Saturday, June 21, 2014

From Buffalogen's photo collection - 10

Who are these three children?

Photographer :
Wm. Wunsch
Military Road
Near Amherst Street
Buffalo, N. Y.

William Wunsch, photographer, was on Military Road from 1878 to 1927, and maybe longer.  In the 1887 Buffalo city directory, the photographer's address was Military Road near Amherst; some other years it was 24 Military Road.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Parents of Jemima (Button) Evans

    Jemima Button was the wife of Ora Evans, who probably was born in 1867.  Ora lived in Brookfield, Madison County, New York, when the 1810 census was taken.  The adult female in his household, presumably Jemima, was between 26 and 44 years of age (i.e., born between 1766 and 1784).  There were two John Buttons in Brookfield at that time - John Sr. (born 1749), who married Anna McCoon, and John 2nd (born 1756), who married Betsy Palmer.
    John Sr.’s uncle, Elias Button, a bachelor, who died in Brookfield in 1823, left a will in which he bequeathed his land to his nephews, sons of John Button Sr.  To each of Jemima and Susannah (no last name for either), he left 1/12 of his residual estate and to each of five other females, almost certainly his nieces, daughters of John Sr., 1/6 of his residual estate.  Had Jemima and Susannah already received legacies from Elias?
    According to R. Glen Nye, compiler of Button Families of America (1971), John and Anna had a daughter Jemima, who, he said, married Stephen Carpenter, a lawyer [p. 56].  He also said Jemima’s sister Susanna married someone named Carpenter.  No additional information, such as dates and places, was given and, unfortunately, this undocumented genealogy is full of inaccuracies. 

Elias Button inventory, Madison County NY, file 387, 1824
    A note against Ora Evans and Ora Evans Jun. for $24.50, dated June 4, 1817, was among the assets of Elias’ estate, according to the inventory of Apr. 8, 1824.  It was noted: “A Doubt of its being worth anything.”  The Evans family had relocated to Ohio before the 1820 census was taken, so pursuing the Evanses to collect was not feasible.
    Anna McCoon’s mother was Jemima Ross; she had a brother, Ross McCoon and a son, Ross C. Button.  Among the children of Ora and Jemima were Anna Evans and Ross B. Evans, probably named after Jemima’s mother and brother.
    Is this enough circumstantial evidence to conclude that Jemima’s parents were John and Anna (McCoon) Button? 

Source of image:
Family History Library microfilm 425302

Thursday, June 12, 2014

From Buffalogen's photo collection - 9

Does anyone recognize these people? 

    Captain Manson probably lived near Hull, East Riding, Yorkshire, England.  He was in the shipping business and often stayed with Robert Bartley when he was in the United States.  Robert, a resident of New York City (Manhattan), was a shipping clerk, at various times affiliated with the Wilson line, Wigton and Sons, and Charles L. Wright and Sons.
    The photos of Captain Manson's wife and children were taken in August 1885.

    The photographer was R. T. Watson, Anlaby Road, Hull, by appointment contractor to Her Majesty's Government, and photographer of Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke & Duchess of Edinburgh.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Do you see what I see?

1860 NYC, Ward 5, Dw 187, Fam 805
    Almost forty years ago I found Timothy and Margaret Kiley, in the 1860 census.  They were enumerated in New York City’s 5th Ward.
    That was back in the days when you had to find someone in the city directory, consult maps to find what ward the address was in, rent the microfilm, and scan frame after frame to find what you were looking for.  There were no reader-printers, so you had to write everything down.
    Enumerated were Timothy, Margaret and five children.  Their surname was Killy, not Kiley, but that didn’t bother me too much.  A carelessly written lower case E can look like a lower case L.  Three children were missing, but they would be old enough to have left home.
    Fast forward to 2014.  I wanted to verify what I had recorded by hand of the family entry.   What a difference in how census research is done!  I signed on to and searched for Timothy Killy, born in Ireland, resident of New York City.  To my surprise, I didn’t find him.  So I searched on every other set of parameters I could think of (Margaret, the children’s names, with wild cards, different birth place, etc.),, always with some variation of Killy.  What I didn’t do was go through all the returns when I searched for Timothy with age, birth place, and wife, and no last name.  There were too many.
    Finally, since I had the ward, district, page, dwelling number, and family number, I browsed through the census until I found the entry for Timothy and his family.  Sure enough, there he was–Timothy Killy.  Why wasn’t he indexed?
    Finally, it dawned on me.  The surname looked a little like Hilly.  And Timothy Hilly was how he was indexed.  I had seen what I expected to see (more or less), and someone else had seen something different.

1860 U.S. census, digital image,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The case of the reburied ancestor

    Years ago, when I was very new to genealogy, I tried to find where John Rupp, who died in Buffalo in 1883, was buried.  I contacted all the cemeteries in the Buffalo area and never found him, even though I had his death date.  
    In addition, I couldn't find anything about John's widow, Genovefa, until I discovered she had remarried.  It was when I obtained her probate record and found a receipt for “a foundation in Lot 77, Section QQ,” that I had any luck finding John's grave.     
United G & F Cem., QQ-77, 1985
    I knew the United German & French R.C. Cemetery at Pine Hill in Cheektowaga had sections with names like QQ.  There I found a large monument with RUPP on one side and GOHN on the other and markers for John Rupp, Genovefa Rupp and their son, Louis Rupp.  Markers for Joseph Gohn and his wife, Elizabeth Rupp, and several other Gohn family members were also there.
I revisited the cemetery office to see why they hadn't known about John's interment.  When I identifid the plot, I was told it had been purchased by Joseph Gohn and Ida Rupp in 1891, when Ida's husband, Louis Rupp, died.  Joseph and Ida were Gohn siblings, who were married to Rupp siblings, children of John Rupp.

    According to the section-lot book, which I did not see, John Rupp's remains had been transferred from St. Joseph’s Cemetery, a burial ground on Main Street in Elysville, adjacent to the Erie County Poor House.  The site was owned by St. Joseph’s R.C. Church, which removed the bodies circa 1926 to make way for a school building.
    Had the death records of St. Joseph’s Church not been lost, I probably would have found a record of John’s funeral and initial burial place, since he and Genovefa had been married there in 1853.  There might even have been a note about where his body was reburied.  As for United G & F Cemetery - their interment records are kept chronologically, not by name, so there is no record of John Rupp in 1883, and their plot records are kept under the name of the purchaser, or owner (in this case, probably indexed under Gohn).

    Years later, after the records of the United German  & French Cemetery had been microfilmed, I was able to view the section-lot book and note that there was no date for John's transfer from St. Joseph Cemetery.  His burial was listed between burials in 1891 (Louis) and 1903 (Genovefa).  I searched through the registers of interments from 1883 through 1936 and never found him.  The only record the cemetery has of John Rupp is the undated entry in the secton-lot book.

Photograph from Buffalogen's collection