John Spencer, 1781-1867

JOHN SPENCER of Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Minnesota

John Spencer was born in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, to Amos Spencer and his wife Mercy Spencer, who were 3rd cousins and shared the same surname. Mercy died when John was quite young, and as was common in those days, he and his siblings were then parceled out to be raised by relatives once the father remarried. The father, Amos Spencer, went on to marry three more times. John was raised by two of his mother’s sisters, twins Eleanor and Audrey Spencer, who lived in Stephentown, Rensaeller County, New York. The twin sisters were married to Carr brothers: Audrey married Thurston Carr and Eleanor married Edward Carr. It may have been while he was living in this area that John Spencer met his future wife, Nancy Carr, although we cannot yet find out her exact connection to the Carr family. She may possibly be a daughter of Esek Carr. No proof yet.

John Spencer and Nancy Carr were married about 1801. Family lore says this marriage took place back in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, but it could well have happened in the Stephentown area or even in Herkimer County, New York, where all their children were born between about 1804 and 1819. 

John Spencer and his wife, Nancy Carr, had six children: Thirza, Amos, Polly Ann, Richard, John B. and Wilson Benjamin. I descend from Richard’s branch.

The Spencer family was enumerated in Norway Twp., Herkimer County, NY in 1810 and 1820. In 1830 they were in W. Brunswick Twp., Herkimer County. Then, in 1837, John Spencer bought land in Conneaut Twp., Crawford County, Pennsylvania, and moved his family there. During their time in Pennsylvania, two family members died. John Spencer lost his son Richard in 1839, and his wife Nancy in 1846. The two are buried side-by-side in the Conneautville Cemetery, which is located in Spring Township right next to Conneaut Township where they lived and owned land. By 1850 John had remarried to a woman named Sarah (last name unknown). In that census year, John and Sarah were enumerated in Conneaut Twp. with her daughter and his grandson, Wilson Spencer, living in their household (John is shown age 66, born RI).

In 1853, John and wife Sarah signed a deed selling their Crawford County land to his son Amos Spencer. By 1856, John had moved to Iowa (without Sarah) and was living in the household of son Wilson Benjamin Spencer in Union Prairie Twp., Allamakee County, Iowa (John is shown age 70, born RI). The family migrated to Rice County, Minnesota shortly after that, where they appeared in the 1860 federal census and in the 1865 Minnesota Territorial census. In 1860, John is shown age 76, born RI.

Wilson Benjamin Spencer and his family members are buried at Maple Lawn Cemetery in Faribault. There is a headstone for his father John Spencer in that lot as well. My father and his brother visited Maple Lawn Cemetery a few years ago and brought back photographs of the Spencer headstones there. 

Then last year I stumbled upon a website about the Old Prairieville cemetery in Rice County, Minnesota. I was so surprised and excited to discover that John Spencer’s original burial location was at Old Prairieville, and there was a photo of his original headstone! It had been protected from weather and vandalism by being buried for decades in the abandoned cemetery. Interestingly, the death date for John is two years earlier than what was on the more modern marker in Maple Lawn Cemetery. The old stone reads, “died Nov. 23, 1867 aged 86 years & 5 mo’s.”

For more information on the history of Old Prairieville Cemetery, and to see photos of headstones uncovered there, see:


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Jacob Goodykoontz, 1809-1888

A Brief Biography of JACOB GOODYKOONTZ (1809-1888)
Written by his Great-Great-Great Granddaughter, Leslie Lewis.

Jacob Goodykoontz was born in Frederick County, Virginia on May 19, 1809, the eldest of thirteen children born to Daniel and Hannah (Beaver) Goodykoontz. The two families were both of German ancestry, the name Goodykoontz being an Americanized version of Gutekunst, and the name Beaver modified from the original Bieber. Both of Jacob’s grandfathers had fought in Pennsylvania regiments for the cause of American independence during the Revolutionary War.

After 1810, the extended Goodykoontz family moved from Frederick County in the northern end of Virginia to the southwestern part of the state. It is interesting to note that three Goodykoontz brothers had married three Beaver sisters. In addition, two Goodykoontz sisters had married Phlegar brothers. Jacob was still a child when he moved with his parents to Montgomery and Grayson Counties. On September 30, 1830, Jacob married a young woman named Mary Ward.

While some of the Goodykoontz relatives remained in what became Floyd County, Virginia, Daniel Goodykoontz and his older brother Jacob, for whom our subject was named, moved with their wives to Indiana after purchasing land in Madison County in 1833. They lived out their lives there and were buried in West Maplewood Cemetery in Anderson, Indiana.

Other members of the extended family settled in Grant County, immediately north of Madison County. Our subject, Jacob Goodykoontz and his bride lived briefly in the area of Anderson, Indiana, then settled in Monroe Township, Grant County, where most of their children were born.

In June of 1855, Jacob and Mary purchased 160 acres of land in Union Prairie, Allamakee County, Iowa, and moved their family there. Jacob was a farmer. After settling in Allamakee County, he bought and sold several parcels of land in Union Prairie and Makee Townships.

Jacob and Mary had 12 children: Rebecca (1831-1847); Thomas J. (1834-1895), who married Lucretia Bean; Daniel F. (1837-1919), who married Mary Elizabeth Moore; Caroline B. (1838-1906), who married Wilson Spencer; Naomi M. (1841-1904), who married Alvin E. Robbins; Elizabeth W. (1843-1877), first wife of John Tovey; Ansel E. (1846-1888), who married Jane Elizabeth Hale; Floyd M. (1849-1927), who married and moved to Colorado; Noble J. (1851-1866); Mary Emma (1854- ), who married Harry M. Wilson; Minnie (1856- ), second wife of John Tovey; and Dora V. (1859-1940), who married Thomas S. Dooley.

Jacob Goodykoontz

Jacob’s wife, Mary (Ward) Goodykoontz died on March 18, 1864 and was buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Waukon. Jacob remarried on December 6, 1866, to Sarah Elizabeth (Barnard) Raymond, who was also recently widowed and the mother of four young children, John T. Raymond, Mary Christine Raymond, Walter P. Raymond, and Ida Alice Raymond. The couple and their combined family remained in the Waukon area for a few more years, where together they had two more children, Delia May (1868-1869) and Lola F. (1870-1945).

In March of 1874, Jacob and Sarah sold their land in Allamakee County and moved to Jefferson County, Tennessee. Jacob died on June 20, 1888. His widow Sarah died June 14, 1896. They were buried in the Presbyterian Church cemetery at New Market, as were three of the Raymond siblings and the youngest Goodykoontz, Lola.

Jacob Goodykoontz headstone, New Market Presbyterian Cemetery, Jefferson County, TN

Family records and genealogical collection of Flora (Spencer) Barkley of Boone, Iowa.
Family records and genealogical collection of Vera Spencer of Alliance, Nebraska.
1810 Federal census, Daniel Goodykoontz family residence: Frederick County, Virginia.
1820 Federal census, Daniel Goodykoontz family residence: Montgomery County, Virginia.
1830 Federal census, Daniel Goodykoontz family residence: Grayson County, Virginia.
1840 Federal census, Daniel Goodykoontz family residence: Madison County, Indiana.
1840 Federal census, Jacob Goodykoontz family residence: Grant County, Indiana.
1850 Federal census, Jacob Goodykoontz family residence: Grant County, Indiana.
1856 State census, Jacob Goodykoontz family residence: Allamakee County, Iowa.
1860 Federal census, Jacob Goodykoontz family residence: Allamakee County, Iowa.
1870 Federal census, Jacob Goodykoontz family residence: Allamakee County, Iowa.
1880 Federal census, Jacob Goodykoontz family residence: Jefferson County, Tennessee.
Early deed records of Madison County, Indiana.
Deed records of Allamakee County, Iowa.
Marriage records of Allamakee County, Iowa.
Headstones and cemetery records for West Maplewood Cemetery, Anderson, Indiana.
Headstones and cemetery records for Oakland Cemetery, Waukon, Iowa.
Headstones of New Market Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Jefferson County, Tennessee.
Will of Jacob Goodykoontz, Jefferson County, Tennessee.
Will of Sarah Elizabeth Barnard Raymond Goodykoontz, Jefferson County, Tennessee.

