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October 31, 2014

Hallowe'en Through the Years

Hallowe'en through the years... I always made my sons' costumes out of whatever I could find in the house. Here's a few of their growing up years.... the one of my son as Mr. T. won first prize in a local contest.

Happy Hallowe'en everyone! Remember to drive carefully and watch for children.







October 30, 2014

Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World Part 3

Several years ago I wrote an article for publication in New Netherland Connections. it was about my 9th great-grandfather Jan Damen who left Bunnik Netherland for the New World of New Netherland (present day New York state) in the mid 17th century. Jan settled in Long Island New York and married Sophia (Fytie) Martens.


Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims by Jan van Scorel ca 1541
Far right: My 13th great grandfather Jan Damen 1515-1569,
2nd great grandfather of Jan Damen 1638-1707 
Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims
painting by Jan van Scorel ca 1541

I have decided to republish the first 3 pages of my article here on my Olive Tree Genealogy blog.  I hope that descendants of Jan and other genealogists enjoy this story of Jan's life in New York. This is Part 3, continuing on from Part 1 and 2
 
Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World

by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
 
In 1679 Jan Damen and wife Sophia Martensz., both from Bushwick, were accepted as members of the Reformed Dutch Church in Breuckelen.[1]  On Sept. 1, 1680, less than one month after their daughter Sophia was baptised, her mother Sophia was apparently sick enough to warrant the writing of a will. In the joint will she and Jan made, Sophia's condition was  recorded as "...at present being very sick in bed".[2]

In this will Jan and Sophia left everything to each other with the land in Breuckelen specifically named as well as other lands whose location is not given.[3] Jan's cousin Jan Cornelise Buys was one of the three witnesses to this will.  (Sophia not only recovered, she went on to bear three more children in the next seven years.)



Jan Damen was very active in the Church and community, and on 21 November 1682, at approximately 47 years of age, he was elected Elder of the Breuckelen Church and confirmed there on 24th December.[4]  In a 1683 will for John Smith of Bedford he is named as "Jan Damen, Constable". [5] After serving the usual two-year period as Church Elder, Jan was replaced by Willem Bennet on 19 November 1684.[6]



1686 saw Jan on the move once again - this time purchasing the main portion of the farm of  the deceased Pieter Ceser Alburtis at the Wallabout.[7]  In September 1687 Jan Damen"off Breucklijn" signed the Oath of Allegiance to the King and was recorded as being in the country for a period of 37 years.[8] This confirms his arrival date of 1651.


[1] Translated & Edited by David William Voorhees, Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Flatbush, Kings Co. NY Vol. I 1677-1720,  (Published by The Holland Society of New York, 1998) p. 363 (Hereafter called Flat.Voor)
[2] Abstracts of Wills Vol I 1665-1707 p. 426 (Liber 7, p. 332)
[3] ibid: "The survivor is to have the full use of all the estate in Brookland [sic] and elsewhere"
[4] Flat.Voor. Elections of Elders and Deacons 1677-1706: p 205
[5] LISr: Kings Co. Wills. p. 105
[6] Flat.Voor. Elections of Elders and Deacons 1677-1706 p. 209
[7] LISr: Kings County Deeds. P. 76. This land is described as "...lying in Walebought or Marewich where Pieter Monffort at the East side and Michiele Picett at the west side stretching alonge the middow fifty seaven rodd and along the land of Pieter Montford southward into the woods in length 270 rodd and after in the bosch broad seven and fifty rodd and then again to the middow north along Michiele Fransman [Michel the French man, meaning Michel Picett] to the middow 270 rodd amounting 24 morgen 450 rodd.."
[8] The Documentary History of the State of New York 4 vols. E. B. O'Callaghan Vol 1"Roll off Those Who have taken the oath off Allegiance in the Kings County in the Province of New Yorke the 26,27,28, 29 and 30th day of  September in the Third Yeare of His Maytsh [sic] Raigne Annoque Domine 1687" (Hereafter called DHNY)

October 29, 2014

Pennsylvania Death Records Online & Free to PA Residents

The Pennsylvania State Archives and Ancestry.com have collaborated to bring more than seven million Pennsylvania death records online. This collection contains all publicly available death records in the Pennsylvania State Archives from 1906 until 1963. 

