Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Genealogy-centric Summer

One of the things I really wanted to do this summer was to get away from the computer and actually do some good old-fashioned genealogy.  By that I mean, visit some cemeteries, libraries, repositories, write some letters/e-mails and order some vitals. 

I've had some success so far in that I made it to a library not far from here where many ancestors of mine settled.  I was able to go through their files, which were mostly indices.  But even though I didn't come away with any new ancestors, dates, places or events, I did come away with file and certificate numbers for everything from vital to probate records.  I plan on sending away for them before the year is out.

I also have been spending more time on RAOGK and have made three requests so far this summer.  One (for an obituary in Florida) didn't pan out and I'm still waiting on the other two (one was for some tombstone photos in Michigan, another was for my great-grandfather's naturalization record in Ohio).

I've also started to really utilize my local FHC in recent months with some excellent results.  I ordered some Italian films and was able to find much, including the names of my great-grandfather's parents and some more of his siblings.  Surprisingly, I seem to be the most knowledgeable person there whenever I've gone in, even more so than the volunteers.  Invariably I end up spending hours helping someone with Ancestry.com, the computers or microfilm.  Since I'm not a member of the LDS Church I cannot volunteer there but I'd really love to...

I've also become obsessed with lineage societies this summer!  Can't explain it but it has definitely gotten in my blood.  I can't seem to be able to do anything without running over in my mind the sources I need to get, places to look for them, what might or might not be acceptable proof, people to contact, etc. The Mayflower Society and DAR are the two biggies I'm working on but there are a few smaller ones I'm working on as well.

Another thing I'm doing more is actually writing to government agencies for documents.  For some reason I've always been wary of writing to the government about anything, which is irrational I know.  At the top of my list of things to request are SS-5 forms (Social Security Applications).  I have three grandparents and five great-grandparents who I know filed an application.  Since it is nearly $30 per request, it will be awhile before I have all eight applications.

 Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to make a request or two over at Books We Own...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Anne's Affidavit

In doing research on my Anne Coles Mott for my DAR application, I've struggled because she was 1) a woman and 2) did not participate in the war in a military capacity (and thus, left a much smaller paper trail).  I'm getting more comfortable and satisfied with the proofs of service I have for her and have found some stronger proofs since I wrote this, which I'll consider using.  However, all of the sources for her service mention that she did her service in New York City but none specifically stated that she was "Mrs. Anne Coles Mott of New York City" during the war, it is merely inferred.  And, one of the requirements on the application is a proof of her residence during the war so an "inferred residence" wasn't going to cut it.  Then one night (let's be honest, it was closer to dawn) last week, just as my forehead was about to hit my desk, I found IT, the source to end all sources:

"City and County of New York, ss.
Anne Mott, of the City and County of New York, being duly sworn, saith that during the Revolutionary war she resided in the city of New York; that she and her family being friendly to the Revolutionary cause, she often visited the provost in the said city of New York kept by the British and where the most distinguished of the American prisoners were confined; that same time in the beginning of the winter of the year 1779, she saw Joseph Youngs, Esq. of the county of West Chester, confined as a prisoner in the said prison; (D) that she often carried him, and the other prisoners confined in that prison, provisions and clothing furnished by her husband, and a few others of the Whig inhabitants of the city of New York.  That sometime afterwards the said Joseph Youngs, Esq. was, for some cause unknown to this deponent, put into the dungeon or condemned room, as it was then called; that he continued there until he was in a very weak and debilitated condition; that her husband, Isaac Mott, and one John Franklin, of the said city of New York, solicited the commander of the British forces , in the said city of New York, to permit the said Joseph Youngs to reside at her house, in order to recover his health; that it was granted on condition of the said Isaac Mott and John Franklin becoming bound to the sum of three thousand pounds sterling for the good behavior of the said Joseph Youngs as a prisoner of the British army; that the said Joseph Youngs was permitted to be brought to the house of her husband, the said Isaac Mott, where he continued some time in a very weak and debilitated state; that she is unable to state, with certainty, how long the said Joseph Youngs was confined in the provost and dungeon as aforesaid, but she supposes it to be about one year or more and that she had a brother confined in the same prison some part of the time that the said Joseph Youngs was so confined.

Anne Mott.

Sworn this 16th day of January 1823, before me
    Samuel B. Ruggles, Commissioner to take affidavits, &c."

19th Congress, 1st Session
The Committee on Revolutionary Claims
Report concerning the petition by Samuel Youngs, son of Joseph Youngs
Serial Set Vol. No. 142, Session Vol. No.2, H.Rpt. 154; pages 17 and 18

Apparently Samuel Youngs father, Joseph Youngs, owned a barn near Tarrytown and allowed American troops to stay there.  When the British captured the American troops staying there, they also captured Joseph Youngs and took all the men to the prison in NYC where Joseph met Anne.  Samuel Youngs, Joseph's son and the person who filed the petition, joined the war effort two years after his father was abducted by the British.  Samuel filed a lengthy pension application in the 1830s (which can be viewed on Footnote.com) that included many testimonials which back up what he said in 1823 about what happened with his father and his father's property (the British burned the barn down after they captured the troops and Joseph Youngs). 

