Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mocavo's records from The History of the Descendants of John Dwght of Dedham, Mass.

I recently searched the Internet for "Horace Dwight Hall" and, to my surprise, up popped a Mocavo record at The record included a scan of the page on which Horace's brief account appeared. 

Wouldn't you think that someone at Mocavo might wonder why a genealogy of the Wright family had a plethora of Dwights and not one Wright? I know - "the computer did it." Nevertheless, aren't there any real people at Mocavo?

Benjamin W. Dwight's The History of the Descendants of John Dwight of Dedham, Mass. (New York: John F. Trow & Son, 1874) is a well-known, two-volume compilation of the family of an early and prolific resident of Dedham. It is this genealogy that was scanned by Mocavo.

I found no way to alert Mocavo to this egregious error.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Robert Harrisons of Charles City & Prince George Counties, Virginia

    The first Robert Harrison of Prince George County about whom anything much is known was Robert I, who was perhaps born circa 1725 and died before 10 February 1789, when his will was presented for probate.1 He married Elizabeth Cureton,2 who was born on 20 January 1726/7, daughter of John Cureton and Frances [Thweatt].3 He is known as Robert of Bicars.
    Robert and Elizabeth had a son, Robert II of Huntington, who was born on 11 February 17554 and died on 8 July 1797.5 He married Henrietta Maria Hardyman,6 daughter of William Hardyman and Angelica Epes,7 and had (among others) Robert Harrison III of Racefield, who married Charlotte Thomas Pretlow.8.
    It has been repeated countless times that Robert I was a member of the Harrison family of Berkeley in Charles City County, son of Benjamin Harrison and Anne Carter. This supposition arose possibly because of Robert’s purchase from Benjamin in 1760 of Bicars, the 600 acre plantation with house and dependencies, orchards and gardens, on Tar Bay on the south side of the James River.9
    Most accounts agree that Robert of Berkeley married Elizabeth Collier, with whom he had a son Collier10 and daughter Ann. According to John Bennett Boddie, his second wife was Beersheba Bryant, with whom he had sons Braxton Harrison and Robert Carter Harrison.11 Another source wrote that the Harrison-Collier children were Collier Harrison (who married first Christina Minge, nee Shields, and second Beersheba Bryant) and Braxton Harrison.12
    Yet another account related that Robert of Berkeley, born circa 1730 and died before 1771, married Elizabeth Collier and had Collier Harrison, who married first Christiana (Shields) Minge, by whom he had Elizabeth Harrison and Collier Harrison who died young. By his second marriage to Beersheba Bryant, Collier had Robert Carter Harrison and Braxton Harrison. Many more instances of tangled relationships abound, both in print and on the Internet.   
    Presented, without proof, on the “The Harrison DNA Project: Patriarchs” website is the lineage below.13

    No mention is made of Henry Harrison (Robert's surviving brother) and Collier Harrison (his son). Obviously, there is a great deal of confusion about Robert of Berkeley, his wife or wives, his children, and grandchildren. 
    A suit, “Harrison, against Harrison and Others,” originally initiated in a lower court of Virginia years earlier as “Syme vs Harrison” and finally settled in the Court of Appeals of Virginia in 1799, provides evidence of the death and parentage of Robert Harrison, the original defendant. In the report of the decision, it was revealed that Robert was dead before 29 October 1770 and that he had brothers Henry and Benjamin, as well as sons Collier (eldest son) and Braxton.14 This suit definitely rules out Robert I's being Robert of Berkeley.
So, who was Robert Harrison I, husband of Elizabeth Cureton?

