Power of Published Genealogy Queries

Genealogy researchers today are so blessed with a wealth of family data online that it is easy to forget the old-fashioned tool — queries published in genealogy magazines in print format. But I’ve just had evidence of the power of published queries.

As a member of the New England Historical Genealogical Society, I enjoy both the American Ancestors magazine and The Weekly Genealogist e-newsletter. I was fortunate recently to have a query published in American Ancestors, Volume 17, Number 3, Fall 2016, column titled Brick Walls, page 21.

It begins: “My persistent brick wall is my ancestor Permelia Church. Permelia married Benjamin F. Church, a carpenter, who came from Ulster County, New York, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1835.” I’ve written about my search for the ancestry of Permelia, who, sources say was, born about 1815 in New Hampshire (1850 Census) and whose maiden name might have been Clemens (oldest daughter’s death record).

Remarkably, a long-time genealogy researcher from Milwaukee read the query and decided to look in records he had from his own family searches. What what he found and sent me was a treasure, if not a brick-wall break through. He found Permelia was admitted on 11 Sep 1842 to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Milwaukee (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church records for communicants). The first Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, St. Paul’s was founded May 23, 1838. The congregation met in judicial chambers until January 1845 when the first church was opened.

Even more precious, he sent the page with the dates of birth and shared date of baptism for Benjamin and Permelia’s first two children:
> Hannah Maria Church born 21 September 1840 in Milwaukee
> Ann Augusta Church born 3 July1843 in Milwaukee
Sponsors for both girls were Royal P. Locke and Mary Jane Butler, likely the wife of T. D. Butler.

Hannah and Ann were baptized on 3 May 1846 in Trinity Chapel, an outreach from St. Paul’s on the east side of the Milwaukee River to serve those on the west side. Officiating was the now famous Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, missionary bishop to the Northwest Territory. He became provisional bishop of the new Diocese of Wisconsin, then its diocesan bishop until 1870. For context, Wisconsin gained statehood in 1848.

The St. Paul records also show that Permelia Church – with many others – was removed on 7 Jan’y 1847 from St. Paul’s and transferred to the new Trinity Church on the west side of the river. Trinity did not survive and by 1850 St. James Episcopal Church had been founded – also as an outreach of St. Paul’s – to serve the west side.

So a next step in research is to see if Permelia was transferred to St. James Episcopal Church, if her other children were baptized there, and if there is a record of her funeral.And then there is the possibility that the baptismal sponsors might be researched for clues. The ability to take more steps is due to NEHGS publishing my quest and the kind genealogist sending me the St. Paul’s records. To both I say thank you!

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Seeking Caleb Church researchers

I am hoping to be in contact with anyone with ancestral ties to the CHURCH families who were in Dutchess and Ulster counties in New York in the 1750-1855 period. In particular, I would like to connect with Daniel Palcic and an unnamed genealogy researcher, perhaps Henry, who replied to him online back in 1998. I believe we are cousins.

Here is the key information.

Back on August 3, 1998, an unnamed Genealogy.com user replied to another CHURCH family researcher, Daniel Palcic, who had posted a query on June 14, 1998. The headline on this 1998 thread is “Re: CHURCH, Phoebe/Phebe; b.1755; Mayflower?”

The August reply begins as follows: “We are at the same stumbling block.We are descendants of Caleb Church b. 12-19-1772, who we believe is Phoebe Church Wilbor’s half brother. I have correspondance dating back to 1913 where people were trying to make the same connection we are.”

Here is a link to the original posting: http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/church/55/
Here is a link to the reply: http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/church/99/
And a link to other Church family postings by the unnamed genealogist: http://www.genealogy.com/forum/users/417274004/

I too am a descendant of Caleb Church and his wife Hannah Baker through their son Benjamin Church who migrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1835 from Ulster County. He was a pioneer carpenter and builder in the young Midwest city. Use the links to see what I’ve written about them:
Caleb Church: https://relativemusings.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/caleb-church-farmer-and-cooper/
Benjamin Church: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Church_(carpenter)

I currently am focusing on the CHURCH families of Dutchess County and Ulster County, New York, and would very much like to be in touch with Daniel and the unnamed person, perhaps named Henry, who posted about this part of the family. Or any others researching this family. What is very interesting to me is that Daniel’s research led him to think that the father of Phoebe, Caleb — and a brother Samuel I recently found via a will — was a either John Church or his brother Constant Church. They were the sons of Edward Church and his first wife, Grace Shaw, who had eleven children in Little Compton, Rhode Island.

