Diggin' up Dead People

A Genealogy Blog

Week 30: Challenging: Smith: Thomas and Charles

This weeks post for the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge is focused on the theme: challenging. I have a lot of ancestors that are challenging to research, but probably not on more challenging than my Smith ancestors.

Smith is the name that pops up a couple of times and my tree, unrelated (at least as far as I know!).

The first time I encountered a Smith, it was in Brooklyn, New York. The record was a marriage between Mary Louisa Smith and Benjamin Bourne.

490 Bourne Smith marriage-1

Her parents names were identified on the marriage certificate: mother was Harriet Vitty and father Thomas D Smith. Great, Thomas Smith. Well I suppose it could’ve been worse; he could’ve been named John! I was grateful to see that Mary Louisa had been born in Olive, Ulster County, New York. Surely Ulster County couldn’t have that many Smiths. And to even whittle it down further I had a town! It was my good fortune that I was able to find the correct family fairly easily in Olive. That wasn’t too bad. However, several of the oldest children had been born in New York City. And after finding them in Olive in the censuses for 1850 and 1855, in 1860, there they were, back again, in the city! So, after my elation that Mary had been born in a small town in upstate New York, relatively easy to find, here I was again looking for Smith in the city. Nearly the entire family disappears after the 1860 census. Mary Louise and her mother Harriet both reappear first in the marriage record of Mary to Benjamin in 1872 and then in the 1875 census. The rest of the family as a complete unit is missing or separated after the 1860 census. Thomas and Harriet were parents to at least 9 children.

Mary Louise is my line and I have been able to follow her forward.Here is the post about her.

One daughter, Jane, is with Harriet in 1880, then, she too goes missing. It is possible she married in the time period between 1880 and 1900 US census.

In the 1880 US census, I have found Harriet and Thomas’ son (and Mary Louise’s brother) George Smith. It appears he likely married in Brooklyn in 1873.

The other six to eight children are a mystery.

In addition, I have no idea what happened to Thomas. Did he die? Did he move away? Could he have possibly even returned to England? Cross-referencing city directories to censuses it appears Thomas may have died sometime between 1862 and 1875.

Ancestry.com, New York, State Census, 1875 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013), Ancestry.com, Record for Clara Bowen.

Ancestry.com, New York, State Census, 1875 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013), Ancestry.com, Harriet is a widow and a boarder in the household of Edward Clarke.

Finding Thomas D Smith before 1845 has been equally challenging. I have made little headway finding out who his parents were, where he was before he married Harriet, or when he came to America from England. Census records report he was born in England. It appears there is a Thomas D Smith indexed as being naturalized in 1838. This bears further research.

For what I have found about Thomas so far:

Thomas Smith



Where is Thomas has been difficult to research, my other Smith is been proving near impossible to find. Benjamin Bourne (first husband of Mary Louise Smith), mother’s name was Sarah Maria Smith. (There is no evidence at all that Mary and Sarah are related.)   Sarah Maria names her father both on her church marriage record to Benjamin Aaron Bourne and on her marriage license for her second marriage to Daniel Van Brunt. In both documents she provides the name as Charles Smith. On her death certificate, her son-in-law provides the name John Smith as father to Sarah. It is more likely Sarah herself knew the correct name of her own father, so it is likely Charles Smith.

Sarah also provides in several censuses that she was born about 1830 in Florida. Specifically, Pensacola, Escambia County. There is a Charles Smith enumerated in the 1830 census at that place. The information asked and provided in the 1830 census is scant, and it is not possible to definitively say that is Charles, father to Sarah. I’ve not found any additional records for Charles in that place.

Charles was in some way gone by the 1850 census. The Brooklyn schedule shows Sarah’s mother, Eleanor (Ellen) [nee Hardenburg] is enumerated with her second husband John Bonner. Eleanor, and her other children were born in New York. Why does Sarah have a Florida birthplace? Was Charles from there? Was he involved in some sort of transportation or shipping occupation? Again, the Smith man leaves more questions than answers!