    It has been suggested that Robert I was the son of an earlier Robert Harrison to whom Benjamin Harrison sold two slaves, Dido and Ned, on 11 June 1736.15 The connection is said to be substantiated by the fact that Robert I had the bill of sale in his possession. This likely progenitor probably lived at Maud's Neck and Swamp Field in Prince George County.
    It would be interesting to see the results of a Y-DNA test for a descendant of Robert Harrison I of Prince George County. Would it connect him to a known patriarch?
     1Robert Harrison, will dated 15 January 1787, proved 10 February 1789 in Prince George County, Virginia, court.
     2Cureton family Bible record, 1717-1812, photocopy and transcript, Library of Virginia Bible records collection, accession no. 29236; digital images, Library of Virginia Digital Library ( : accessed 24 November 2001); currently at ( : accessed 17 August 2015).
     3Cureton family Bible record, 1717-1812.
     4Robert Harrison family Bible record, photocopy and transcript, Library of Virginia Bible Records Collection, accession no. 27394; digital image, Library of Virginia Digital Library (accessed 24 November 2001).
     5Robert Harrison family Bible record.
     6Robert Harrison family Bible record.
     7Dorman, Epes compilation
     8Probably Robert Harrison’s will.
     9Purchase of Bicars from Benjamin Harrison.
   10“Robert Harrison,” memorial 70963725, Find A Grave (accessed 15 August 2015); record by Georgia Girl, June 2011. The location of Robert’s burial was unknown.
   11John Bennett Boddie, Historical Southern Families, volume IX (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogic Pub. Co., 1965), p224.
   12Louise Pequet du Bellet, Some Prominent Virginia Families, p. 506.
   13“The Harrison DNA Project: Patriarchs,” Lineage 34-The James River / Presidential Harrison Line, haplogroup R1b1a2,World  ( : accessed 15 August 2015), 
   14Daniel Call, Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, volume I (Richmond: Thomas Nicholson, 1801), pp. 419-429; digital image, Google Books (accessed 19 August 2015).
   15Lindsay O. Duvall (Rev.), Virginia Colonial Abstracts - Series 2, Vol. 6, Records of Prince George County, Virginia, 1666-1719 (copied and reprinted, Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978).

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Charity (Walbridge) Blodgett

Alexander Village Cemetery, 1982
     Charity Walbridge was born in Stafford, Tolland County, Connecticut, on 1 April 1751, daughter of Ames Walbridge and Margaret (–?–).1 She died in Painesville, Geauga (now Lake) County, Ohio, on 3 December 1822, notice of her death appearing in the Painesville Telegraph of 4 December 1822:  "Died yesterday morning, widow Charity Blodgett, age 65 yrs.2 She married in the First Congregational Church of Stafford on 6 February 1777 Caleb Blodgett,3 who was born in Stafford on 20 September 1751, son of Samuel Blodgett and Hannah (–?–)4 and died on 25 October 1813,5 probably in Alexander, Genesee County, New York.6   
    Caleb was buried in Alexander Village Cemetery, where there is a gravestone and DAR marker.7 There is also a stone for Charity, although her place of burial has not been ascertained.8
    Caleb and Charity had at least eleven children, including a daughter Charity, who was born in Randolph, Orange County, Vermont, on 9 September 17909 and died in 1841.10 She married first Burnham Lyman11 (1780-1828) and second Lomer Griffin12 (1772 - 1878).
     A photograph of the gravestone of Charity Blodgett Lyman-Griffin, who is identified as the daughter of Caleb and Charity, is posted on Find A Grave. She died 1 May 1841 and was buried in Old Kingsville Corners Cemetery in Kingsville, Ashtabula County, Ohio.13 The inscription, somewhat difficult to decipher, appears to be: “Charity/ wife of/ Lormer Griffin/ Died/ May 1, 1841/ Æ 57 Yrs./ 3 Mos & 15 Days.”

    The photograph of Charity Griffin’s gravestone appears on several Ancestry Family Trees as the icon for Charity (Walbridge) Blodgett. Why?