Daniel proposes a possible Mayflower connection as follows: Richard Warren of the Mayflower1; Elizabeth Warren2 (Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Warren, who married Richard Church); Joseph Church3; John Church4; Edward Church5. This Edward Church5 had as his first wife, Grace Shaw.

There is a John Church with a household of 8 in the 1790 Census in Dutchess County. There are mentions of a John Church of Dutchess County in The Settlers of Beekman Patent, Vol. 3, by Frank J. Doherty, that seem to be the same man. Of the two brothers Daniel pointed to, this John Church is the focus of my current work in conjunction with a professional genealogist.

Laying out a timeline for this John Church, it seems likely that he would have been born between 1730 and 1735. Many settlers came to Dutchess County from Little Compton, Rhode Island, in the mid-1700s, including nine Wilbor siblings, two with marriage links to Church individuals in Dutchess County. The John Church of the right age in Little Compton would have been John Church, born 31 Jan 1732 in Little Compton, Rhode Island, Father: Edward Church, Mother: Grace Church, Page: 103 – Little Compton Vital Records. Just the person Daniel wrote about back in 1998.

Here are online resources about Edward Church and Grace Shaw:
> Family Group Sheet
> Another Family Group Sheet
> And information at WikiTree

Caleb Church and Phoebe Church, with spouses and children, are in the 1913 book Descendants of Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass., but in an “Unplaced Members of Plymouth Family” section because the precise lineage was unknown. See pages 321-323. Still descendants back then were sure there was a Mayflower connection and wanted to be in the book. We descendants have been searching for the connection ever since.

Hope to hear from you!

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Published in: on July 30, 2016 at 10:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Are Adam and Maria Baker Hannah’s Parents?

Benjamin F. Church, Milwaukee pioneer builder and my third-great-grandfather, was the son of Caleb Church and Hannah Baker of Ulster County, New York, according to several sources. These include his brother Samuel’s biographical sketch in Commemorative biographical record of Ulster County, New York, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, and of many of the early settled families, Part 2, and the genealogy book Descendants of Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass.

You can a read a brief sketch of Caleb and Hannah on page 322 and a list of their children on page 323 of the Richard Church book. Samuel Church’s biographical sketch is also online. A recent viewing of Caleb’s will via Ancestry.com confirms the names of his and Hannah’s children.

But there the Church and Baker families seem to stop. Some of Caleb’s descendants believed he is descended from Richard Church who married Elizabeth Warren, daughter of Richard Warren, a Mayflower passenger. But that is unconfirmed, so the family is in the “Unplaced Members of the Plymouth Family” in the Richard Church book, as explained on page 321.

I have just hired a professional genealogist based in New England, who frequently visits Ulster County, to help discover more about Caleb Church who, son Samuel said, was born in Dutchess County. Ulster County is west across the Hudson River from Dutchess County, in the southeast corner of New York. The researcher will start with finding the full probate records for Caleb Church and for a Samuel Church who named Caleb his brother and co-executor of his will.

While that is underway, I decided to research further the parents of Caleb’s wife Hannah Baker, who was a wife, mother to 10 children and a Quaker minister. A descendant of Phoebe Church, sister or half-sister to Caleb, recalled Hannah Baker’s parents as Adam and Maria Baker of Ulster County. Could I make the connection?

Adam Baker in Histories and Census Records

Among those listed in the Town of Marlborough, Ulster County, in 1779 was Adam Baker. In 1788, Adam Baker was in the group responsible for road work from the Plattekill Road as far as the bridge west of Absalom Cases’s. These mentions are in History of Ulster County, New York: With Illustrations and Biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers, page 78.