So in addition to being my submission for the theme “Challenging” this post is blatant cousin-bait. If you think you may be related to my Smiths, or if you think you may have found info on my Smiths while in process of researching your own, I’d love to hear from you!

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Snow

In this week’s 52 Ancestors submission I linked back to a post about William Merkel. I took another look at that post, made on March 6, and I am happy to report that as of earlier this week the snow has melted! Yes, that’s right the Boston snow field was declared officially all melted on July 14, 2015. Here’s to hoping the 2015-2016 winter is NOT like its predecessor! (and please not worse!)

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Week 29: Musical: Sebastian Baechle

This week’s theme in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Week’s Challenge is musical.  Since I have no known direct line ancestors that were singers, musicians, etc, I decided to go with a name that reminds me of someone musical.  So, although I have no known connection to Johann Sebastian Bach, I do have a Sebastian Baechle in my line!

Like the famous Sebastian born in 1685, my Sebastian was born in Germany, albeit about a century later.  Sebastian Baechle is first found in records of German Marriages.  Married to Caecilia Hoch at Forbach, Baden in 1809, Sebastian was likely born about 1780-1790. (Caecilia Hoch may be the same Maria Caecilia Hoch born at Forbach in 1789)

How I have traced back to Sebastian:

William Merkel, (born in 1857), married Magdalena Maier.  He provided the names of his parents: Egidius Merkel and Mary Goetz.  These names are supported also by the Germay birth record database.

In the database of selected German marriages, the record for Egid Merkel and Maria Anna Goetz provides his birthdate (1835) and parents Florian Merkel and Rosalia Baech.  For the same birthdate, in the Germany birth record database, a record has been found for Egidius Merkel born to Florian Merkel and Rosalia Baechle.

Rosalia Baechle’s marriage record to Florian Merkel gives her parents as Sebastian Baechle and Maria Zaezilia Hoch.  Though that record did not give Rosalie’s birth date, the marriage took place in 1833.  A birth and a baptism record for Rosalie Baechle shows she was born in 1810 to Sebastian Baechle and Caecilia Hoch.  This makes sense, she would have been 23 at the time of her marriage.

Birth records have been found for 5 children born to Sebastian and Caecilia: Rosalia, Carolus, Johann Beata, Walburga and Josephus.  While the first four were all born between 1810 and 1815, Josephus was not born until 9 years later in 1824.  The large gap in dates suggests that more children may have been perhaps miscarried, stillborn or the possibility of other unrecorded or unindexed births.  This, as well as the parents of Sebastian are areas I would like to research further.


I’ve relied heavily on these sources for my German research.  They are index sources (and in English!) to the original records that I hope to view in the future:

“Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898.” Index. FamilySearchhttp://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Index based on data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929.” Index. FamilySearchhttp://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.

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Week 28: Road Trip: Aaron Bourne

Amy Johnson Crow at the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge offers the theme “Road Trip” for week 28.  A possible takes on the theme is ancestors who you would like to take a road trip to research further.  Aaron Bourne is one of the many ancestors I’d like to take the trip to research further.  I chose him for the focus of this blog because Maine is a day trip road trip for me and achievable in the near future.

Snip20150710_7

In Week 15, I wrote about my 3rd great grandfather, Benjamin Aaron Bourne.  In that post, I introduced the possibility of Benjamin’s father being Aaron Bourn.  Since the time of that post, I have found the church register of the marriage of Benjamin to Sarah.  That record gives the father’s names of the couple, and confirmed that Aaron is the father of Benjamin.  I’d like to learn more about Aaron Bourn and siblings of Benjamin.  What I have found suggests Aaron and Esther had eight children.

Benjamin Bourne was born c. 1820 in Wells, York Co, Maine. He married Sarah Maria Smith, in 1845 in New York. He, and his wife and child, is enumerated in the 1850 US census in Wells, York Co, Maine in the household of James Mariner, his wife, Mary (Bourne) Mariner, their children and Asa Bourne[1]. The 1850 census does not provide relationship information.  Is Benjamin the brother of Mary and Asa?