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Road Trip 2011

I was excited to take another extended road trip, not only to enjoy the company of my parents on an adventure together, but to make research stops at some of the areas that have turned up in the past couple of years as being ancestral home places. Our genealogical research has had some wonderful breakthroughs, particularly on Dad’s side, when we discovered Lucinda (Parrish) Smith’s maiden name, which opened up both her Parrish and Starkweather lines back to early Massachusetts (from the 1630s), with the added bonus of the Billingtons of Mayflower notoriety. Also, further research on Mom’s side revealed that our Sarah (Preston) Eastlick’s mother, Anna (Winslow) Preston descends from a brother of Edward Winslow of the Mayflower. Suddenly we have Colonial American ancestors!

So our goals for the trip were to see Boston and Plymouth, and to really dig in on Alexander Eastlick’s roots in New Jersey. Mom wanted to be in on those parts of the journey. Then Dad and I would follow up in counties of importance to our family in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

 Thursday, 6/30/11: Our plane flight from Seattle to Boston went well, including the brief stopover in Portland. We picked up our rental car at Logan airport and were making good progress toward finding our hotel in Peabody, about 15 miles north of Boston. Then we took a wrong turn and got all messed up. We ended up driving around for some three hours before we finally got to our hotel. TIRED!!! Crabby, but safe. We ate dinner at a little Italian grill place near the hotel, then came back and bought ice cream in the lobby. It was a tiring day as we had been up since 3:15 a.m. to catch the cab to the airport.

Friday, 7/1/11: After our bad experience driving yesterday, this morning we took the hotel shuttle to the nearest train station, hopped a commuter train into Boston’s North Station, then grabbed a trolley tour. It was one of those hop-on, hop-off tours, so we got out to tour the U.S.S. Constitution, have lunch, etc. It was great to see Boston in an overview with historical commentary. Took the train back and the hotel shuttle picked us up from the train. Very slick. Only had to use the car once, and that was to drive down the street for dinner.

Fife and drum group off Boston Common

Saturday, 7/2/11: Since the hotel shuttle wasn’t available on Saturdays, Dad and I drove our rental car to the train station at Wakefield this morning. We took the train into Boston while Mom stayed at the hotel to read and relax and catch up on email. Once there, we caught the subway to Boston Common and did a lot of walking around the middle of town, mostly around the Common and the historical sites there. It was great to see the old churches and cemeteries where our people were, way-back-when. Plus it was a successful day navigating the highways and biways north of Boston. 

Sunday, 7/3/11: Drove south to Plymouth today. Went through the 17th century colonial village (replica of Plimoth Plantation, spelled the way Bradford spelled it) which was awesome with actors portraying the various Puritans. One house was that of the Brewsters, and we spoke with them a bit. Then we found the Billington home (but our ancestor was not there), and I spoke with the guy playing John Winslow (brother of my ancestor Kenelm Winslow), and another guy (Francis Cooke) we chatted with in the street. It was a really cool way of showing the history, what they wore, how they spoke, what their homes and village looked like.

Lobster lunch at Plymouth

Then we went into town and had lunch at a restaurant on the waterfront at Plymouth. After that, Dad and I went through the Mayflower replica ship moored there. Fun day, but I am tired, tired, tired! Ran into some rain showers on the way home from Plymouth to Peabody, but nothing our little Corolla couldn’t handle.

Monday, 7/4/11: Today we left Boston and drove to Somerset, New Jersey. We got here safely this afternoon with absolutely no hassles on the drive. Only once did I take a wrong turn, and it was easy to turn around at the next parking lot and make a correction.

The countryside was green and beautiful all the way from Massachusetts through Connecticut and part of New York, down into New Jersey. Am excited to end the “tourist” part of our trip and start the “research” part. Genealogy awaits tomorrow: the big search for Alexander Eastlick. Somerset County is the area where the Strykers and Brittons were involved in the Readington Church. It may also be where Alexander Eastlick married Elizabeth Britton. Three Eastlick offspring would eventually marry three Stryker siblings.

Tuesday, 7/5/11: Today Mom and Dad and I drove to Rutgers University campus, about six miles from our hotel, and spent the morning in their special collections area (genealogy materials) in the basement of their Alexander Library building. Easy to find and easy parking. After lunch we drove to the Somerset County Historical Society collection, housed in a neat old brick historic home called the Van Veghten house. They had some good materials but we didn’t have much time there before they closed.

Freehold, Monmouth County, New Jersey

Wednesday, 7/6/11: Today we drove south to Freehold, Monmouth County, New Jersey to research Eastlicks at two facilities, the Monmouth County Historical Association Library and the Monmouth County Archives. Both were great, as were the two yesterday. Unfortunately I think our Alexander Eastlick crawled out from under a rock. He didn’t leave behind very many records in his earlier life. We found a couple tidbits but nothing meaty. The New Jersey tax records show an Alexander Eastlick (various spellings) in Somerset County, but is that our Alex or the younger one who “absconded” from his Revolutionary War unit? So far, no big breakthroughs.

Thursday, 7/7/11: Today we drove to Trenton and went to the NJ State Archives. Viewed several types of records, including microfilm of the Wades petitioning for reimbursement for damages done by the British in the Battle of Connecticut Farms. Daniel Wade and others had their homes and property destroyed in that battle. Did a lot of looking for Eastlick clues but they all seemed to lead us back to Gloucester County and the Francis Eastlack group that came via Bermuda. Perhaps we should not assume that our Alexander was not from that group. Just because he enlisted from Monmouth County doesn’t mean he was born there. He could have come from anywhere.

Friday, 7/8/11: We spent the day back at the Alexander Library at Rutgers. I copied all the Wade cemetery records from their card catalogue. Also made several copies of Britton records for future reference in case a connection is made down the line.

Saturday, 7/9/11: We’ve been up since 3:30 a.m. since we had to check out of our Somerset hotel and drive Mom to the airport. It was still dark, of course, when we left at 4:00 and had started to rain, both stressful elements of the drive. Dad and I were able to drop Mom off safely at the Newark airport, although we did take some wrong turns along the way, heightening our anxiety quite a bit. There was some swearing involved…. but fortunately we had allowed plenty of extra time and got her there with time to spare.

Connecticut Farms Church, Union, New Jersey

Once Mom was on her way, Dad and I stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts for some food and coffee. Dunkin’ Donuts is a big deal out here! We figured we ought to try it at least once. Then we went on to two historic churches and graveyards that have family connections to our Wade line, both within ten miles of the airport. One was the Connecticut Farms Church in Union, NJ and then the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Elizabeth, NJ. Both were awesome and the cities were not scary to drive in at all. However, at that early hour on a Saturday, both cemeteries were locked up. Even though we were disappointed not to see ancestral headstones close up, we were glad to see they were being protected. These two cemeteries are well-documented online.