What Anne's affidavit means for me:
  • It establishes her residency, something I needed a proof for for my DAR application
  • It establishes her relationship with her husband, Isaac Mott
  • It further establishes and expands upon what was already known about her war service
  • It is worth noting that in the winter of 1779 mentioned above, when Anne was caring for the men of the prison, she was pregnant with her youngest child (a son, Isaac, who was born in March of 1780 on the same day his father, Isaac Sr., died.  Isaac Jr. is believed to have died young).
  • The brother of Anne's mentioned was Jesse Coles, one of the first American spies and an aide and confident of Gen. Washington's
  • 3,000 pounds wasn't a small sum then and it isn't a small sum now.  The fact that they were willing to be bound to that sum tells me a lot.  Namely, that they must have trusted Joseph Youngs a great deal and that they were charitable to a fault.
  • About fifteen years after Anne gave this deposition, her great-granddaughter, Estrella Charlotte "Essie" Mott came to live her.  Essie writes that by then Anne had pretty well lost her mind and was living in a fantasy world centered around the American and British troops she interacted with in her youth during the war.
It is important to note that the source used to establish residency and the source used to establish war service cannot be the same source.  I will only be using the affidavit above as proof of her residency in my DAR application.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Surname Saturday: Beam

1. Me

2. and 3. My parents
4. and 5. My paternal grandparents

8. Joseph James Allen
B. 7 April 1891, Wyman/Edmore, Montcalm, Michigan; D. Unk., bet. 1945 - 1955, prob. in Jackson, MI
9. Daisy Mae Croad
B. 6 Nov 1896, Lakeview, Montcalm, MI; D. 24 June 1990, Pinellas Co., FL (prob. Dunedin)

16. John Grant Allen
B. 18 May 1869, Niles, Trumbull, OH; D. 27 Sep 1955, Parma, Jackson, MI
17. Marion Wood
B. Feb 1871, Summit, Jackson, MI; D. Bet. 1945 - 1955, prob. in Manistee, Manistee, MI

34. Charles S. Wood
B. Oct 1842, Ireland; D. bet. 1910 - 1915, Isabella Co., MI
35. Didame/Diadame/Didemia/Dedemia Beam
B. 10 Oct 1852, East Zorra, Oxford, Ontario, Canada; D. 7 May 1895, Rolland, Isabella, MI

70. Josiah Beam
B. 7 Nov 1811, on every record Josiah lists his birthplace as USA but his family had been in Canada for many years so his place of birth is not definitely known; D. 1905, East Zorra, Oxford, Ontario, Canada
71. Susannah Horton
B. circa 1817, Ontario, Canada; D. 17 March 1888, Oxford, Ontario, Canada

140. John Beam
B. March 1775, Sussex Co., New Jersey; D. 9 Dec 1857, Clinton Twp., Lincoln, Ontario, Canada
141. Deborah Bell
B. 1779, Roxbury, Morris, New Jersey; D. 29 Nov 1852, Clinton Twp., Lincoln, Ontario, Canada

280. Jacob Beam
B. 29 Nov 1728, Germany; D. 10 May 1812, Clinton Twp., Lincoln, Ontario, Canada
281. Catherine
B. ?; D. ?  (there is information out there on her vitals, but no definite sources)
Sources available upon request. Contact me if you are connected to this family or think you have further information on any of the people mentioned in this post.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Madness Monday: Joining DAR Through a Female Patriot

So call me crazy, because that is what I must be.  A few months ago I started analyzing which ancestor I wanted to purse a DAR membership with.  I figured I'd just start collecting my proofs and as I was researching, I'd let the flow lead me to the one I 1) wanted to join under the most and 2) had the easiest time getting proofs for.  Luckily, the person I've finally settled upon met both requirements. 

Perhaps less lucky, is the fact that the ancestor I want to join under is a she not the typical he.  It has been done but it is rare and I've personally never met anyone else who tried to join or was successful at joining using a female ancestor.

When it comes to proofs for relationships and connecting the generations, I've got that covered.  In fact, I had that covered before I even started looking into the DAR.  Its the proof of service that is my weak spot and I imagine it is a weak spot for most trying to join through a woman Patriot. 

There are no service rolls, pension applications or military records for her because that wasn't the service she performed.  She lived in NYC and helped nurse American POWs so there isn't any kind of official paper trail.