Benjamin died in 1894 in Newtown, Queens, NY- his place of birth is listed as Wells, Maine. There are no names given in the parent section- just location- Wells, Maine for his birth as well as that of his parents[2].

Mary Bourne, born c. 1813, married James Mariner. Mary Mariner in addition to the 1850 census, she is listed with James and daughters Clarinda and Georgianna in the 1860 US Census[3]. After James’ death, Mary remarried to Charles Hubbard.  Mary died in 1901. She is buried at Oceanview Cemetery in Wells, York, Maine[4]. Mary’s maiden name was found in the marriage record of her daughter Clarinda Marriner[5], and the death record of her daughter Georgianna[6]. A death record for Mary shows her parents names as Benjamin Bourne and Esther Coverton.[7]

Asa Bourne, born c. 1822, married Christine Jordan, and died in 1894 in Waltham, Middlesex Co, MA. Asa’s death record lists his parents as Aaron and Esther (no maiden given) Bourne, similarly the marriage record lists Aaron and Hester Bourn[8].  He is buried in Wells at the Oceanview Cemetery.

A family genealogy was found by a volunteer researcher in the Historical Society of Wells and Ogunquit Historical Society Family Binder. (undated- author is unknown). This document lists the children of Aaron Bourn (1777-1845) and Esther Coverdale as:

  1. Joseph
  2. Moses
  3. Aaron
  4. Capt Asa H b. 1822
  5. Benjamin
  6. Mary b.1864/5 [this is clearly in error as it gives marriage to James 1840.]
  7. Harriet
  8. Eliza Jane

[Fact checking of this genealogy is ongoing. Certain details have been found to be in error- eg Asa death place is incorrectly provided as Wells, though the date is correct. The source of the information for Aaron’s family is undocumented. Much of the information of the generations prior to Aaron can also be found in the sourced family genealogy: “The Family of Captain John Bourne of Wells and Kennebunk, Maine: Ships and Shipwrights”[9]]

I’ve found a death record for Eliza J Bourne Brown, widow of Joseph A Brown, that lists her parents as Joseph Bourne of Wells ME, and Esther Coverdale of MD.[10]

I am hoping a road trip to Wells, Maine, possibly this summer, may provide more clues and answers.


References:

[1]1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), Ancestry.com, Year: 1850; Census Place: Wells, York, Maine; Roll: M432_274; Page: 162A; Image: 323. Record for Mary Marriner.

[2] New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1948 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), Ancestry.com, Record for Benjamin Bourne.

[3] 1860 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), Ancestry.com, Year: 1860; Census Place: Wells, York, Maine; Roll: M653_449; Page: 1035; Image: 465; Family History Library Film: 803449. Record for Mary Marince.

[4] New England Historic Genealogical Register, “Inscriptions at Wells, ME” Vol. 92; p338. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2013.). Mary, wife of James, died Jan 24, 1901, aged 88 yrs, 11 mos. http://www.americanancestors.org/databases/new-england-historical-and-genealogical-register/image/?volumeId=11625&pageName=339&rId=237475275.

[5] Maine, Marriage Records, 1713-1937 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), Ancestry.com, Maine State Archives; Augusta, Maine, USA; 1892-1907 Vital Records; Roll #: 25. Record for Clarinda K Marriner.

[6] Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013), Ancestry.com, Record for Georgiana Mariner.

[7]  York,ME, death record no. 9 (1901), Mary Hubbard; Maine State Archives, Augusta.

[8] Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013), Ancestry.com, Waltham, Middlesex, MA. Deaths reported in 1888. Line number 284. Record for Asa H Bourne.

Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011). Marriages reported in 1854.  Page 228, entry 318, Asa Bourn and Christiana Jordan.

[9] Eaton, Priscilla, CG “The Family of Captain John Bourne of Wells and Kennebunk, Maine: Ships and Shipwrights” published in the Maine Genealogist, beginning Vol. 31, p 25. Available on New England Historic Genealocial Society website http://www.americanancestors.org.