From there we drove westward through New Jersey by freeway, which went quickly. We stopped for a farm-style breakfast at a truck stop along the freeway, then headed to Hainesville NJ. First we stopped in the cemetery where our ancestor, Mary (Brugler) Brown is buried. She was the first wife of John Brown, and the mother of our Mary Brown who married Joseph Otto. No stone remains for her, although we saw several other Brugler stones. While I was climbing around the hillside viewing headstones, Dad chatted with a neighbor who told him the Brugler relative he had met and visited last time had since passed away. Her former home, the historic Brugler house, was not being lived in, so we drove there and took some photos. Then we drove on to the John and Mary (Brugler) Brown home, the original part of which is made of stone with the date 1789 carved above the door. When we knocked, we heard dogs barking and I thought I could hear a man talking, but he never answered the door. So we felt a bit awkward about getting out and taking photos of the historic home and decided we’d make do with the ones we already have from Dad’s previous visit.

We made a stop at a Visitors’ Welcome Center near the border between NJ and PA, where we had an interesting chat with the ranger on duty. He gave us a map showing the area of the Minisink region (Alexander Eastlick and family lived here for a time) where the government had purchased land in the 1980s anticipating a dam going in. Fortunately the project was stopped for environmental reasons, so this area of historic importance was preserved, including the Dutch Reformed Church parsonage. We decided against journeying up along that route, and instead headed toward Mifflinville PA.

Once we had checked into our hotel in Mifflinville, PA, Dad and I went out to the Brown cemetery on the edge of town. That peaceful hilltop resting place holds the remains of our ancestor, John Brown, and members of his extended family.

At our hotel that evening I discovered that my blog had received a comment regarding my Wade relatives. I get a lot of spam comments every day but I always check them before deleting them. This one was legit. This man had read one of my posts on the Lewis-Wade family including some references to Timothy Whitehead and family. My contact has access to a diary written in the late 1700s by David Whitehead, naming all his father’s brothers and sisters and showing their dates of birth and death. One of those sisters is Magdalena Whitehead who married Daniel Wade. These are two of my direct ancestors, so this was incredible news. And what made it even more incredible was that it happened on the same day we had just visited two Wade/Whitehead churches in Union Co NJ! Couldn’t be more coincidental. A sign?

Sunday, 7/10/11: Cousin Eloise phoned us this morning and we met her and her daughter-in-law for coffee across the street at McDonald’s. She sure makes us feel welcome! Great picnic with our Brown cousins. They are so nice and welcoming. Seems everywhere we go on this trip, people are kind and helpful, even the ones who aren’t related to us!

Tonight we drove on to a hotel in Binghamton, NY. That cuts our travel distance to the next research stop in half.

Monday, 7/11/11: After departing our Binghamton NY hotel, we drove north on I-81 past Syracuse and onto the NY Thruway (a toll road). It was all easy going because the traffic was light and it was out in open country. Very nice scenery. Everything is beautiful, green, lush countryside and wonderful old farms and villages here and there.

Oneida County Historical Society

Once we got to Utica, we stopped at the Public Library there and researched in their genealogy room, then grabbed a quick lunch at a deli before heading to our second research stop at the Oneida County Historical Society. They had a terrific collection in the basement of a fantastic old historic building. We looked at a lot of records but didn’t find anything on our Jacob Wade and family who passed through there long enough to be enumerated in the 1800 and 1810 census records. We had hoped for a tax record, militia list, anything that gave evidence of Jacob and Sarah’s life there before they migrated to Genesee and then Cattaraugus Counties, NY. We were also hoping to find evidence that Caleb Lewis lived there and might have met up with the Wades in that area. But nothing was found.

We also went to the county courthouse to look for deeds, and the man in the basement went out of his way to show us the old ledgers, but we couldn’t find our Jacob Wade anywhere in the records there.

After we checked into our hotel in Utica, we took a jaunt out to the rural area north in Herkimer County to the Century Cemetery where John and Lucinda (Parrish) Smith are buried. We found their stones and “rescued” Lucinda’s broken stone by lifting the pieces out and laying them on the ground so we could read and photograph the inscription. Then we carefully laid the stone back the way it was, but with the inscription side facing out so that people could read her name and dates. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Awesome! I had so wanted to go there ever since some kind person posted a photo of their graves on Find A Grave and we could see that Lucinda’s stone was broken and situated so that you couldn’t read it. I wished I’d had those photos when I was securing proof of my lineage from Lucinda’s father, Revolutionary War patriot Roswell Parrish, for entry into the D.A.R.

Leslie at Lucinda (Parrish) Smith grave, Century Cemetery, Russia, NY

Tuesday, 7/12/11: This morning we couldn’t wait to get out of our somewhat seedy hotel so we skipped out on the free breakfast and headed east to the town of Herkimer, where we ate a nice breakfast of eggs and bacon at a local diner. We enjoy it whenever we stop at some great “Ma and Pa” place instead of the regular carbon-copy chain places. I love this area…. beautiful, historic, and the people are so nice.

We went to the courthouse in Herkimer and got some township maps, Smith and Starkweather deeds, and Nathan Starkweather’s will. Everyone was helpful to this father-daughter pair of researchers.

Then we went across the street to the Herkimer Historical Society and spent another couple hours with a very helpful and enthusiastic genealogist lady who pulled lots of pertinent records for us to look at. Got some cemetery and marriage records on our Starkweathers.

After lunch we headed north to Newport and went to the Town Historical Society there. Not much on our line, as our Smiths lived in Russia Township and our Spencers in Norway Township. We did get a copy of an 1807 document in which John Smith was appointed overseer of the road from the town meeting minutes. Then we headed south to Warren Township and the old cemetery at Jordanville, where we found the headstone of our direct ancestor, Nathan Starkweather. It was an awesome discovery for us, as I had heard his stone was long-gone. What a serene and beautiful country lane cemetery! After that we motored on down the toll freeway to our hotel in Latham NY.

Dad at Nathan Starkweather's grave, Old Jordanville Cemetery, Warren, NY

Wednesday, 7/13/11: Dad and I drove from Latham to Stephentown in Rensselaer Co NY. The historical societies we wanted to visit were closed on Wednesdays, so we instead decided to see the cemeteries and towns of our relatives and wait until the following day to go to research centers. Rensselaer was where the twin Spencer sisters married Carr brothers. They raised our John Spencer after his mother died. We believe this is the area he may have met his future wife, Nancy Carr. We drove through Stephentown, stopping at a roadside used bookstore and chatted with the owner who has lived in the area since 1987 and was helping to restore a local cemetery. He was interested in history and was able to direct us to the places we wanted to go. We found the Stephentown Cemetery and took photos of the headstones of Edward and Eleanor (Spencer) Carr. Then we headed south to Chatham in Columbia County. We stopped at the public library there but the small local history section was not very user-friendly. The one map I wanted to copy was in a book that was too fragile to Xerox. So we didn’t stick around and instead headed back to our hotel in Latham.

Columbia County Historical Society

Thursday, 7/14/11: Today we spent time at the Columbia County Historical Association in Kinderhook. We looked at Smith and Starkweather surname files, will abstracts, and other records. They also had some valuable cemetery record books. I copied what I could find on the Starkweathers. I have been intrigued with Columbia County NY since I found the marriage record of John and Lucinda (Parrish) Smith. The record claims John Smith, Jr. was “of Chatham, New York,” so I have been eager to see if we could find his family there. We also knew some of Anna Starkweather’s brothers lived in Columbia County in 1790 and 1800. Of course, with a name like John Smith, it’s hard to sort out who belongs to whom. But I did by chance stumble upon the cemetery record of a John Smith who died in 1821 at age 80, buried next to Asa Starkweather and his wife. This could really mean something, as Asa is the brother of our Anna (Starkweather) Parrish. Now I can’t wait to find out more about this John Smith!