     1Lucius Barnes Barbour Collection [of Births, Marriages, and Deaths from Connecticut Town Records to ca. 1850], Stafford, vol. 2, p. 7, Charity Walbridge, 1751..
     2Judy J. Stebbins, Guide to the Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph, 1822-1829 (Willoughby, Ohio: Genealogical Research Co., 1982), item 94.
     3L. Belle Gorton, Records of the First Congregational Church, Stafford, Connecticut, 1757-1817 (copied by L. Belle Gorton for Connecticut Society of Colonial Dames of America), Marriages, p. 53, Caleb Blogget and Charity Wallbridge, 1777; microfilm of 110 page photostat copy in the Connecticut State Library in Hartford, Connecticut; FHL microfilm1013276, item 10.
     4Edwin A. Blodgett, Ten Generations of Blodgetts in America (revised edition, Barre, Vermont: Modern Printing Co., Inc., 1969), p. 37. Also "Connecticut Births and Christenings, 1649-1906," database, FamilySearch (accessed 24 August 2015), Caleb Bloggett, Stafford, Tolland County, 20 September 1751; no microfilm source cited.
     5Alexander (New York) Village Cemetery, Caleb Blodgett gravestone inscription copied and photographed in October 1982 by Irene Marks Rupp.
     6New York, Genesee County, probate records, orders 1809-1841, volume 1, p. 46, widow’s dower laid off to Charity Blodgett (part of lots 4 and 2, section 14, township 11, range 2; i.e., Town of Alexander); digital image 29/500, FamilySearch (accessed 24 August 2015); FHL microfilm 811136.
     7“Caleb Blodgett,” memorial 18102482, Find A Grave (accessed 23 August 2015); record by Donna Ruhland Bonning, February, 2007; photograph taken July 2011 by Edward Toy.
     8“Charity Walbridge Blodgett,” memorial 22438123, Find A Grave (accessed 23 August 2015); record by Dawn L. Pocock-Dilcher, October 2007; photograph (taken October 1982) added by Irene Marks Rupp.
     9“Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908,” database and images, (accessed 23 August 2015), entry for Charity Blodget, Randolph, 1790; original data, State of Vermont,Vermont Vital Records through 1870; New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.
    10“Charity Blodgett Lyman- Griffin,” memorial 51291746, Find A Grave (accessed 23 August 2015); record by Suzanne Thayne, April 2010; photograph by Nancy LoomisPhillips, August 2010.
    11“Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988,” database and images, (accessed 23 August 2015), entry for Charity Blodgett and Burnham Lyman, Chester, 9 September 1807; citing Holbrook Research Institute, “Chester Marriages,” Massachusetts Vital and Town Records (Provo, Utah), p. 125.
    12"Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013," database with images, FamilySearch (accessed 24 August 2015), Lomer Griffin and Charity Lyman, Concord, Geauga County, 13 April 1831; citing FHL microfilm 20,256.
    13“Charity Blodgett Lyman- Griffin,” memorial 51291746, Find A Grave.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lewis P. Johnson & the 1910 Census

     In 1910 the Lewis P. Johnson family resided in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey, where they were enumerated as Lewis P. Johnson (head, white, 49, first marriage, married 30 years, born in New York, father born in England, mother born in New York, salesman, stationery), Ethel E. Johnson (wife, white, 48, first marriage, married 30 years, mother of 4 children, 2 still alive, born in New York, parents born in New York, no occupation), Ethel M. Baird (daughter, white, 25, first marriage, married 4 years, born in New York, parents born in New York, no occupation), and Ira B. Baird (son-in-law, white, 30, first marriage, married 4 years, born in New Jersey, parents born in New Jersey, adjuster, bank).1's index indicated in parentheses “Mulatto” for all four members of the Johnson household. The census is very legible and clearly has “W” in the “Color or race” column for each of them. The reason for the error is obvious; the individual enumerated on the line immediately before Lewis P. Johnson was marked “Mu.” Buffalogen reported the inaccuracy in the index to on 19 June 2015 via “Report issue,” but no correction had been made as late as 27 August 2015.
    Buffalogen will continue to monitor this record.

     11910 U.S. census, Hudson County, New Jersey, population schedule, Jersey City, Ward 9, ED 180, p. 159 (sheet 1A), dwelling 7, family 9, Lewis P. Johnson; digital image, (accessed 19 June 2015); citing FHL microfilm 1,374,905.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Charles Harrison Marks & the Battle of New Market

    This battle of the Civil War was fought against the northern troops by a small Confederate unit on 15 May 1864 at New Market, Shenandoah County, VA. Cadets from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington were recruited to augment the Confederate forces and 257 fought in the battle. The south prevailed and the north’s line retreated. Ten cadets died on the field or of their injuries and forty-five were wounded.   
    Among the New Market cadets was Charles Harrison Marks of Prince George County VA, Class of 1867.  After the evacuation of Richmond in April 1865, he joined the Confederate Army and was shot through the thigh during the last fight at Salisbury, Rowan County, NC. He then continued his education and graduated from VMI.