[10] Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Deaths reported in 1900, entry 1131, Eliza J Bourne Brown.

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Week 27: Independent: Frederick Duryee

For the week of July 2-8, the optional theme for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge is “Independent”.  I’ve chosen to highlight Frederick Duryee.  Frederick was a Private in the War for Independence.


My Week 26 submission focused on my 4th great grandmother Maria Duryea.  Frederick Duryee is Maria’s likely father, and I have briefly addressed why I am working under this supposition in that post.  If any reader has any additional information to either prove or disprove this theory I’d be eager to connect and share information.  This is a brick wall that I think I’ve found but a small crack to look through to see the other side. There are still a lot of questions about Frederick and his family.


Frederick Duryee was born on 8 Apr 1755 in Blawenburg, New Jersey. He was baptized on 11 May 1755 at New Brunswick Church in Blawenburg. New Jersey was not yet a state at the time of Frederick’s birth and baptism, therefore he was born in the territory known as British America.

As Frederick was growing up, the colonies were rebelling and making preparations for war. As he came of age the Congress was calling for troops.

IN THE following resolutions from the Journal of Congress, October 9th, 1775, is the first call on New Jersey for Continental troops:

Resolved, That it be recommended to the Convention of New Jersey that they immediately raise, at the expense of the continent, two battalions, consisting of eight companies each, and each company of sixty-eight privates, officered with one captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, four serjeants, and four corporals.”That the privates be inlisted for one year, at the rate of five dollars per calendar month, liable to be discharged at any time on allowing them one month’s pay extraordinary.”That each of the privates be allowed, instead of a bounty, one felt hat, a pair of yarn stockings, and a pair of shoes: the men to find their own arms.”That the pay of the officers, for the present, be the same as that of the officers in the present Continental Army; and in case the pay of the officers in the army is augmented, the pay of the officers in these battalions shall, in like manner, be augmented from the time of their engaging in the service.”

Library of Congress digital file from color film copy transparency  http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b52205

Library of Congress
digital file from color film copy transparency
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b52205

Frederick served in the military as a Private in the American Revolution in 1775-1783 in New Jersey, United States. Records show he served in Middlesex, however, the exact dates of Frederick’s service are unknown.

Frederick married Charity (Geerity) Sutphen in about 1774. Their first 2 children were born in New Jersey.

Sometime after his service, Frederick and his family moved to New York. Their progression through New York is unclear, but it appears that they were in the Schenectady and Amsterdam area for a time before moving west to Cayuga county. Youngest daughter Maria was born in 1795, reportedly in Montgomery county; tax records place Frederick in the county in 1799.
Frederick paid taxes on real estate and personal property in 1799 in Amsterdam, Montgomery, New York, United States. Frederick Duryee was assessed on his house and farm.

Ancestry.com, Frederick Duryee, Montgomery, Amsterdam, 1799. Folder 1, sheet 2. House and Farm; Real estate: 625.50; personal estate:129, taxes .75

Ancestry.com, Frederick Duryee, Montgomery, Amsterdam, 1799. Folder 1, sheet 2.
House and Farm; Real estate: 625.50; personal estate:129, taxes .75

Frederick moved his family to Cayuga county and bought land near Owasco Lake. The homestead passed to his sons, with whom he lived at the time of his death. He died on 15 Sep 1832 at the age of 77.(There is some dispute as to the date- some sources provide the year 1831, and also the month is reported at times to be December).



Bibliography

“New York, Tax Assessment Rolls of Real and Personal Estates, 1799-1804.” Database online. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com: 2015.

Biographical Review Publishing Company. Biographical Review: this volume contains biographical sketches of the leading citizens of Cayuga County, New York. Boston: Biographical Review Pub. Co., 1894. Digital images. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. Ancestry. http://www.ancestry.com : 2015.

D.A.R., National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Application files. DAR Library, Washington, DC.