Les at the graves of Richard and Mary (Plummer) Starkweather, Preston, CT

Then Dad and I spent the rest of the afternoon driving on to Griswold, Connecticut, Roswell Parrish’s home place. We had time to visit one cemetery before dinner, and that was the Preston City Cemetery. We immediately found the headstones of our direct-line ancestors Richard and Mary Starkweather. Richard’s parents, John and Ann Starkweather, are supposed to be buried there too, but we didn’t see any stones quite that old. Just touching Richard’s headstone, with a death date of 1760 was pretty fantastic.

Friday, 7/15/11: We’ve made two unsuccessful attempts to find the Crary Cemetery in Preston, where Anna (Starkweather) Parrish is buried. We have seen her grave listed in the records, so we know she’s there. We just can’t find the cemetery. After driving around quite a bit and using MapQuest and Find A Grave instructions, and even stopping to ask a local homeowner, we could not find the cemetery. We figure it’s an abandoned burying ground back in the forest on private property. There’s an interesting thing about these woods; they have stone walls running through them. I can only imagine the early farmers pulling the stones out of the ground and piling them into walls to clear the fields for farming. Then as farming gave way to urban area development, the woods re-grew up in these rural fields and around these stone walls. Boy, if these walls could talk!

Our next stop was at the Preston Public Library in Preston. The librarian there was quite helpful in showing us the ropes and we found lots of good information on our Starkweathers. The Preston Town Hall was located right across the parking lot from the library, so I walked over there and secured a couple of deeds (1765 and 1770) for Nathan Starkweather. We also bought a wonderful book from the Librarian about the historic homes of the Preston area. Our ancestors are peppered throughout the book!

Then we drove on south to the New London County Historical Society, housed in the Shaw Mansion, a great old historical home in New London. We only had about an hour there, but I gathered cemetery records while Dad followed up on a reference he spotted earlier at the Preston Library, and researched the possibility that John Starkweather’s wife Ann may have been a descendant of King Phillip, son of Massasoit. No evidence yet, but wouldn’t that be an interesting turn of events?

Saturday, 7/16/11: Today we went to the town of East Greenwich, RI. We stopped at the public library which had a great genealogy room…. all these places back east seem to have a nice local history and genealogy collection. Then we ate a late lunch at a dockside pub on the marina. Beautiful weather and nice breeze watching the boats, etc. Historic little town and not too big so the driving was easy. Half the fun of these genealogy road trips is seeing the countryside and imagining how our ancestors lived.

After lunch we drove to one ancestral cemetery where our immigrant ancestors, John and Joan (Tattersall) Greene are buried. They married in Salisbury, England before coming to America in the 1630s. They both had above-ground type graves with slabs of stone on top. John’s was still barely readable but Joan’s was obliterated by time and deterioration. I’m sure John’s was not the original seventeenth-century stone, but a replacement that was put there in some century since. It was a nice little cemetery with beautiful slate headstones set behind a church. We tried to find another family cemetery in nearby Warwick where John and Joan Greene’s son John and his wife Ann (Almy) Greene are buried, but we got lost and gave up the search.

Sunday, 7/17/11: This morning we left our West Greenwich, RI hotel to visit Carr Pond. This is the area that our (probable) ancestor, Esek Carr settled. We found the pond on the map and drove completely around it, but couldn’t get close enough to see the actual water. We did stop and talk with a few people. Lots of recreational use of the area even though it is not well-marked. It seems to be the best-kept-secret of local bikers, hikers and fishers.

Then we tried for a second time to find the cemetery in Warwick where John and Ann (Almy) Greene are buried. We got closer this time, but discovered it was on private property down a private road marked NO TRESPASSING so we didn’t brave it. At least the graves are pictured on Find A Grave already.

Then we drove on to our lodging for the night, an 1830s farmhouse in the woods near Rehoboth, Massachusetts. The owners are a nice retired couple and we enjoyed visiting with them. They weren’t quite ready for us when we pulled in, so we drove into Rehoboth and spent a couple of hours looking at cemeteries and going through a museum. Amazing that it was open on Sunday. Our Sabin, Billington and Kingsley families were connected with Rehoboth. These are Roswell Parrish’s ancestors.

We had a low-key evening at the B & B, just relaxing and talking genealogy and visiting on and off with our hosts. They have three cats, all sort of skittish, so I didn’t have a real CAT FIX yet. I kept hoping one of them would make up with me, but it never happened.

Dad at Pilgrim Museum, Plymouth, MA

Monday, 7/18/11: Breakfast was served at 8:00 (full hot breakfast) and then we drove to Plymouth to find Billington Sea (which is really a lake, discovered by John Billington, Jr., son of our John and Eleanor Billington of the Mayflower). Took photos by the lake and then went to the Pilgrim museum. Remember how we enjoyed Plimoth Plantation? The Pilgrim Museum in Plymouth was really well done, too. No actors, but we enjoyed a documentary movie and displays of the history and artifacts from the Mayflower and from Plimoth Plantation.

Our final night of the trip, we stayed at a hotel in Watertown, MA, not far from Logan Airport. Dad and I re-packed our bags to reduce down the stuff we’ve picked up along the way…. a definite challenge but we got it done.

We set the alarm clock and both cell phone alarms, plus we requested a wake up call from the hotel office. We didn’t want to risk missing our early flight. Homeward bound!

Tuesday, 7/19/11: I didn’t sleep all that well, as I kept waking up to check the clock. But we both woke up before the first of four alarms went off. We were on the road by 4:00 a.m. and were glad we had extra time as we had a little trouble finding our way to the turnpike. Then the highway crew had the freeway closed and routed everyone off at exit 22 when we needed exit 26! So here we were, getting off on a ramp who-knows-where in the middle of Boston. I almost lost it then. But I pulled over to the side of the road and just then a cabbie pulled over behind me to let off a passenger. I jumped out and asked the cabbie for help in directing me to the airport. He gave me clear, concise directions, and we made it with no problems. Without his direction, I would never have found the way as there were no signs for the airport in that part of town. Jeez.

Dad and I made it safely to the airport and got the rental car returned. I felt MUCH more relaxed after we arrived in the terminal and sat down to a Starbucks latte. Dad caught up on the reading the newspaper and I took the opportunity to use the free WiFi. Last night and this morning he and I have been reviewing the trip and thinking of the fun stuff and interesting discoveries. We arrived at SeaTac and took a cab to Mom and Dad’s apartment. We visited with Mom, I did my laundry and called hubby Pete. I would not actually make it home until Friday, as I had a three-day conference to attend in Tacoma first.

Saturday, 7/23/11: Finally home. Got dropped off yesterday afternoon and I rested and caught up on my messages and mail. Fell asleep on the couch then went to bed and slept until after 10:00 a.m. which is really late for me. I feel a little like I’ve been run over by a truck. Showered and am now starting down my “to do” list of other things. It was so good to get home. Pete and “the boys” were all great and glad to see me. Pete was cleaning house when I arrived. This morning we drank coffee while I showed him our photos from the trip. So he got to hear all the details of our travels. Fun. It’s fantastic that we were able to have this adventure together, the three of us and then the two of us. Good stuff. I have LOTS to do to follow up on the genealogy we brought home. That will be weeks of “to do” items….

Posted in Almy, Billington, Britton, Brown, Brugler, Carr, Eastlack, Eastlick, Greene, Kingsley, Lewis, Otto, Parrish, Preston, Sabin, Smith, Spencer, Starkweather, Stryker, Tattersall, Wade, Whitehead, Winslow | Comments Off on Road Trip 2011

New Ancestors: Magdalena Whitehead, James Jones and Joanna Meeker

The beautiful thing about genealogy is that, aside from all the hard work and fun of following clues in the records, every once in a while the genealogy goddess looks down upon you and smiles. Or more precisely, some complete stranger contacts you out of the blue with some wonderful information that you didn’t have before that helps piece together the puzzle of ancestors’ lives lived so long ago.