Aberdeen - early 1920s
    Charles was born on 15 August 1846, son of Edward Archer Marks and Eliza Ann Bryant. He was educated at Prince George Academy, a school co-founded by his father, and at VMI. On 29 April 1870 he married Helen Peebles Harrison, daughter of Richard Marks Harrison and Rebecca Jane Peebles. The couple lived in Prince George County, lastly at Aberdeen, a plantation Charles purchased in 1886. He was a farmer and also engaged in the lumber business. 
   Charles died on 22 June 1895 and was buried in the Marks graveyard at Old Town, the plantation in Prince George County owned by his grandfather, Edward Marks Jr. (1775-1822). The dwelling burned in January 1993 and was razed, but the burial site is still extant.

    For his participation in the Battle of New Market, Charles was awarded a medal for valor by the VMI Alumni Association.

Photos from Buffalogen's collection

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Jeremiah Kiley of Limerick, Ireland, and New York City

    Jeremiah Kiley or Kiely was born in County Limerick, Ireland, circa 1817-1820 and died in New York City on 20 October 1881. His wife was Mary Ann Nolan, who was born in Ireland between 1809 and 1818 and died on 4 December 1880 at 71 years of age..
    According to his death certificate, and confirmed by bank records, Jeremiah had lived in the United States for forty-five years (immigrated circa 1836).
Emigrant Savings Bank, Jeremiah Kiely account, 1863
    In September 1863 Jeremiah Kiely, a cooper residing at 3 Vandewater Street, made a transaction at the New York Emigrant Savings Bank. The record stated he was born in 1819 in County Limerick, arrived in the United States in 1836 aboard the ship Diamond, was married to Mary Ann Nolan, and had no children.[1]
    In 1870 Jere Kiley (54, grocer, $1500 personal estate, born in Ireland), Mary A. Kiley (54, born in Ireland), Johana Noonan (22, silver burnisher, born in Ireland), and Jno Weinenapst (27, grocer clerk, born in Prussia) were enumerated in New York City’s Ward 4.[2]
    Jeremiah Kiely, a grocer residing at 369 Pearl Street in New York City, made an additional transaction at the New York Emigrant Savings Bank in December 1871. The record stated he was born in 1817 in County Limerick and had arrived in the United States in 1836 aboard the ship Diamond.[3]
    The 1880 census recorded  Jeremiah Keily (60, head, married, cooper, born in Ireland, parents born in Ireland), Mary Ann Keily (66, wife, married, keeping  house, born in Ireland, parents born in Ireland), Joseph Keily (35, son, single, cooper, born in Ireland, parents born in Ireland), Henry Keily (30, son, single, cooper, born in New York, parents born in Ireland), Margaret Keily (22, daughter, single, no occupation, born in New York, parents born in Ireland), and Patrick O'Hare (39, boarder, widowed, cooper, born in Ireland, parents born in Ireland) at 50 Oliver Street in New York City. No additional records pertaining to the three children have been found.[4]
    Jeremiah died in Charity Hospital[5] in 1880 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Woodside, Queens County. His death certificate identified him as 63 years old and a widower, whose last residence was 43 Oliver Street.[6]
Calvary Cemetery, Jeremiah Kiely plot
    The cemetery recorded the owner of his plot (Section 5, Avenue 13, Plot R, graves 7 and 8) as Jeremiah Kelly.[7]  Buried in grave 7 were Margaret O'Hare (27 June 1866, 57 years old, born in Ireland), Joseph Weinabst (20 September 1874, 8 months old, born in New York), and Annie Hagan (9 May 1888, 9 months old, born in New York).  Buried in grave 8 were Mary Kiely (4 December 1880, 71 years old, born in Ireland), Jeremiah Kiely (20 October 1881, 60 years old, born in Ireland), Timothy Hayes (5 January 1910, 13 years old, born in New York), Mary Agnes Ferguson (24 June 1935, 74 years old, born in Ireland), and Hannah Hallesey (4 June 1936, 75 years old, born in Ireland). Margaret O'Hare may have had a connection to Patrick O'Hare who boarded with Jeremiah in 1880; Mary Kiely was Jeremiah’s wife; and Joseph Weinabst was probably related to the John Weinenapst who was in Jeremiah’s household in 1870. The identities of the others is unknown.
    It is the children reported in the 1880 census that is disturbing about this brief account of Jeremiah. He had no children, according to the bank transaction of 1863, made well after their reputed birth dates. Joseph was supposedly born in Ireland in 1845, nine years after Jeremiah immigrated to America - not too serious a discrepancy, however, as the census might very well be wrong. More important, where were the children, especially 12-year-old Margaret, in 1870? And where were Jeremiah and his sons in 1850 and 1860?
   1 “New York Emigrant Savings Bank, 1850-1883,” database and images, (accessed 27 July 2015), entry for Jeremiah Kiely, test books, account 36368, 17 September 1863; citing call number *R-USLHG *ZI-815. roll 7, New York Public Library, New York, New York. 
   2 1870 U.S. census (1st enumeration), New York County, New York, population schedule, New York City, Ward 4, ED 2, p. 405, line 24, dwelling ?, family 1134, Jere Kiley; NA microfilm M593, roll 976.
   3 “New York Emigrant Savings Bank, 1850-1883,” database and images, (accessed 27 July 2015), entry for Jeremiah Kiely, test books, account 64568, 20 April 1868; citing call number *R-USLHG *ZI-815. roll 10, New York Public Library, New York, New York. 
   4 1880 U.S. census, New York County, New York, population schedule, New York City, Ward , ED 26, p. 462 (sheet 44D), line 6, dwelling 73, family 344, Jeremiah Keily; NA film no. T9, roll 867.
   5 Probably the insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island, now Roosevelt Island, which became known as Charity Hospital.
   6 New York, New York, Manhattan death certificates, 1866-1919, certificate 400134 (1881), Jeremiah Kiley; FHL microfilm 1,322,610.
   7 Calvary Cemetery (Woodside, New York), typewritten transcript of interment records, Section 5, Avenue 13, plot R, graves 7/8, Jeremiah Kelly [sic] owner; Buffalogen’s Collection.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Did Rev. Thomas B. Bryant have a son William Thomas?