Liew, Van Thomas L, compiler. Genealogy and annals of the Van Liew Family in America: from the year 1670 down to the present time; and a brief record of a few familiies with whom the Van Liew family intermarried.. 1910. Reprint, Lexington, KY: Yale University Library, 2013.

Osmun, Lillian Duryee, compiler. Duryee Genealogy 1638-1917. New London, Ohio: Perrins Brenestul, 1917. FHL microfilm FHL film# 1421669, item# 2. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Stryker, William S. Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War. Newark: Wm T. Nicholson & Co., 1872. Digital images. New Jersey State Library. Searchable Publications. http://www.njstatelib.org/research_library/new_jersey_resources/searchable_publications/ : 2015.

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Week 26: Halfway: Maria Duryea

Week 26 marks the halfway point in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge set by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small.  She suggests that for this halfway point we use “Halfway” as a theme for this post.  Marie/a Duryee/a is an ancestor I’ve only halfway researched at best.

Find A Grave Memorial# 70001428  Photo used with permission from findagrave member Maureen.

Find A Grave Memorial# 70001428
Photo used with permission from findagrave member Maureen.

I posted in week 5″Plowing Through” about my ancestor John W Hall.  John married Maria Duryea.  Together they had 11 children, 10 of whom I have identified.  Marie’s name was sometimes written as Mary, Marie, and most often that I’ve found, Maria.  Her maiden name was Duryee or Duryea. In the 1875 census after John W Hall’s death she is simply Mrs. Hall, living with her son John P Hall.  Her tombstone inscription gives her age at death as 83 years, 1 month, 8 days and gives date of death as 14 November 1878. Calculated, she was born about 6 Oct 1795, in Montgomery county New York.  No record of birth, baptism, marriage or death has been found.

Except of the 1865 Enumeration John W Hall Family, “New York State Census, 1865,” Charleston, ED 02, Montgomery, New York, digital image, Familysearch, http://www.familysearch.org, accessed 16 Aug 2011, population schedule, ED 02, image 4/29, p. 7, dwelling 44, family 48, John W Hall.

Except of the 1865 Enumeration John W Hall Family

I’ve not been able to conclusively prove her parents, although it is likely they were Frederick Duryee and Geerity Sutphen.  This is my working theory and it is supported by:

  • DAR application materials for several descendants of Frederick through Marie/a’s siblings, listing a daughter Marie or Maria, [sometimes with the name “Polly” as a nickname or middle name] for Frederick.  Most are unsourced (as Marie was not the descendant of interest to prove for DAR membership).  However I have also found one including a family bible transcript providing for a Maria Duryee born 12 Oct 1795 to Frederick Duryee.
  • Those same DAR files also provide that Marie/a married John Hall.
  • Frederick Duryee is found in Montgomery county in 1799 tax assessments.  Maria was reportedly born in Montgomery county per New York State census records.
  • I have a DNA match through Ancestry DNA that seems to only share as common ancestors: Frederick Duryee and Geerity Sutphen.  She is descended through one of Maria’s assumed siblings.

That said, although I have reasonable circumstantial evidence to propose the case for Frederick and Geerity Duryee as Maria’s parents, I am less than halfway there to prove it.


Edith (Van Heusen) Becker in collaboration with Melvin W. Lethbridge, “Tombstone Inscriptions, Montgomery County, NY,” Cemetery on the Glen-Riders Corners Road, Glen, Montgomery County, N.Y.  Map No. 20., New York Geneological and Biographical Record, Vol. 60, No. 2, Apr 1929, 191.

“New York State Census, 1865,” Charleston, ED 02, Montgomery, New York, digital image, Familysearch, http://www.familysearch.org, accessed 16 Aug 2011, population schedule, ED 02, image 4/29, p. 7, dwelling 44, family 48, John W Hall.

Membership applications, Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Library, 1776 D Street NW  Washington, D.C. 20006.