You may have noticed in the comment section after my article “Caleb and Joanna (Wade) Lewis musings,” that suddenly last month, two such contacts happened back to back. Boy! was the goddess smiling on me!

I had earlier found Timothy Whitehead’s 1779 will that named his daughter Magdalena Wade and his son-in-law Daniel Wade. I had also seen Daniel’s 1793 will that named his wife Temperance. The Stuart C. Wade book on the Wade genealogy mentions only two wives for Daniel Wade:  Elizabeth, who died in 1758 and is buried at Connecticut Farms (Union), NJ, and Temperance. Nowhere does he mention the middle wife, Magdalena. As a result, dozens of Wade researchers online do not mention her and have posted Temperance as the mother of several of the Wade children.

Yet, my Jacob and Sarah (Jones) Wade named their first-born daughter Magdalena. David and Esther (Wade) Baker named one of their daughters Magdalena. Naming patterns offer important clues.

Then, miraculously, Cousin Travis Whitehead left a comment on my blog post saying that I was correct in assuming Daniel had married three times. Travis had access to a Whitehead diary listing the five children of Timothy Whitehead, along with their birth and death dates, including my Magdalena (Whitehead) Wade, who died in 1783! Yay!

So here’s the timeline:

Daniel married Elizabeth, and they had some children together. She died in 1758. The Wade children born before 1758 belong to Elizabeth.

Daniel married Magdalena Whitehead, and they had some children together. Magdalena is mentioned in her father’s 1779 will. She died in 1783 according to her nephew’s diary. The Wade children born between 1759 and 1783 belong to Magdalena.

Daniel married Temperance, and names her in his 1793 will. It’s most likely they did NOT have children together, as Temperance was at least 50 years old when they married sometime after 1783. She is buried in the First Presbyterian Church Yard, Newark, Essex County, New Jersey: Temperance Wade died 5 Feb 1818, aged 86 years and 13 days.

Daniel Wade died in 1793.

My next project is to follow up on all of Daniel’s children to see which ones were born to Elizabeth and which to Magdalena. Some are obvious because of the birthdates supplied in the Stuart Wade book, but others he named without dates of birth.

Then, the SECOND miracle happened. Cousin Jane Sullivan had read that same blog post and left a comment regarding my musings about Sarah (Jones) Wade. The fact that Jacob and Sarah (Jones) Wade named their first-born son James J. Wade made me suspect that Sarah’s father might be named James Jones…. you know, those all-important naming patterns again.

Jane confirmed my suspicion! She descends from Sarah’s sister Mary Jones who married Jabez Thompson, who served in the Revolutionary War and survived long enough afterwards to apply for a pension from the U.S. Government. After Jabez died, his widow Mary applied for widow’s benefits. Thank heaven we 21st century researchers have the good fortune of easy access to pension files through Mary’s widow’s pension application contains affidavits from her sisters: Rebecca (Jones) Wade, married to Jacob Wade’s brother Robert, declared that she was a sister of Mary Thompson, and that they were daughters of James Jones of Essex County, New Jersey. Sarah (Jones) Wade declared that she was a sister of Mary Thompson and that although she was unable to attend Jabez and Mary’s wedding, her husband Jacob went to fetch the minister and was present to see the marriage. Hallelujah! The affidavit goes on to give nice detail about how Jacob and Sarah moved to Oneida County, New York in the mid 1790s, but more on that in another post.

So now we have three sisters, Rebecca, Sarah and Mary Jones, all daughters of James Jones. We don’t know if they were the only children. We also don’t know their mother’s name. Or do we?

Cousin Jane put me onto two other fantastic records:


Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey, page 270
Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Vol. VI, 1781-1785 

1773, March 6. Meeker, Jonathan, of Essex Co.; will of. Wife, Sarah, 1/3 of moveable estate, and use of 1/3 of my land. Daughter, Johanah, the present wife of James Jones, the house in which she lives, which I bought of John Jewell, and 4 acres of land that join the house. Daughter, Sarah, the present wife of Jonathan Congar, £9. Daughter, Rebekah, £100. Son, Jonathan, rest of my estate. Executors—son, Jonathan, and my brother, Isaac Meeker. Witnesses—William Meeker, Josiah Meeker, Alexander Vance. Proved Aug. 19, 1782.
Lib. 24, p.2


From “Genealogies of New Jersey Families: Families A-Z, pre-American notes on old New Netherland families,” page 665

Meeker Bible

The following records are contributed by Mr. C. L. Wallace, and are from a Bible printed in Edinburgh by Robert Freebairn, His Majesty’s Printer, in 1734, and now in possession of Miss Belle Meeker, 54 Wakeman Avenue, Newark. 

Jonathan Meeker was born Novem’r ye 8th 1712 and he expired the 5th day of October 1782.
Rebekah the wife of Jonathan Meeker was born 10th day of Novem’r 1722 and they were married the 3d Day of March 1740. She expired January ye 12th 1746.
Sarah the wife of Jonathan Meeker was born June 26th 1714. They were married the 27th of March 1748.

Our Children’s Ages had by my first wife
Joanna was born Decemb’r ye 13, 1740.
Jonathan was Born February 21, 1744 (N.S.).

Children Ages had by my 2d wife
Obadiah was Born 17th August 1749 and he expired Septem’er 1, 1750.
Sarah was born July 28th, 1751.
Rebekah was born 26th February, 1754, and she Expired the 24th of May, 1777.

William Meeker deceast December the XXI Day in the year 17XLIV and in the 67 year of his age.

There you have it. Sarah (Jones) Wade has been a dead end in our family my whole life. Beyond recent speculation that her father may have been named James, I have never had one morsel of information on Sarah and where she came from. Then within days, all that changed and now we have Sarah (Jones) Wade’s parents, James Jones and Joanna Meeker. Not only that, but we have Joanna (Meeker) Jones’ parents, Jonathan Meeker and Rebekah, his first wife. AND did you catch the final entry in the Bible record? That William Meeker is Jonathan’s father, William, who died 21 Dec 1744.

Posted in Jones, Meeker, Wade, Whitehead | 2 Comments

Wyoming, by Ralph S. Lewis

“Wyoming” is one of several biographical accounts written by my grandfather, Ralph Spencer Lewis, about his family and his growing-up years. What a treasure he left us!


In the year 1900, my father and a brother-in-law, Alvah Spencer, moved to Wyoming. They bought a small ranch near Moorcroft on the Belle Fourche River and went into the sheep business. I have no record of what month they went or returned but am quite certain of the year. Meanwhile Father had leased our ranch in northern Nebraska to Arthur Newman for five years.

In those days most of that part of Wyoming was open government land, where grazing was free. Anyone with cattle or sheep could use the pasture. Stillman and Alvah bought several thousand sheep and hired a dozen or so herders to take care of them. They gave each one a covered wagon to live in, two or three good sheep dogs, and a rifle to shoot coyotes with. They moved each herder with his wagon and band of sheep ten to twenty miles from the ranch. The herder had no horses, but about every two weeks a tender would come by and move the wagon two or three miles to fresh pasture, and always near a stream for water for the sheep. Also the tender brought him food and supplies. The herder would live this way until November when they would move the sheep to winter pasture near the ranch headquarters. It was a lonely life, but many men liked it. 

Wyoming sheep ranch, herder with wagon and sheep

Father knew something about the sheep business, for when he was 21 years old, he had left his father’s ranch and had gone to Oregon to herd sheep for two years.

Every spring a crew of about a dozen shearers would come to help shear the sheep. As there was no electricity, they used hand shears. A fast man could shear 80 to 90 sheep a day. They would get several tons of wool, which they packed into very large burlap sacks about seven feet tall.