Pennsylvania Death Records Online & Free to PA Residents
Screen Shot of Search Box for Pennsylvania Death Certificates
Best of all the collection is free to all Pennsylvania residents. 

Apparently you can obtain your free Ancestry.com Pennsylvania account by starting your search at the Pennsylvania Death Certificates search box and entering your Pennsylvania zip code when prompted to sign up for a free account.

October 28, 2014

Gregorius Wildbore: Now That's a Name!

Gregorius Wildbore. It has a certain strength when you say it out loud. I imagine the man who had this name bestowed on him - strong, tall, a brave warrior...... but in all likelihood he was short, thin and stoop-shouldered from years of toil. 

Gregorius was my 11th Great-grandfather on my maternal side, and he was born ca 1550 in Kent England, probably in Thanet. I suspect he was a farmer, struggling to grow a few crops in the tiny parish town of St. Mary Minster, for that is where he married, raised his 7 known children, and died in 1606.

Gregorius Wildbore: Now That's a Name!
1571 Marriage Georgig (Gregorius) Wildbore & Alice Pamphlett (bottom line)

Gregorius Wildbore: Now That's a Name!
1606 Burial of Gregorius Wildbore (bottom line)
I am lucky to have found a copy of Gregorius' will but it is not easy reading. In the will he is named as George Wildbore which is a bit of a letdown from the romantic notion of a strong and regal Gregorius. But reality is reality and I know that Gregorius was just the Latin rendition of his very ordinary name.

Gregorius Wildbore: Now That's a Name!
1606 Will of George Wildbore
Larger PDF file is available for anyone wanting to give reading his will a try. The bottom section of the will is  here
In his will, which I have struggled with for many years, I have only been able so far to read "Alice my wife and Edward Wildbore my son" (Edward, who was baptised in 1580, is my 10th great-grandfather) and "Joan [Colly?] the wife of Thomas [Colly?]" and "Jerome Wildbore my son". 

Perhaps one day I will be able see the original again instead of the print I made from the original microfilm where I first found the will.

I spent time last week searching online church and parish records for Thanet Kent and have had fun and success (a good combination!) with my mother's British roots. Her family lineage goes back to 1500s Ramsgate Kent area for the most part and I have not done a lot of research on them before. It's a good feeling to organize my notes from years past and acquire copies of original cerificates to add to a book I am putting together for my children. 

It is fascinating to me to learn that Minster in Thanet originally started as a monastic settlement in 670AD. The parish church of St. Mary-the-Virgin was built during Norman times. It is quite possible that my ancestors go back to this time. I have literally dozens of surnames of ancestors who lived and died in this small area from at least the early 1500s to mid 1800s.

Not much housework or mundane chores are getting done this week in our household as I am treating myself to a week of genealogy research right here at home! If you have not done this I urge you to set aside a few days or a week and devote yourself to organizing your previous research and looking for new items to add to your tree.

October 27, 2014

The 1870 Facey Hymn Book Goes to a New Home

A tiny prayer and hymn book has been passed down in my husband's family since 1870. A few weeks ago it came to my husband. It was given by his 3rd great grandfather Edmund (Edwin) Facey to his wife Mary Little in West Nissouri Ontario on January 25, 1870.

The 1870 Facey Hymn Book Goes to a New Home
We are not sure of the significance of the date or what event it might have celebrated. Edmund Facey was born in September 1813 in St. Winnow, Cornwall England and married Mary Little in February 1841 in Stoke Damerol, Devon England. 

Mary's date of birth was May 1814 in St. Pinnock, Cornwall England. In 1852 the family left England for Ingersoll Ontario Canada. 

By December 1865 they had settled in W. Nissouri Tp. Middlesex Co. Ontario. It was just 4 years later when Edmund gave Mary this tiny book. It has been well-used and well-loved over the years!





The 1870 Facey Hymn Book Goes to a New Home
Mary Facey, West Nissouri, Ont. from Edwin Jan. 25, 1870
 The line of descent is from Edmund & Mary (Little Facey) to their grandaughter Mary Louisa Facey who was born in 1882 in W. Nissouri. Mary Louisa married William Elgie in 1904. 

The book then passed to either  their daughter Florence or Verda Luella, my husband's grandmother. My husband's mother was the next to receive the book and now it is my husband's turn to treasure it and pass it on to the next generation.