Ancestry.com. New York, Tax Assessment Rolls of Real and Personal Estates, 1799-1804 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

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Week 25: The Old Homestead: Thearon Archer Richards

The week 25 prompt for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge is “The Old Homestead”.  Immediately, Winfield Scott Richards, written about in Week 7, comes to mind.  He had received land in Michigan via the Homestead Act of 1862 .  His son, Thearon Archer Richards spent some of his youth on this land.

The Homestead Act:

Signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862, the Homestead Actencouraged Western migration by providing settlers 160 acres of public land. In exchange, homesteaders paid a small filing fee and were required to complete five years of continuous residence before receiving ownership of the land. After six months of residency, homesteaders also had the option of purchasing the land from the government for $1.25 per acre. The Homestead Act led to the distribution of 80 million acres of public land by 1900. (Library of Congress website)

Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints© Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.  All use is subject to the limited), Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Higgins, Roscommon, Michigan; Roll: 601; Family History Film: 1254601; Page: 623C; Enumeration District: 287; Image: 0450. Record for Scott Richards.

Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints© Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited), Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Higgins, Roscommon, Michigan; Roll: 601; Family History Film: 1254601; Page: 623C; Enumeration District: 287; Image: 0450. Record for Scott Richards.

Though reportedly born in New York in 1873, the earliest record that I have found that shows young Thearon is the 1880 United States Census for Michigan.  In this document his father Winfield Scott Richards is enumerated as Scott Richards, his mother, Mary Elizabeth Richards is enumerated as Elizabeth, and Thearon is recorded as Thrody.  Finding this record was a challenge to say the least!

Now knowing that Thearon was an adopted child of Winfield Scott and Mary Elizabeth, I am very curious to find out where Thearon had come from.  Did they adopt him as an infant in New York prior to the move to Michigan?  Was he the child of a neighbor, friend or relative?  Could he have been an orphan train rider?  These questions remain unanswered.

In 1892, the New York State census records Thearon with Mary and his brother Charles in Rochester, New York.  He is working as a shoemaker.  This will be his lifelong occupation, much of the time he worked at the Sherwood Shoe Company as a shoe cutter.

Rochester Chamber of Commerce.  "The Book of Industrial Rochester" published 1919, New York.  available http://www.libraryweb.org/~digitized/books/Book_of_Industrial_Rochester.pdf

Rochester Chamber of Commerce. “The Book of Industrial Rochester” published 1919, New York. available http://www.libraryweb.org/~digitized/books/Book_of_Industrial_Rochester.pdf

In 1896, Thearon Richards married Sophia Wombwell at the Chuch of the Epiphany in Rochester, New York.  Between 1898 and 1904 they had 3 children, Raymond, Florence and Edna (week 14).

The 1917 WWI draft registration card provides a physical description on Thearon.

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Database online. Registration Location: Monroe County, New York; Roll: 1818804; Draft Board: 3. Record for Thearon Archer Richards.

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Database online. Registration Location: Monroe County, New York; Roll: 1818804; Draft Board: 3. Record for Thearon Archer Richards.

Therein died suddenly at home on 14 December 1945 from a heart attack.  He was laid to rest at Mt Hope Cemetery in Rochester.

Photo by Karen Ramon.

Photo by Karen Ramon.

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Week 24: Heirloom: Viola Serviss

Amy Johnson Crow’s suggested theme for week 24 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge is Heirloom:

What heirloom do you treasure? Who gave it to you? What heirloom do you wish you had?

IMG_0033

My most treasured heirloom is not particularly old, but it holds special meaning for me.  It has been extensively researched and discovered that the olfactory sense is closely linked with memories.  Smells can be deeply ingrained and transport us back to the past.  The remains of perfume left in my late mother’s compact are capable of that for me.

Snip20150704_3

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Week 23: Wedding: Mary Louisa Smith Bourne Johnson

In the week 23 prompt for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Amy Johnson Crow suggests the theme “Wedding”.  In the week 22 entry I profiled Clara Jane Bowen and mentioned her mother Mary L Smith’s two husbands.