Shearing sheep on the ranch

Our sister, Lillian, was born there on the ranch in September, 1902. In the summer of 1903, a friend of Mother’s came to visit us. She was a professional photographer and took many large pictures of the ranch and the sheep. I have about twenty of these and I prize them very much because they are the only records we have of our life in Wyoming.

Belle (Spencer) Lewis standing near sacks of wool, Lillian next to her, twins and Clare on top


In the fall of 1903, Mother took us three children by train to Ainsworth to live awhile with her folks. On January 1, 1904, our brother Howard was born there.

Father and Uncle Alvah stayed on the ranch and that winter tragedy struck them. Instead of the usual open winter, a foot of snow fell in January so the sheep could not get to the grass for food. Some days the snow would melt a little, then freeze at night to form an icy glaze over the ground. They had no hay for the sheep and, when spring came, nearly half of them had died. As wool had been at a good price, they about broke even after selling the rest of the sheep.

Twins Ruth and Ralph Lewis at the sheep ranch about 1903

Then Father returned to the ranch in Nebraska where he lived with the Newmans for a year, while the rest of us continued to live in Ainsworth.

In the spring of 1905, Father came for us with a team and wagon. I remember that forty mile ride to the ranch. There was some furniture in the back of the wagon, so Ruth and I rode on some blankets laid on that. The trip took all day. We returned to the ranch where Ruth and I were born in 1899, and continued to live there until 1914, when we moved to Dallas, South Dakota.

Posted in Lewis, Spencer | Comments Off on Wyoming, by Ralph S. Lewis

Jane Reeves, lost sister found

I’m so excited, I couldn’t sleep! So I’m up early at the computer…. The detective work of genealogy is just so fun! Last night I “discovered” Jane Reeves. I mean, I didn’t really discover her, but she took on an identity and became real to me.

I had vaguely known about her since earlier this past fall when I ordered, viewed and transcribed microfilmed court records out of Scioto County, Ohio (Court of Common Pleas Journal, 1810-1851). In the Portsmouth August term of 1819, there was a lawsuit by siblings of George Feurt, deceased, against another of their brothers, Gabriel Feurt. The document listed George’s heirs, including the following siblings:

Benjamin Feurt
Thomas Feurt
Peter Noel and Susannah Noel his wife (Susannah Feurt Noel)
Philip Noel and Mafsey Noel his wife (Massey Feurt Noel)
[note two Feurt sisters married two Noel brothers]

Another sibling, Mary (Feurt) Reeves, had died earlier that same year, so her interests in the estate were conveyed to her children:

Joseph Reeves
Jane Reeves
Susannah Reeves
Elijah Reeves
Mary Reeves
by Thomas Reeves their Father and Natural Guardian

These were the complainants who were taking legal action against Gabriel Feurt, Defendant. This document provides beautiful proof that Mary Feurt is the first wife of Thomas Reeves and the mother of the children listed. I could tell from what I knew about the Reeves children and their approximate birthdates from census and cemetery records, that this list was probably in birth order.

The other, first important document that fleshed out the Reeves siblings was father Thomas’ probate abstract out of Washington County, Iowa, dated 1846 (page 145 Book B):

John Reeves
Margaret Reeves
“oldest son” Joseph Reeves
Elijah Reeves
Susannah F. Hodges
Mary M. Crowell (sic) should be Crouch, but the transcriber of the handwriting probably could not make it out. I am still trying to locate the original handwritten record.
Delilah Harman
Executors John S. and Margaret Reeves

From a biography about John S. Reeves in a Washington County, Iowa history book, I knew that Thomas Reeves had been married twice, and that John S. was born to his second marriage, to Mary Hoskinson. Margaret was also from this second marriage. The bio did not mention the name of Thomas’ first wife, so I am particularly happy to have found the Feurt lawsuit record to verify my line.

Thomas Reeves’ marriage to Mary (Polly) Hoskinson was found in the records of Scioto County, Ohio in 1822. Also in that county I found the marriage record of Delilah Reeves to Henry Harman in 1818. The fact that eldest sister Delilah was married prior to the 1819 lawsuit document is probably why the list of Reeves children did not include her as an heir.

I was so thrilled to see married names for sisters Susannah and Delilah in the Washington County, Iowa probate record, so that I could follow them in the census records to flesh out their lines somewhat. No daughter Jane was listed here, so she obviously did not survive long enough after the 1819 Feurt document to be listed in an 1846 probate record.

So now I come to why I was excited last night. In reading through my thick file on the Reeves family, I came across correspondence from 1996 with two other Reeves researchers. That was long before I knew anything about the parents and family of my Mary (Reeves) Crouch and I was following up on possible Reeves connections in the LDS IGI.

Although they could not help me place my Mary Reeves, one of them did suggest that since Mary married M. M. Crouch in Delaware County, Indiana in the 1830s, that other Reeves listed there might be siblings of hers. He gave me a list of four Reeves marriage records, including Elijah to Indiana Custer, Susannah to John Hodge, and Jane to Nicholas Friend. Back in 1996 I didn’t know anything about these people so this correspondence was filed away. Now, in re-reading this letter in 2011, I certainly recognize the names Elijah and Susannah, and now the name Jane fits in!

I immediately set about researching this Nicholas Friend on the internet. I found three different marriages for him, one to Mary Haines in 1822, one to Jane Reeves in 1832 and one to Naomi Wheatcraft in 1840. I followed him through the census records and found a photo of his headstone (Jasper County, Iowa) on Find-A-Grave. A Google search led me to the Delaware County Historical Society website and a query there which was full of information on Nicholas’ family. I also found transcripts of Deed Book A from Delaware County. Land sales include the wife’s name. Nicholas Friend and wife Jane sold land in 1837 and 1838. But in 1839, Nicholas sold land with no wife mentioned. In 1840, Nicholas Friend and wife Naomi sold a parcel of land. The 1838 sale said Nicholas and wife Jane were “of Jay County, Indiana,” but so far I have not found a death or cemetery record for Jane (Reeves) Friend in Delaware, Jay or Blackford County, Indiana. I will keep looking. If Jane died around 1839, she may well have had children during her short life. What became of them? Next mystery to solve!

Posted in Crouch, Feurt, Reeves | Comments Off on Jane Reeves, lost sister found

Will of Robert Stickland, Cattaraugus County, New York

The last Will and testament of Robert Stickland of the town of Lyndon in the County of Cattaraugus—

I Robert Stickland considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound mind and memory do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following—that is to say—

First—I hereby constitute and appoint my wife Elizabeth Stickland— Executrix and my son Robert and John Wise of the town of Cuba in the county of Allegany—Executors of this my last will and testament—

Second—I hereby give and grant to my aforesaid Executrix and Executors all my Estate real and personal to have and to hold the same to them and to the survivor or survivors of them for and until my youngest child shall attain to and become of the age of twenty one years— and in trust to apply and appropriate the [ ] property and income of the same for the support and maintainance of my said wife and such of my children as may be under the age of twenty one years— each of my said children as they shall severally attain to that age to receive no further support from my said estate except as herein after provided—

Third—When my youngest child shall attain to and become of the age of twenty one years— then the Estate and interest created in the second clause of this my last will and testament shall cease and determine and I then give and devise my said estate both real and personal to be divided and distributed as follows—to wit one third thereof to my wife Elizabeth and the remaining two thirds thereof to be distributed amongst my children as follows—to wit—I give to each of my children except my daughter Hannah Otto an equal share of the said two thirds of my said estate so remaining— and to my said daughter Hannah Otto a share thereof equal to two thirds as much as either of my other children receive—any amount of money or property that may have been or may be advanced to any of my said children to be deducted out of his or her share and shall be reckoned against him or her as so much towards his or her share