     More than one researcher has stated that William Thomas Bryant, a resident  of Prince George County, Virginia, during the latter half of the 1800s, was the son of Rev. Thomas B. Bryant (1775-1841) and his wife Eliza R. Baugh. Thomas had a wife, Sarah (1779-1822), who was buried at Waverly, the Bryant homestead, later to be joined by her widower. Since Thomas outlived her by nineteen years, it is understandable that he might have married a second time, although no such record has been found.
    Rev. Thomas B. Bryant of Prince George County had three daughters and four sons, one of whom was William, who was born circa 1808 and died from heart disease at 54 years of age on 21 November 1862. William married Emily C., born circa 1825 to unidentified parents, and the couple had nine children between 1846 and 1862. Emily was living in 1877 when, as administratrix of William Bryant of Dinwiddie County, she filed  a Civil War claim.
    In 1842 this William purchased Waverly from his siblings; William Thomas Bryant was not among them. The tract of land contained 591 ½ acres and buildings, formerly the property of the late T[homas] B. Bryant. Mt. Sinai Methodist Church, founded by Thomas, stood on the property, and in 1858 William and his wife Emily sold the building and land to the trustees of the church.
    William Thomas Bryant (born circa 1818) married in Surry County, Virginia, on 21 December 1848 Elizabeth C. A. Ellis (born circa 1830). This couple had seven children born between 1851 and 1868, the last one six years after Thomas' son William died..
    There are many questions that can be raised about William Thomas’ alleged parentage:
    1) Since William was still alive in 1818, would Thomas have given this name to another son? While customary in some countries (Germany, for example, where all sons were given a first name of Johan and called by their middle name), instances in America were rare.
    2) Sarah was alive in 1818 and was undoubtedly still the wife of Thomas; otherwise, it is unlikely she would have been buried at Waverly.
1870 Rives, Prince George Co., W. T. Bryant (
    3) Would Thomas, Prince George County surveyor, schoolteacher, and founder and minister of Mt. Sinai Methodist Church, have raised an illiterate son, as William Thomas was reported to be on the 1870 census?
    4) Why wasn’t William Thomas a party to the 1842 sales of Thomas B. Bryant’s land by his heirs? William and his six known siblings were all involved.
    5) Where was William Thomas’ mother in 1830? There was no female older than 20-29 (undoubtedly unmarried daughter Mary Rebecca) in the Thoma B. Bryant household. If Eliza had died, why wasn’t she buried at Waverly as was Sarah?
     In any case, William Thomas certainly was not the son of Thomas and Sarah -- the gravestone of their son John Harrison Bryant (born in May 1817) identifies him as "Fourth & youngest son of Tho & Sarah Bryant of Prince George C[obscured]."