October 26, 2014

No. 2 of My Top Ten Genealogy Mysteries

My Top 10 Genealogy Mysteries
A Facebook friend recently posted her top 10 Genealogy Mysteries.  They aren't brick walls because there is probably an answer somewhere, just waiting to be found. 

 I thought this was a great idea and I am following suit with my Top 10 Genealogy Mysteries. Of course any help or suggestions for further research are welcome. 

Here is my Number 2 of 10 Genealogy Mysteries:

Maria Bradt 1713 - ?  

Maria Bradt is my 6th great grandmother. I know very little about her. She was baptised on 24 May 1713 in Albany New York to parents Storm Bradt and Sophia Uziele

In 1732 Maria bore an illegitimate child.  A son Isaac was baptised on 17 December 1732 in Schoharie New York. He was recorded in the Dutch Reformed Church records as Falkenburg [sic], after his father Isaac Van Valkenburg. Little Isaac's paternal grandparents were the sponsors at his baptism. 

The record reads:

Dec. 17 1732. Mother Maria Bradden [sic] daughter of Storm. Child Isaac Falkenburg. Sponsors: Isaac Falkenburg and his wife Lydia [this is Lydia Van Slyke]


The mystery: What happened to Isaac's mother Maria Bradt? I have found nothing further on her after this baptism in 1732. 

Her son Isaac Van Valkenburg fled to Canada as a Loyalist during the American Revolution and his surname, as well as those of his children, changed to Vollick (aka Follick) 

October 25, 2014

Nursing Sister Phillips WW1 Photo Album 2V 1

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

Nursing Sister Phillips WW1 Photo Album 2V 1
 Group of soldiers and nurses


There are no names with this group photo of nurses and patients in WW1

October 24, 2014

Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World Part 2

Several years ago I wrote an article for publication in New Netherland Connections. it was about my ancestor and 9th great-grandfather Jan Damen who left Bunnik Netherland for the New World of New Netherland (present day New York state) in the mid 17th century. Jan settled in Long Island New York and married Sophia (Fytie) Martens.


Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims by Jan van Scorel ca 1541
Far right: My 13th great grandfather Jan Damen 1515-1569,
2nd great grandfather of Jan Damen 1638-1707 
Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims
painting by Jan van Scorel ca 1541

My article Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World was published on pages 47-56 of Volume 4, number 2 (May 1999) as a companion piece to another article called The Nephews of Jan Jansz Damen by Dorothy Koenig and Pim Nieuwenhuis in Volume 4, Number 2 May 1999 pages 36-39. The two nephews discussed were Jan Cornelisz Buys (aka Damen) who had three wives, 1) Eybe Lubberts, 2) Phebe Sales, and 3) Willemptje Thyssen; and his first cousin (my ancestor), Jan Cornelisz Damen, who married Fytje Martens. 

I have decided to republish the first 3 pages of my article here on my Olive Tree Genealogy blog.  I hope that descendants of Jan and other genealogists enjoy this story of Jan's life in New York. This is Part 2, continuing on from Part 1
 
Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World

by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

The first child we have a baptismal record for is Marte, baptised in 1661, and his growing family may have prompted Jan's purchase of a farm in August 1662. The farm, formerly that of Cornelis Hendrickse Van Eens, was on the west side of the road in Flatbush.[1]

Three of Jan and Sophia's children were baptised in the Reformed Dutch Church in Breuckelen between July 1661 and February 1663. One month later, in March, Jan and twenty-eight other inhabitants of Breuckelen presented a petition to the Council of New Netherland, requesting land for a new village to be situated nearby[2].  The following year, in August 1664, Jan sold the farm in Flatbush to Claes Melles Baes.[3] He and Sophia now had four young children under the age of 5, and Sophia may have been pregnant with Cornelia who was probably born next in 1665 or 1666.  By 1667 he had a tavern in Brooklyn.[4]



            In 1674, Sophia Martens stood as a sponsor at the baptism of Jan Damen's cousin Jan Cornelise Buys' son Thys (by his third wife Willemtie Thyssen). Thys was baptised 14 January in New York Reformed Dutch Church.[5] The sponsors' names were recorded as Jan Corneliszen Ryck and Sytke Martens. Totten provides a footnote that this is Jan Cornelise Damen and his wife Sophia but there is no evidence to support the notion that Jan ever used the name "Ryck".[6]