Fourth—In case my said wife shall not live until my said youngest child shall attain to the age of twenty one years then and in such case: when my said child shall so attain to that age—then I give and bequeath the share of my said Estate before granted to her to be distributed amongst my children with & in the same proportions and shares as the rest of my estate—and in case either of my said children shall die before the time aforesaid and shall leave no heirs of their body then his or her share shall be distributed in like proportions and with the rest of my Estate—but in case of either of them so dying shall leave any heirs of his or her body then such heirs shall take the same share their parent or parents would take if living

Fifth—I will that all my just debts be paid out of my Estate—

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twentyeth day of July in the Year One Thousand Eight hundred and Thirty nine— 

                                                Robert Stickland

The above instrument consisting of one sheet was now here subscribed by Robert Strickland the testator in the presence of each of us—and was at the same time declared by him to be his last will and testament – and we at his request sign our names thereto as attesting witnesses
July 20th 1839—

Pardon T Jewell residing in Franklinville
John Wise residing in Franklinville
Chas M. Leuth residing in Franklinville

                                                                        Cattaraugus County

Cattaraugus County SS: Silas P. Otto being duly sworn says that Robert Strickland died in the town of Cuba, Allegany County, in the State of New York, in the month of February A.D. 1841 at the dwelling house of his wife Elizabeth Strickland, that he died of Consumption after being sick about two years, that he left a widow, Elizabeth Strickland, who resides in the town of Cuba, Allegany County and State of New York, and six children viz: Hannah Otto, wife of Silas P. Otto, both of whom reside in the town of Lyndon, County of Cattaraugus and State of New York, Tilden Strickland who resides in the town of Cuba, County of Allegany and State of New York, Edwin Strickland, Rosana Strickland, Margaret F. Strickland, and Eliza Ann Strickland, all of whom reside with this deponent, in the town of Lyndon, County of Cattaraugus, and State of New York all of the above named children are minors under 21 years age with the exception of Hannah Otto all of whom are heirs of said deceased and the only ones known of to this deponent. 

            That the said Robert Strickland died leaving an Instrument in writing purporting to be his last will and Testament, divesting Real Estate and bequeathing personal property in which John Wise, Robert Strickland Jr. are named as Executors and Elizabeth Strickland named as Executrix thereof and further that the said Robert Strickland deceased, at the time of his death was an inhabitant of the town of Lyndon County and State aforesaid.

Subscribed & Sworn
This 21st day of July
A.D. 1841 Before me                                                   S. P. Otto

                        Robert H. Thankland, Surrogate

 To the Surrogate of the Court of Cattaraugus

            The undersigned would respectfully represent that Robert Strickland died in the town of Cuba, County of Allegany, that he was a resident of Lyndon, County of Cattaraugus, that he left a certain Instrument in writing purporting to be his last will and Testament, in which Hannah Otto, the wife of your Petitioner is named as a Legatee,

            Your Petitioner would further represent that Robert Strickland Jr. one of the Executors named in said will has died since the Execution of said will, and that Elizabeth Strickland, Executrix also named in said will refuses to act as such Executrix and John Wise, another Executor named in said will refuses to act as such Executor. Your Petitioner would therefore request that Letters of Administration, with the will of the said Robert Strickland deceased annexed, be granted him in the right of his wife.

            Dated Dec. 30, 1841                            S. P. Otto

Cattaraugus County S.S.

            Silas P. Otto being duly sworn says that the facts set forth in the above Petition are in all respects substantially true and correct.

Subscribed & Sworn                                        S. P. Otto
the 30th of Dec. 1841
Before me
            Robert H. Thankland Surrogate

Cattaraugus County S.S.

                        Silas P. Otto being duly sworn says that Robert Strickland died in the month of February last past at the dwelling house of his wife while there on a visit in the town of Cuba, Allegany County, State of New York. That the said deceased at the time of his death was an Inhabitant of the town of Lyndon, in the County of Cattaraugus, that the said deceased left an Instrument in writing purporting to be his last will and Testament—That the said deceased left Goods, chattels and credits within this State the value of which according to the best information and belief of this deponent, amounts to about the Sum of Two hundred Dollars and does not exceed that sum. That this deponent is a Citizen of the United States and of the full age of twenty one years.

Subscribed & Sworn

this 30th Day of Dec. A. D. 1841                      S. P. Otto
Before me.

            Robt H. Thankland, Surrogate

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Caleb and Joanna (Wade) Lewis musings

Caleb Lewis (1790-1856) is one of our genealogical brick walls. While he left a nice paper trail during his life, we have yet to discover the names of his parents. He first appears in census records in 1820, living in Stafford, Genesee County, New York, with his wife Joanna (Wade) Lewis and two young sons. In 1822, he purchased land in Cattaraugus County from the Holland Land Company, and the Lewis family moved to Farmersville, along with Joanna’s parents, Jacob and Sarah (Jones) Wade. Jacob Wade comes from a widely documented family out of New Jersey. I wanted to dig around on them a bit to see if I could shed some light on their migration into New York and possibly find out how it was that Joanna’s family met up with young Mr. Caleb Lewis.

The home of Caleb and Joanna Lewis, Farmersville, Cattaraugus County, New York, ca. 1860s

Caleb and Joanna (Wade) Lewis had eleven children:

Jacob W. Lewis (what do you want to bet he was named for Joanna’s father, Jacob Wade?). He supposedly moved to Iowa and was possibly involved in the Civil War but we know nothing more of him…. yet.

Caleb Lewis, Jr., who married Elizabeth Ann Babcock and lived in the Genesee, Allegany County, NY area.

Lovisa Lewis, who married George W. Swift and lived in the Black Creek area of Allegany County, NY.

Oliver Lewis, who married Clarissa Norton, and resided in Centerville, Allegany County, NY. No doubt, Oliver was named for Joanna’s brother Oliver Wade.

Joanna Lewis, who married Ozro Wilson.

Eliza Ann Lewis, who married John Orestes Badger and moved to Chautauqua County, NY.

Mary Ann Lewis, who died as an infant.

Guy Carlton Lewis (it was fashionable to name children after an historic figure… I wonder how Caleb and Joanna felt about Guy Carlton of Revolutionary War fame?), who married Maria Sara Farrington and moved to Michigan and then Idaho.

Mary Ann Lewis, who married DeAlton Swift. The name must have been important enough for Caleb and Joanna to use it again after the death of the first child named Mary Ann.

Ralph Lewis, who married Emma Otto (they are my great-great-grandparents) and homesteaded in Keya Paha County, Nebraska in 1883.

Stillman Ennis Lewis, who married first Julia A. Huntley, and second Jennie M. Hastings. He was a dentist in Olean, NY and was a member of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) along with his brother Ralph, years after the two served in the Civil War. The name Stillman appears in areas where the Lewis family lived. There’s even a Stillman Ennis, but the exact connection hasn’t been determined yet.

Brothers Stillman E. Lewis and Ralph Lewis in their GAR uniforms, 1909

My father and I have fleshed out most of these branches of the family, at least somewhat, searching for clues to further our knowledge of Caleb Lewis and his background. An early resource for us was the Compendium of History, Reminiscence and Biography of Western Nebraska which contained a brief biography of Ralph Lewis and a sketch of his “Clover Leaf Farm” in Keya Paha County. His biography stated that Ralph’s father Caleb was “born in Rhode Island, and his family were all killed at the Wyoming massacre except his father and grandmother.” Research into the Wyoming Valley massacre of 1778 has not yet led to information on the parents of Caleb Lewis.