Find A Grave, memorial 124657865, John Harrison Bryant
Johns Family History Association (and other posted genealogies)
Prince George County deeds
Prince George County land tax lists
Prince George County personal property tax lists
Records of the Commissioners of Claims (Southern Claims Commission), 1871-1880
US census records, Prince George County
William Bryant’s death record, Prince George County deaths, 1853-1896
WPA Historical Inventory, “Bryant graveyard at Waverly” and “Mt. Sinai”

Monday, August 10, 2015

Jonathan Philbrick of Corinth, Vermont

Corinth Center Cemetery - 1992
    Jonathan Philbrick was born in Rye (Rockingham) NH on 6 April 1741.  According to Dearborn's history of Salisbury NH, he went to Salisbury (Hillsborough) and then to Corinth (Orange) VT, where he died after the 1810 census.  His wife was Mary, probably the Mary Folsom who married Jonathan Philbrick in Rye in 1766.
    Jonathan was most likely the son of James Philbrick (son of Ebenezer) and Elizabeth Rand, and his parentage probably would not be in question if it were not for Chapman’s genealogy of the Philbrick family.  This writer stated that Jonathan (born 1740, son of James and Elizabeth) was a blacksmith, who married Anna Jones and moved to Buckfield, Maine.  Dow, in his history of Hampton NH, disagreed, saying it was the son of Nathan and Dorcas (Johnson) Philbrick, born in 1735, who married Anna Jones.
    Just seeing the names of the children of Jonathan and Mary (Stephen, Mary, James, John, Benjamin, Sally, Ebenezer, and Daniel) and those of Jonathan and Anna (Dorcas, Elizabeth, Dolly, Sally, and Enoch) would prompt one to favor Dow’s conclusion.
    The Philbrick / Philbrook Research Group, which has compiled an exhaustive list of the descendants of Thomas Philbrick, the immigrant ancestor, is of the opinion that Jonathan of Corinth was the son of James and Elizabeth (Rand), but cites no document that confirms this fact.  In addition, a lineage society has acknowledged the relationship by accepting a supplemental application for a line from Jonathan of Corinth through James to Thomas.

    Whenever a statement that raises doubts appears in print, it has to be proved conclusively or refuted totally.  So far, to my knowledge, there is no source that actually verifies Jonathan’s parentage.

1810 U.S. census, Corinth, Orange County, Vermont
Jacob Chapman, A Genealogy of the Philbrick and Philbrook Famnilies
John J. Dearborn, History of Salisbury, New Hampshire, p. 706 
Joseph Dow, History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire
Philbrick / Philbrook Research Group ( : accessed October 2013)
"Church Records of Newington, New Hampshire," NEHGR, vol. 22, p. 157

Photo from Buffalogen's collection

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Samuel Savage Jr. and his medical bill

   My 4th great-grandfather, Samuel Savage Jr., was taken ill while an enlisted soldier in the American Revolution. His father, Samuel Savage, presented a bill1

“For Expences and Trouble occasioned by the Sickness of his son Saml Savage an Enlisted soldier from Durham when apprentice to Gerad Whedon, under the Command of Capt. James Arnold in Genl Woosters Regiment; when Sick on his return Home, and got as far as my House in Middletown on the 8th day (December 1775"

   Among the items for which he sought reimbursement were medicines,“Towls applyd to his Feet,” fire wood, candles, doctors’ visits, and “tenders” for a total of 69 days, “said Soldier being wholly helpless . . . Delirious & needing watchers at night.” More surprising were expenditures for:

“To 2 pints Wine 0.3.0"
“To 5 Gallons Rum @ 5/- for Medicines Watchers and Attendants, his sickness being very Loathsom and Infectious 1.5.0”                           
   Two physicians certified that the “soldier was extremely sick with the malignant nervous fever [probably typhus] and lay along time very dangerous,” “looked upon his case almost fatal for many weeks,” and believed the bill for £16.8.1 1/2 just and reasonable.
   On April 10th, 1776 Samuel Savage [Sr.] “Received an order on Colony Treasurer in full of the above acct.”
   Medical treatment was certainly very different back then - and so were allowable medical expenses!

     1Connecticut Revolutionary War Records, Office of the State Comptroller, 1758-1984, Connecticut Pay Table Accounts, 1775-1776, Sick Bills, Jeffrey Copy, p. 18, Samuel Savage Jr.; call no. 973.3/fP292/Main Vault (1983); Connecticut State Library, Hartford

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What became of Mary Bartley?