Jan was recorded as a member of the Reformed Dutch Church of Breuckelen, and living at the Wallabout, in 1677.[7] His name appears on a patent of Breuckelen this same year.[8] Sophia stood again as a baptismal sponsor in 1678 in New York at the baptism of Harmen, son of Harmen Reynierszen and his wife Jannetie.[9]


[1] Register, in Alphabetical Order, of the Early Settlers of Kings County, Long Island NY From its First Settlement by Europeans to 1700 by Teunis G. Bergen (Hereafter called KCo.) p. 83. See p. 143 Lib B  Flatbush records
[2] A History of the City of Brooklyn; including the Old Town and Village of Brooklyn, the Town of Bushwick and the Village and City of Williamsburgh by Stiles, 1867, V. I pp 119-120.
[3] KCo. p 83. See p. 7 Lib D  Flatbush records
[4] Long Island Source Records excerpted from the NYGBR by Henry B. Hoff. 1987 (Hereafter called LISr) Genealogical Gleanings from Book No. 2 of Conveyances, Brooklyn, Kings Co. NY. P. 58 "Jan Cornelise Buys aged 38 years" acknowledges he heard "in the house of John Damon, tavern keeper in Brooklyn"
[5] RDCNY. 1877 V8:2 p 80. 1674 14 Jan; Jan Corn. Buys, Willemtie Thyssen; Matthys; Jan Corneliszen Ryck, Sytie Martens
[6] Jan Cornelisz. (de) Ryk and Marittje Gerritse baptised children in the New York Reformed Dutch Church between 1658 and 1666. Jan Cornelisz. Damen and Sophia Martens baptised children in the same time period.
[7] KCo. p 83
[8] ibid
[9] RDCNY. 1877 V8:4 p. 170 1678: 30 Jan;  Harmen Retnierszen, Jannetie Cortois; Harmen; Hendrick Claeszen, Fytie Martens

October 23, 2014

Tricks to Deciphering Old Handwriting

This question came from Allison


Are you able to decipher this Place of Residence from an Army Record?

 Olive Tree Genealogy response: Without seeing the entire page or pages to compare letter formations and without knowing the country of origin of the original record, I can only give my best "guess". I believe the entry might be "Chelsea and Essex" 

This is a good time and place to explain that when you are trying to decipher challenging handwriting there are a few simple methods you should use.

1. Compare other words and letters in the record. For example in this case, how does the scribe make an upper case "C" - is it the same as the word I believe is Chelsea? What about upper case "E"? How does he write a double "s" (ss) Does it look like the word I think is Essex? You may have to look a few pages ahead or before to get a good overall comparison of letter formations used.

2. Print the challenging bit. Put a blank paper over it and trace it (do this several times) Then look at your tracing. Often the words or letters become clear. 

3. Consider the record source. What country is it for? That will help you figure out possibilities for locations. Even better if you know a more specific area. For example if I know a record is for the County of Simcoe in Ontario Canada and not for Kent County in England or New York State in USA I can narrow the possible location names in the record.  Also different countries wrote their letters in different ways. German writing for example is very different from American or British.

4. It helps to know the date of the record. Handwriting changed over centuries and thus a word written a certain way in for example 1630 will not be written the same way in 1730 or 1830 and so on. 

If Allison wants to send me the complete page I'd be glad to take another look but for now I have to go with "Chelsea and Essex" So my assumption is that this is a U.K. record of some sort but it would help to know the source of the record

UPDATE: I love that my readers are way better than me at reading old handwriting! Chelmsford Essex was given by many and I believe they are correct. Thanks everyone

October 22, 2014

WW1 Photo Album Doris Simpson p. 31

Continuing on with my WW1 Photo Album archive here is page 31 in my mother's cousin Doris Simpson's album.


WW1 Photo Album Doris Simpson p. 31


WW1 Photo Album Doris Simpson p. 31

I don't know who anyone is in these photos except for the photo of the two ladies in bathing suits. Doris herself is the gal on the left.  I love the old car! 

 

October 21, 2014

Preserving a WW1 Soldier's Room for 96 years After He Died

WW1 Soldier Hubert Rochereau died 96 years ago in Belgium. His parents left his bedroom untouched and stipulated when they sold the house in 1935 that nothing in the room be disturbed for 500 years.
Preserving a WW1 Soldier's Room for 96 years After He Died
Cropped Photo from The Guardian. Original Photograph: Bruno Mascle
A lace bedspread is still on the bed, adorned with photographs and Rochereau’s feathered helmet. His moth-eaten military jacket hangs limply on a hanger. His chair, tucked under his desk, faces the window in the room where he was born on 10 October 1896.