Going back to the clue about a Rhode Island birthplace, we found several men named Caleb Lewis who lived in Exeter, Rhode Island in the 1700s. We have followed some of them but to date have not found the evidence needed to show that our Caleb born in 1790 was a son to one of them. It is likely they are related, however, so that’s a start. Now that resources such as (now are online, it is much easier to pursue resources to flesh out “what if” lines. I spent hours this weekend reading Revolutionary War pension application files. So interesting!!

Headstone of Caleb and Joanna Lewis, Farmersville Center Cemetery

Joanna Wade<Jacob Wade<Daniel Wade<Robert Wade<Benjamin Wade

Colateral lines often yield clues. This weekend I gathered up my Wade data. Joanna’s parents were Jacob and Sarah (Jones) Wade. They named their first two children Magdalena and James J. Wade. Considering the importance of naming patterns in that era, I am willing to bet that Sarah Jones’ father was James Jones and that she named her first-born son after him. No proof yet. I did do some digging on Joanna’s brother James J. Wade, who lived in Gaines, Orleans County, NY. No document that I have found yet shows his middle name.

But I did find something interesting on Jacob Wade’s mother. All this time we had assumed her name was Temperance, based on the 1900 publication, the Wade Genealogy, compiled by Stuart Charles Wade. Now I have stumbled upon the wills of Robert Wade and one Timothy Whitehead, which indicate that Daniel Wade’s second wife, the mother of our Jacob, was named Magdalena (Whitehead) Wade. This makes sense, knowing that Jacob and Sarah named their first-born daughter Magdalena.

        WILL of ROBERT WADE, Elizabeth, Essex Co, NJ

Calendar of New Jersey wills, administrations, etc (Volume 4), New Jersey Historical Society

CALENDAR OF WILLS – 1761-1770, page 459

1760, Jan. 7. Wade, Robert, of Elizabeth Borough, Essex Co., yeoman; will of.
Wife, Sarah, use of 1/3 my land. Granddaughter, Sarah Cherry, £20. Granddaughter, Sarah Brown, £5, when 18. Son, Daniel, plantation where I live and the swamp on the other side of the way, joining land of John Wade, Jotham Clark and Benjamin Wade, which is 18 acres. Sons, Henry and Daniel, two lots of salt meadow, of 15 acres; also one joining to the Oyster Creek, of 6 acres. Son, Benjamin, salt meadow that joins Bound Creek, of 7 acres. My son, Daniel, and my daughter, Patiensce (sic), wife of Josiah Woodruff, moveable estate. Executors – friend, Timothy Whitehead, and my son, Daniel. Witnesses – Andrew Whitehead, Timothy Whitehead, Jr., Elias Whitehead. Proved Aug. 18, 1766.
1766, Aug. 21. Inventory, £53.0.7, made by Nathaniel Ball and Amos Day. Lib. I, p. 43.

        WILL of TIMOTHY WHITEHEAD, Elizabeth, Essex Co, NJ

Calendar of New Jersey wills, administrations, etc (Volume 5), New Jersey Historical Society

CALENDAR OF WILLS – 1771-1780, page 581

1779, July 26. Whitehead, Timothy, of Borough of Elizabeth, Essex Co.; will of.
Daughter, Prudence Bonnel, £700, for her and her children. To the children of my daughter, Magdelena Wade, £150. Son, Timothy, all my cooper’s tools, and to his children, £100. Grandson, Abner Whitehead, £150. To the children of my son, Andrew, deceased, £50, whose names are, Charlotte and Elizabeth Whitehead. Grandson, David Whitehead, £10, he being kin to his father’s estate. The rest of the money to be divided between the rest of my son Elias Whitehead’s children, James, Sarah, Lois, Prudence, Rachel and Alis, when they come of age. If my grandson, James Whitehead, should appear to be reformed, then he may have a double portion with the last named children. I give my Executors power to sell all my goods and land. Executors–son, Timothy, and my son-in-law, Daniel Wade. Witnesses–David Wade, Caleb Wade, Jr., David Wade, Jr. Proved Nov. 1, 1779.   Lib. 20, p. 354

Headstone of Jacob and Sarah Wade, Farmersville Center Cemetery

Hot off the press…

I had just blogged about the Wades yesterday, and then today I came across an abstract of Daniel Wade’s will, and it claims his wife was Temperance, at least at the time he wrote the will in 1793. Was he married three times? I need to flesh out the children of the family to determine birth order and follow up in other records to determine if there were three wives. See below.

        WILL of DANIEL WADE, Sr., Elizabeth, Essex County, NJ

Documents Relating to the Colonial, Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary History of the State of New Jersey, First Series—Vol. XXXVII

Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Administrations, Etc., Vol. VIII—1791-1795, page 385

1793, Aug. 9. Wade, Daniel, Sr., of Elizabeth Twsp., Essex Co.; will of.
Wife, Temperance, 1 cow, choice of hogs, household furniture and privileges of house and garden, and provisions. Son, Amos, 5 shillings. Son, Benjamin, £8. Son, Daniel, ¼ of salt meadow, 1/5 of woodland, and 1 acre before his door adjoining the Parsonage land. Son, Timothy, 1 acre adjoining land sold to Charles Townley, and 1/5 of woodland back of the estate of David Meeker. Son, Jacob, ¼ of salt meadow and 1/5 of woodland. Son, Robert, piece of land opposite house of son Daniel, 1/5 of woodland and ¼ of meadow. Son, Moses, ¼ of meadow, land where my house stands and residue of movable estate; he giving son Timothy a deed for house and lot where he now lives, or to pay him £110. Daughters, Temperance, (wife of David Bonnell), and Esther, (wife of David Baker), each £10. Son, Jacob, £7, or title to land on the mountain known as the Mine Lot. Executors—friends—Jonas Wade and David Crane. Witnesses—Robert Wade, Benjamin Scudder, Noah Wade. Proved July 25, 1793.            Lib. 33, p. 191; File 7776-7781G.

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Roswell Parrish, my patriot ancestor (one of them, at least)

Just received my official notification from the D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution). I’m in!

I am so happy that Roswell Parrish is now on the rolls of Patriot Ancestors for the D.A.R. With my application in July, I sent in proof of his existence, his service record, and my direct line back to him. It was a time-consuming but fun project to collect “proof” for every generational link. The bonus for me was that in the organization’s 120-year history, no one had ever entered the D.A.R. through his service.

Next, I’m going to gather my documents for proving my line back to Joseph Feurt. Joseph is already on the rolls, but only through two of his sons, not through his daughter Mary (Feurt) Reeves, which is my line. After that, I’m going for Alexander Eastlick. There are a few members in the D.A.R. through Alexander’s service, too, but not through his son Jacob yet. I like being the first! 

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Oro Fino Band, Siskiyou County, California

The Oro Fino Band (Siskiyou County, CA) ca. 1888

Members included siblings, cousins and spouses of the extended Eastlick family that came from Bureau County, IL and settled in Siskiyou County, CA 

Left to Right:
Frank Quigley (1867-1920), married Cassie (Eastlick) Quigley
Bill Lewis (1861-1931), married Lenna (Eastlick) Lewis
Wilsie Whipple (1865-1894), son of Helen (Eastlick) Whipple
Willard Eastlick (1859-1946), son of Lafayette Eastlick
Jim Whipple (1870-1890), son of Helen (Eastlick) Whipple
Frank Whipple (1867-1931), son of Helen (Eastlick) Whipple
Lafayette “Lafe” Eastlick (1834-1922)
Grant Lewis (1870-1960), brother of Bill Lewis
Ed Eastlick (1869-1917), son of William Wallace Eastlick
Edrick Eastlick (1868-1948), son of Lafayette Eastlick

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