encountered someone who appeared to want to exploit my data for personal profit and that same genealogy web site clearly data-mined my site and sent me emails wanting to sell me back data that, as far as I knew already, only I had.  So, I deleted all my online files and deleted that site membership.

I use a couple of online genealogy sites that allow you to upload your GEDCOM - genealogical database files - and control access to your own data.  My membership in one has lapsed to I don't have access to my own data now and updating the database is not easily done.  More on that later.

Most recently, I've been migrating my data files to my new laptop.  You can't migrate your software applications; you have to install them on your new system.  So, I visited the Mormon FamilySearch site to get the latest edition of PAF only to discover that it's no longer supported.  This has happened before and within a few years, PAF is downloadable at the Mormon site again.  Still, I can't wait, I have work to do.  The edition I have on my old laptop was downloaded, no discs.  The last edition I have on disc is way too old and is not compatible with Windows 8 which is the operating system I have now.  So, what to do?

FamilySearch, the Mormon genealogy site, with some effort in finding it, has a list of both free and commercial software available.  I went to the site of a couple of them but it was obvious, right away that Ancestral Quest is, more or less, a new edition of PAF, with with a few bells and whistles.

Ancestral Quest is very inexpensive, under $30, and easy to use.  I was very concerned about migrating my database file into the new software but it worked easily and, so far, foolproof - no errors. I'm happy with it so far and have already added quite a few records to my database through AQ, added a database to compile some work for a friend and printed out a substantial number of reports from mine and her databases.

I highly recommend Ancestral Quest as a basic genealogical software application, and beyond.