He died in an English field ambulance on 26 April 1918, a day after being wounded during fighting for control of the village of Loker, in Belgium.
Continue reading and see the photos at French soldier’s room unchanged 96 years after his death in first world war in The Guardian

October 20, 2014

Jan Corneliszen Damen in the New World, Part 1

Several years ago I wrote an article for publication in New Netherland Connections. it was about my ancestor and 9th great-grandfather Jan Damen who left Bunnik Netherland for the New World of New Netherland (present day New York state) in the mid 17th century. Jan settled in Long Island New York and married Sophia (Fytie) Martens.

Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims by Jan van Scorel ca 1541
Far right: My 13th great grandfather Jan Damen 1515-1569,
2nd great grandfather of Jan Damen 1638-1707 
Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims
painting by Jan van Scorel ca 1541
My article Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World was published on pages 47-56 of Volume 4, number 2 (May 1999) as a companion piece to another article called The Nephews of Jan Jansz Damen by Dorothy Koenig and Pim Nieuwenhuis in Volume 4, Number 2 May 1999 pages 36-39. The two nephews discussed were Jan Cornelisz Buys (aka Damen) who had three wives, 1) Eybe Lubberts, 2) Phebe Sales, and 3) Willemptje Thyssen; and his first cousin (my ancestor), Jan Cornelisz Damen, who married Fytje Martens. 

I have decided to republish the first 3 pages of my article here on my Olive Tree Genealogy blog.  I hope that descendants of Jan and other genealogists enjoy this story of Jan's life in New York. 
 
Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World

by Lorine McGinnis Schulze[1]



Jan Cornelise Damen's contract period with Jacob Stoffelszen was three years, ending sometime in 1654.  It seems he diligently saved his wages because in April 1655 he purchased Cornelis van Tienhoven's house and land in Breuckelen, Long Island.[2] The cost of his new home was 1300 Carolus guilders with equal payments to be spread over a three year period.[3] Since Jan earned a total of 320 guilders in his contract time, it seems he acquired more money elsewhere.



It is likely that Jan was 20 or older when he made this purchase, giving him an estimated year of birth of 1635. This agrees with the findings in Amsterdam that he was a minor at the time of his contract in 1651. Jan signed with his mark indicating he could not write his own name.



In February 1656 Jan is found in New Amsterdam where he was the baptismal sponsor for Lubberts, the son of his cousin, Jan Cornelise Buys aka Damen.[4]  From 1656 to 1661 we find no records of Jan although we know that somewhere in this time period he met, and married, Sophia Martens.[5]  While no marriage record has been found, Sophia is recorded as the mother of several of their children in their baptismal records,[6] and is named in their joint will written in 1680. 

Parts 2, 3 and 4 will be published in weekly installments.


[1] Lorine McGinnis Schulze, Ontario Canada
[2] Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany NY Part I, Dutch Manuscripts, 1630-1664, ed. by E.B. O'Callaghan. 1865. (Hereafter called CDM) p. 58. 29 April 1654. Deed. Cornelis Van Tienhoven to Jan Cornelissen Damen, of Buninck, of a house and parcel of land in the village of Breuckelen, between Joris Dircksen and black Hans. The contract of sale is between Cornelis van Tienhoven and Jan Cornelissen Damen and is dated 29 April 1655
[3] New York Historical Manuscripts Dutch translated by Arnold JF Van Laer (Hereafter called MHD.Laer) Volume III. p.394. "..the purchaser agrees to pay the sum of thirteen hundred Carolus guilders at 20 stivers each, in the following installments: May 1656, 1/3 of the promised money; May 1657, 1/3 and May 1658, the remaining 1/3, each third part amounting to fl 433:6:8."
[4] Baptisms Reformed Dutch Church New Amsterdam (New York). New York Genealogical & Biographical Record. (Hereafter called RDCNY) 1874 V.5:4 p. 175: 2 Feb. 1656. Parents Jan Corn. Buys, Ybetje Lubberts Child Lubbert Sponsors Jan Damien, Pieterje de Ruyter. Although Totten footnotes the sponsor Jan Damen as being Jan Jansen Damen, the adoptive father of Jan Cornelise Buys, this is not correct. Jan Jansen Damen died 18 June 1651 as per his probated will. It is almost certain that this baptismal sponsor is Jan Cornelise Damen, who later married Sophia Martens.
[5] She is also found in the records as Fytie, which is the usual diminuitive for the name Sophia. Some transcribed records have erroneously assumed a "T" in place of "F", rendering her name incorrectly as Tytie.
[6] Baptismal records for several of their children have been found, with gaps, for the years 1661 to 1685.