Mary Louise Smith was born in Olive, Ulster county, New York in 1856.  Her parents were Harriet Vitty (week 4) and Thomas Smith.  The relocation of the Smith family to Olive from New York City was a short one, and by 1860 the family was back in the city.  In 1872, Mary married Benjamin Aaron Bourne (son of the Benjamin Aaron Bourne (week 15) and Sarah Maria Smith (week 13)) [Smith appears to be a common name but no relation has been found].

490 Bourne Smith marriage-1

Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, marriage certificate, no. 855, (1872), “Benjamin Aaron Bourne-Mary Louise Smith,” New York City Municipal Archives, New York, New York.

The nuptials were perhaps less than fabulous, because in 1875 Mary is enumerated along with her two young daughters and mother as a boarder in the household of Edward Clarke.  In 1880, she is listed as the wife of Thomas Johnson.  She and the girls are enumerated along with another daughter (born in 1876), her mother is enumerated at the same address.  No marriage record has been found. So perhaps this is the wedding that wasn’t.

Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), Ancestry.com, Year: 1900; Census Place: Union, Tioga, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1490; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0155; FHL microfilm: 1241490.

Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), Ancestry.com, Year: 1900; Census Place: Union, Tioga, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1490; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0155; FHL microfilm: 1241490.

The 1900 census asks number of years married.  Although Thomas is not enumerated with Mary in 1900, she is listed as married for 28 years.  This correlates with her first, documented marriage to Benjamin Bourne.  This further supports the theory that Mary and Thomas never officially married.

Mary is enumerated with one of her daughters in 1910, (where she is listed as widowed)  but then disappears for the 1920 and 1930 US censuses.  She died in Brooklyn in 1931 at Kings County Hospital.  She was 75 years old.  She is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.  There is no indication of any husband eternally resting with her.

1931 Johnson, Mary death 1

City of New York, Borough of Brooklyn, Standard Certificate of Death, no. 2990, (1931), “Mary L Johnson,” New York City Municipal Archives, New York, New York, [certified copy in possession of researcher], Mary L Johnson, New York City Municipal Archives.

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Week 22: Commencement: Clara Jane Bowen

For the Week 22 optional theme of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, Amy Johnson Crow offers “Commencement”.  She suggests “Countless schools will be having their commencement ceremonies around this time. Think not only about school, but also about commencement meaning ‘a beginning.'”  I haven’t found a school commencement or graduation in my tree to write about this week, so I will go with the “beginning” take on the theme.

Ancestry.com, New York, State Census, 1875 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013), Ancestry.com, Record for Clara Bowen.

Ancestry.com, New York, State Census, 1875 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013), Ancestry.com, Record for Clara Bowen.

Clara Jane Bowen began her life in about 1873.  In the 1875 New York State census, she is the eldest child of Mary Bowen, and has a sister Mary.  Her father is not enumerated with the family, though her mother is listed as “now married” not “widowed”.  Her marriage certificate (1889) provides that she is the daughter of Mary L Smith and Thomas Bowen.  The father’s name is contradicted by her death certificate, that provides her father as Benjamin Bowen.  In this case, I believe the death certificate to be the more accurate document, I have found a marriage between Mary and Benjamin prior to the birth of Clara.  It appears that Mary’s later husband’s first name was Thomas.

1889 Serviss, Remsen marriage 2

Remson Serviss/Clara Bowen Marriage Certificate, City of New York Municipal Archives, 31 Chambers Street New York, NY 10007, No. 4760 Kings Co NY.

Clara married young to Remson Serviss. On the marriage certificate she gives her age as 18 yrs, but calculated her age was no more than 16 years.  Clara and Remson had four children, the eldest was son Frank.  Clara was pregnant in 1899 when she died.  She is buried at the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn.  Her son Arthur, who died in infancy in 1894 is buried with her.  She is one of 31 interments in the plot- all others appear to be in some way related to each other and are possibly related to her mother Mary’s husband Thomas.  Clara’s life ended young and there are still plenty of questions and gaps to fill!

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