    Mary Bartley was born in New York City (Manhattan) circa 1846, daughter of David Bartley and Margaret Burnes.  She was a member of the Bartley household when the 1850, 1855, and 1860 censuses of New York City were taken.  No further record of her has been found.  According to the 1860 census, her given name was Mary Jane.1

1860 Bartley
1860 U.S. census, Manhattan, New York County, New York (

    Mary was still alive in 1862 when her father opened an account in the Emigrant Savings Bank in New York City, since he stated he had four children by his "former wife." (Margaret died in November 1860 and David had remarried.)
    Since Mary Bartley was not found in any 1870 census, she was probably dead or married.  She was not buried in either of her father’s plots in Calvary Cemetery, so it is likely it was the latter. 
    Marriage records indexed by the Italian Genealogical Group include Manhattan 1866-1937 and Kings County 1871-1937, and those of the other boroughs from 1898 and later. These records do not include a marriage for Mary Bartley.  Unindexed records have not been searched. 
    The indexed marriage records on FamilySearch reveal many brides and grooms whose mother’s maiden name was Mary Bartley; however, no proof that one of them is the person sought has been found.

    11860 U.S. census, New York County, New York, population schedule, Manhattan, Ward 4, p. 34, line 14, dwelling N/R, family 294, David Battel; digital image, (accessed 21 October 2014); citing FHL microfilm 803,789.  HeritageQuest Online indexed the surname as Batlet.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My mother always wondered . . . about Mary Lucy Hall

    My mother’s father died two weeks before she was born, having contracted pneumonia at his father’s funeral a month before. Her paternal grandmother had died a year earlier. The only surviving member of her father's family was thought (erroneously) to be Mary Lucy Hall, her grandmother’s sister.
Indian Hill Cemetery, 1986
     My grandmother and her new-born daughter went to live with her parents in New Jersey and lost touch with Mary Lucy. By the time my mother was old enough to ask questions about her father’s family, no one knew what had become of her. She wasn't buried in the family plot in Indian Hill Cemetery in Middletown, Connecticut, although her name was on the Hall monument.
    My grandmother had vaguely remembered that a nursing home in New York City notified her of Mary Lucy's death sometime in the 1920s. And she recalled sending money to this long forgotten facility for a gravestone.
Woodlawn Cemetery, May 2014
    It wasn’t until several years after my mother’s death that I searched New York City’s death records on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and found Mary Lucy’s death certificate. She had died in 1924 in a home for the aged in New York City and had been buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. 
    Bronx Aquarian, a Find A Grave volunteer, responded to my request for a photograph of the gravestone and also took one of the monument on the plot.1
    Wouldn’t my mother have been interested to know what became of Mary Lucy?

    1.  “Mary Lucy Hall,” memorial 113305249, Find A Grave.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Timothy & Jeremiah Kiley

    My grandmother was interested in her family’s history and often told me about her parents and their siblings. I listened politely to what she said, but never asked her any insightful questions. She died when I was in high school and not at all interested in genealogy. How I wish I had been more curious!
     I was intrigued, and horrified, to hear that her mother’s two brothers, sons of Timothy and Margaret (Donovan) Kiley, died as teenagers or in their early twenties, supposedly during or after service in the Civil War. Neither was found in the 1870 census, in New York City where the family lived, or elsewhere, and I’ve found no death or burial records for either. I wonder if my grandmother really knew what happened to them.
    Timothy Kiley, who was born in New York circa 1841, according to the 1850 census, was more likely born in Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland, in 1839. He was not living with his parents in 1855 or 1860 and his whereabouts at those census times are unknown. Timothy Kiely enlisted in New York as a Union soldier in May 1861, but deserted in August 1861, as did a future brother-in-law in the same unit. He allegedly died, unmarried, from the effects of a long imprisonment during the Civil War. Did his imprisonment have anything to do with his desertion, or had he re-enlisted and been captured.
    Jeremiah Kiley, who was born in New York circa 1845, enlisted in 1861 as a drummer and was honorably discharged and mustered out in June 1862. According to my grandmother, he died during the Civil War, so he must have re-enlisted.
    One of the difficulties in tracing the surname Kiley is that alternative spellings are many (i.e., Keily, Kieley, Kiely, Kileigh, Killey, Killy, Kyle, etc.) and it is often mistaken for Kelly and Riley, or some variations thereof. While I have never found in records after 1861 anyone named Timothy Kiley who definitely could be my great-grandmother’s brother, it is conceivable that Timothy did not die (perhaps was disowned in disgrace?) and took up life apart from his family.
    As for Jeremiah, I have no ideas about what became of him.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