October 19, 2014

Buried Secrets: Who Is this Little Girl?

Recently a small box  containing what appear to be cremation ashes and a photo of a child was found in the backyard of a Washington City Utah home.

Buried Secrets: Who Is this Little Girl?
  Photo by Corbin Wade, St. George News and KCSG Television
The name Arline Fisher was penciled on the back of the photo. The owner of the home is attempting to find out who Arline is and are the cremated remains hers. The owner would also like to return the box to any next-of-kin or descendants.

Anyone with information that might help identify the appropriate recipient of this treasure, is asked to email kscott@stgnews.com

Continue reading this story at Buried secrets: Cremated remains found in backyard; finder seeks next of kin

October 18, 2014

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Album p. 5-1 Coldstream Guards 1915

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Album p. 5-1 Coldstream Guards 1915
Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Album p. 5-1 Coldstream Guards 1915
 


Autograph.
1. "If you have a friend / then keep them so. / Let not that friend thy secrets / know. / For if that friend should turn / thy foe. / Then all the world thy secrets know.
2. Signed Cpl. G. H. W. 1st Coldstream Guards.
3. Date 16 - 6 - 15

October 17, 2014

My Top Genealogy Mystery: Elizabeth Jamieson nee Shuart born ca 1801-1805 NY/NJ

My Top 10 Genealogy Mysteries

A Facebook friend recently posted her top 10 Genealogy Mysteries.  They aren't brick walls because there is probably an answer somewhere, just waiting to be found.

I thought this was a great idea and I am following suit with my Top 10 Genealogy Mysteries. Of course any help or suggestions for further research are welcome. 

Here is my Number 1 of 10 Genealogy Mysteries:

Elizabeth Jamieson nee Shuart born ca 1801-1805 in New York or New Jersey

Elizabeth Shuart was born circa 1801-1805 in New York or New Jersey. At some time before 1835 she settled in Upper Canada (present day Ontario) and married James Jamieson from Ireland. Evidence and clues point to her being the daughter of  Henry Shuart and Rachel De Graw.

The only confirmed census records I have found for Elizabeth is the 1851 census for Flamboro West, Wentworth County Ontario. The family consisted then of

* James Jameson, 65, b Ireland, cooper
* Elizabeth 50 b United States
* James 16 b Ontario
* Lydia 14 b Ontario (my ancestor)
* George 10 b Ontario
 James disappears after 1851.  I found their sons James and  George in Michigan in 1870 and George in 1861.

George Henry Jamieson

In 1870 George Jamieson is in Austin, Sanilac, Michigan and next door is his brother James Jamieson

In 1880 George is Boone, Wexford, Michigan

In 1900 and 1910 George is found in Peninsula, Grand Traverse, Michigan. In both these census records he states that his mother (Elizabeth Shuart ) was born in New Jersey. In 1920 in the same location he says she was born in England which is not correct, so quite likely someone else in the household provided the information to the census taker.

George states in census records that he immigrated to USA from Canada in 1863 or 1864 which means he should be somewhere in the 1861 census in Ontario and fits with my findings. 

George's death record shows the following:

George Henry Jamieson
Birth: 17 Mar 1843 - Canada
Death: 18 Sep 1929 - Peninsula, Grand Traverse, Michigan
Spouse: Emily Squire
Father James Jamieson
Mother Elizabeth Shuirit [sic]

James Jamieson Jr.

Now for the contradictions: In 1880 James Jamieson (brother of George above) is found in Chase, Lake, Michigan. He says his mother (Elizabeth Shuart Jamieson) was born in Pennsylvania.

In 1900 James is found in Amber, Mason, Michigan. Here he claims his mother's place of birth was New York.

In 1910 and 1920 James is in Ludington Ward 1, Mason, Michigan and again states that his mother was born in Pennsylvania.