What I do have for proof of service: 1) her obituary, which mentions her service, 2) her great-granddaughter's (with whom she lived with and knew) autobiography which makes mention of it, 3) a biographical sketch written by a great-grandson of hers (who I don't believe knew her), 4) various mentions in compiled genealogies and newspaper articles (some of which are less than sourced and accurate) and 5) a quilt that is out there, somewhere, that was given to her as a token of gratitude by some of the men she helped.  Not exactly a glowing list of sources...

Is this enough for proof?  Are they too weak by DAR's standards?  Does anyone have any experience trying to join the DAR through a female ancestor?  Help, please!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Follow Friday: The New York Times Public Domain Articles

I stumbled upon this great resource quite by chance a few years ago and go back to it regularly to this day.  While you do have to pay to read many articles in The New York Times Article Archive, those in the Public Domain are free to view.  The articles span the years 1851 to 1922 and provide an excellent resource for anyone with New York City roots especially but also covers many world events and the surrounding areas of NYC.  For instance, I have found articles on the riot in Evansville, Indiana in 1903 that claimed the life of my 2nd great-grandmother's niece and obituaries for relatives of mine who lived in the Raritan Bayshore of New Jersey.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

An Awful Manner

"Monday 17th Feb. 1777.  Attended on the funeral of old Mr. Haley who left the World in an awful manner (being drunk, and senseless in a great measure) last Friday the 14th, Inst., being, I think, upwards of 70 years of age."

This is an excerpt from The Life of Jonathan Scott which mostly consists of his journal entries.  He was my 6th great-grandfather and a minister in Nova Scotia and later, Maine.  "Old Mr. Haley" was Ebenezer Haley, also my 6th great-grandfather.  Before this, I had always heard that Ebenezer had died at sea and had been swept overboard.  Every time I read that it makes me laugh out loud... and remember why family legends were created in the first place.

My Tories and Patriots

Since I forgot to post my Loyalist lines on Canada Day (July 1), I figured I might as well combine them with my Patriot ancestors today.

My Loyalists:
1. Jacob Beam (29 Nov 1728, Germany - 10 May 1812, Beamsville, Lincoln, Ontario, Canada)
2. Edmund Horton (probably born in New York - died after 1797, Ontario, Canada)
3. Benjamin/John Bell (conflicting dates, New Jersey - conflicting dates, Ontario, Canada)
(Note: In addition, Benjamin/John Bell's wife, Elizabeth Pettit, had several Loyalist brothers who settled in the Grimsby area as well.)

My Patriots:
1. Moses Jackman (26 April 1746, Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hampshire - 8 Dec 1838, Boscawen, Merrimack, New Hampshire)
2. Thomas Collins (17 Aug 1725, Warrick, Kent, RI - 25 March 1793, Ira, Rutland, Vermont)
3. John Collins (21 Oct 1755, Scituate, Providence, RI - after 1838, Livingston or Monroe, NY)
4. Ann(e) Coles Mott (10 Aug 1747, Glen Cove, Nassau, NY - 16 July 1840, Manhattan, NY)
(NOTE: counts as a Patriot under DAR's criteria because she nursed Patriots imprisoned at Sugar House, her brother Jesse being one of them.  He was an aid to Gen. Washington and also worked as a spy against the British during the war).

One day I'd like to join both the UELAC and DAR.  At present Jacob Beam and Ann(e) Coles Mott are my best candidates. 

Thank you to all of them for their service, regardless of the side they were on.  If it weren't for their decisions then, I wouldn't be here now.

Happy 4th, everyone!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Surname Saturday: Clemen(t)s

1. Me

2. and 3. My parents
4. and 5. My paternal grandparents

8. Joseph James Allen
B. 7 April 1891, Wyman/Edmore, Montcalm, Michigan; D. Unk., bet. 1945 - 1955, prob. in Jackson, MI
9. Daisy Mae Croad
B. 6 Nov 1896, Lakeview, Montcalm, MI; D. 24 June 1990, Pinellas Co., FL (prob. Dunedin)

16. John Grant Allen
B. 18 May 1869, Niles, Trumbull, OH; D. 27 Sep 1955, Parma, Jackson, MI
17. Marion Wood
B. Feb 1871, Summit, Jackson, MI; D. Bet. 1945 - 1955, prob. in Manistee, Manistee, MI

32. Joseph Allen
B. ca. 1824, Ireland or Scotland; D. bet. 1880 - 1900, prob. in Trumbull Co., OH
33. Elizabeth Clements
B. ca. 1827, Ireland; D. bet. 1870 - 1880, prob. in Trumbull Co., OH

66. James Clemens/Clements
B. circa 1790, Ireland; D. bet. 1850 - 1860, Lawrence Co., PA
67. Mary ?
B. circa 1800, Ireland; D. bet. 1860 - 1870, Lawrence Co., PA
Sources available upon request. Contact me if you are connected to this family or think you have further information on any of the people mentioned in this post.