John W. Combs of New York City, circa 1830-1874

Gravestone of Anne (Kiley) Thilemann
    John W. Combs was born in New York circa 1829 or 1830. He had an unknown first wife, by whom he had two children, Charles M. Combs (born 21 January1857) and Caroline May Combs (born May 1862). His second wife was Anne C. Kiley, born in New York circa 1841, daughter of Timothy and Margaret (Donovan) Kiley, by whom he had one surviving child, Elizabeth F. Combs (born 19 December 1873).
    John’s death date is unknown, unless he is the John W. Combs who was buried in The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn on 13 March 1874. Others in the same lot were Capt. Elias Combs, buried 1866; Matilda J. Combs; and Jennie Combs, both buried 21 April 1870. Matilda was Elias’ first wife (died in July 1868) and Jennie was his daughter. To date, no link between this John W. and Elias has been found.
    Anne was listed as “widow of John” in the 1874 New York City directory. She married, second, Frederic Thilemann Jr. (1843-1904) and died in 1898. Anne's daughter used her stepfather's surname as her maiden name.
    Charles M. Combs married Alice M. Green, and the couple had at least eleven children between 1877 and 1899. Charles died on 6 September 1936 and Alice died on 14 November 1936. Both were buried in Old St. Raymonds Cemetery in the Bronx. Charles’ death certificate lists his parents as John Combs and Anna Kiely [his stepmother].   
    Charles and Alice had three grandchildren: Eugene Randolph Murray-Aaron (1896-1974), Gerard Pulver (1915-1977), and Geraldine Pulver (c1917-?). Only five great-grandchildren have been found.
    Caroline May Combs, almost always called Carrie, married first John Cottrell, with whom she had three children. In 1883 she married Michael Francis Sheridan, with whom she had at least seven children. Michael Sheridan died in the Bronx in March 1900. His widow was enumerated in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses. No record of her death has been found.
    Caroline had four known grandchildren: Gerard Grady (c1904-?), Thomas F. Grady (c1905-1966), Walter Grady (c1911-?), and Fred Sheridan (c1937-?). Four great-grandchildren have been found.
    Elizabeth F. Combs/Thilemann married Robert Bartley; she died in 1936 and he died in 1943. Elizabeth had one surviving child (a daughter who always thought her maternal grandfather was Frederic Thilemann), one grandson, and no great-grandchildren.
    Who was John W. Combs and who was his first wife? One hint is given in the record of a short-lived marriage of Caroline May (Combs) Cottrell Sheridan that gave her mother’s name as Carrie Sanders. Unfortunately, this record said her father was Charles Combs, which suggests that Carrie was not sure of her birth parents’ names.

     Photograph by Bronx Cop for Find A Grave (November 2013) and used with permission. Gravestone is in Old St. Raymonds Cemetery, Bronx, New York.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

From Buffalogen's photo collection

   This photograph at the left was taken by F. E. Perry of Perry's Point Photograhic Studio, Battle Creek, Michigan, which was in business in the late 1800s.  .
   The photo was inherited by a great-great-granddaughter of William Hamilton Blodgett (1823-1861) and his second wife, Agnes Eliza Parsons (1834-1900) of Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin, whose son, William Hamilton Blodgett Jr., married Elizabeth Ellen Sarah Clark of Manchester, New Hampshire, and settled in Hartford, Connecticut.

   Another great-great-granddaughter of William and Agnes Eliza inherited the photograph to the right and sent it to Buffalogen.  This third cousin is a descendant of Carrie Agnes Blodgett and her husband, Cassius Marcellus Upton, who was born in Battle Creek, Michigan..

   In Buffalogen's opinion, there is a striking ressemblance between the women in the two photographs - the wavy hair and hairline are distinctive and the eyes, nose and  mouth are similar. Both Blodgett descendants think they (or she) had some connection to the Blodgett and Upton families.