James gives his year of immigration as 1860 and 1861 in various census records but I have not found him in any census for those years in either USA or Canada. I believe I have found him enlisting in the Civil War in a Michigan regiment as a Private on 14 September 1864 at the age of 26.

Lydia Jamieson Vollick

George and James' sister Lydia is my direct ancestor and she married Isaac Vollick sometime before 1858. She is found with Isaac in the 1861 census for East Flamborough Tp Wentworth County and I have a good record of their lives up to their deaths near Hillsdale, Simcoe County Ontario in 1917 (Lydia) and 1904 (Isaac)

Rumours

Rumour has it that Elizabeth Shuart Jamieson remarried twice after her husband James Jamieson's death. One marriage was said to be to a man named Decker, another to a man named Hunt.
I  found an intriguing 1861 census entry for 1861 Beverley Twp, Wentworth County Ontario

Decker, Richard, local preacher, 80 married 1806, b NY, Methodist
Elizabeth, 53 b Canada West
One name above is George Jamieson, age 18 b Canada West, labourer. This fits with James Jamieson and Elizabeth Shuart's son George's year of birth. 
Richard Decker appears to have died in 1868. See his gravestone. My next find was a marriage record in Beverley Twp, Wentworth Co. Ontario on 14 Oct 1869

Robert Hunt, 71, widower, farmer, born Ireland, Waterloo s/o John Hunt & Ann m Elizabeth Decker, 64, widow, born USA, living in Beverly, d/o Henry & Rachel ( no last name given). wtn. R.E. & S.A. Jameson of Beverley on 14 October 1869 in Beverly

Could this be my Elizabeth Jamieson? Henry and Rachel were the names of her parents.

Two more records in Grey County Ontario were found which add to the mystery and may or may not be for my Elizabeth.

Firsr is the death of Robert Hunt, farmer, 88, born Ireland died on April 4, 1887. Second is the death of Elizabeth Hunt, farmer's wife, 82,  died on April 11, 1887. Rev. Husband of Holstein was the informant in both these deaths and Dr. Brown was the doctor for both.  I believe these could very well be my Elizabeth Jamieson and husband Robert Hunt.




The Genealogy Mystery

Is this my Elizabeth Jamieson? Did she marry secondly Richard Decker and thirdly Robert Hunt? Did she die in 1887 in Grey Co. Ontario?

Summary of my findings for Elizabeth Shuart

  • 1801-1806 born in USA to Henry Shuart & Rachel DeGraw
  • 1851 census Flamborough West, Wentworth Co. Ontario with husband James Jamieson and children George, Lydia and James
  • 1851-1861 probable death of James Jamieson
  • 1861 census Beverly Twp, Wentworth Co. Ontario with husband Richard Decker and son George Jamieson nearby 
  • 1868 Death of Richard Decker
  • 1869 Marriage of Elizabeth Decker, widow, to Robert Hunt
  • 1871 census  Elizabeth and Robert Hunt are  found in Egremont, Grey Co.
  • 1881 census Elizabeth (born USA) and Robert Hunt are in Egremont, Grey Co.
  • 1887 Deaths of Robert Hunt and Elizabeth Hunt in Egremont, Grey Co. Ontario
What do I want to know?
  1. I want proof that my theories of Elizabeth marriages and deaths are correct OR proof that they are wrong!
  2. I want to know when James Jamieson died and where he is buried.
Miscellaneous Information

Children of Henry and Rachel (DeGraw) Shuart are
  • Joseph Shuart born ca 1790  married Christina
  • Lydia Shuart born ca 1794 NY or Pennsylvania m1 Job Skinner and m2 James McGarry
  • Margaret (Peggy) Shuart born ca 1798 NY or Pennsylvania  married Adonijah Taylor
  • Mary (Polly) Shuart born ca 1798 possbily in Pennsylvania married Joseph Mellick
  • Ellizabeth Shuart born ca 1801-1805 New York or New Jersey m1 James Jamieson m2 Richard Decker? m3 Robert Hunt?
  • Hiram Shuart born ca 1810 possibly in Pennsylvania  married Catherine Alice Skinner.
  • possibly Leah Shuart
All of these individuals settled in Ontario. It is believed that their mother Rachel (De Graw) Shuart also settled in Ontario as a widow.