The 1790 Census has an Adam Baker in New Marlborough, Ulster County, New York, with a household of 2 males over 16, one being Adam; 1 male under 16, and 9 females. This family could easily include wife Maria and a daughter Hannah.

Map of Ulster County, NY, from Beers via Wikipedia
1875 Map of Ulster County, NY from Wikipedia

In 1800, the Town of Plattekill was created out of the Town of Marlborough, which are both in the southeast corner of Ulster County. The 1800 Census has Adam Baker, now of Plattekill, with a household of 3 males and 3 females; the oldest male and female in the 45 years and older range, matching ages for Adam and Maria. Some of the daughters would have married and been out of the household.

Early censuses do not have the names of household members, just ticks showing gender and age range. So here was a likely Adam Baker, but no way to find a daughter Hannah. So I turned to Ancestry.com again to see what else I could find about an Adam Baker of Ulster County with a wife Maria. Voila!

Baptisms of 6 Daughters, including Annatje

Up came baptisms of several daughters of Adam and Maria Baker at the New Hurley Dutch Reformed Church in Ulster County in the database U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989. The New Hurley Reformed Church, founded in 1770, is located north of the hamlet of Wallkill, midway between it and Gardiner to the north, in the Town of Plattekill. The right place for our Adam Church. There were twins Rachel and Sarah Baker or Bakker in 1778, Jannetje Backer in 1780, Antje Bakker in 1783 and in Arriantje Bakker 1786. But no Hannah, who sources say was born 4 March 1773 or 4 March 1775, but I believe more likely 4 March 1774.

Recognizing that Adam’s surname was recorded as Baker, Bakker and Backer, I did a slightly wider search to see if there were more daughters baptized. Sure enough, there was Annatje Backer , baptized 8 May 1774 at New Hurley, Ulster, New York, parents Adam Backer and Maria Trysyn. (Maria’s maiden name also was recorded with varied spellings).

Research shows the Dutch or Low German name Annatje is a diminutive of Anna, and Anna and Hannah are variants, so Annatje is equivalent to Hannah in English.There she was, I believe — Hannah Baker, likely born 4 March 1774, then baptized about 2 months later, a pattern seen with her five known sisters. They were baptized one to two months after birth.

So on this Father’s Day 2016, we’ve confirmed the father [and mother] of Hannah Baker, one of my most fascinating female ancestors. Happy Father’s Day indeed!

NOTE: Since writing this post, we have learned that Hannah’s sister Rachel married Charles Mackey while sister Antje, who went by Ann or Anna, married Elias Mackey, the two men apparently cousins. After the couples sold land in Plattekill, Ulster County, in the 1805-1806 period, they moved west to Otsego County, New York. I am grateful to Patricia A. Metsch who shared with me her research of the Mackey families of Ulster County and the marriage of the two Baker sisters.

NOTE: It is true that Adam and Maria Baker named two daughters with similar names — Annatje,who went by Hannah, and Antje who went by Ann or Anna. While families in that era often reused a given name when a child died, I believe that in this case Annatje and Antje both survived and married. The names are distinctive enough, and each woman used a different Anglicized version of their Dutch name as adults. A similar naming occurred when Hannah’s son Benjamin and his wife Permelia named their first two daughters Hannah Maria and Ann Augusta. The first daughter went by Hannah or Maria, the second by Anna, Annie and Nannie. Hannah Maria was born 21 Sept 1840 while Ann Augusta was born 6 July 1843. They were both baptized at Trinity Chapel, an outreach of Milwaukee’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, on 3 May 1846.

NOTE: Antje “Anna” Baker and her husband Elias Mackey named their first daughter Hannah Maria Mackey, another naming parallel and remembrance of family members.

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Published in: on June 19, 2016 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ancestry of Margaret Legard Gunyon Church: Part Four

The final phase of Robert and Fanny Gunyon’s story — in which Margaret also played a role — was the most dramatic and most complex.

Deaths and Wills of Robert and Fanny Gunyon
Forest Home Cemetery gravestones show that Robert and Fanny Gunyon both died in 1892. Reports in newspapers and legal journals about the complex legal cases involving their wills provide insights on Robert’s and Fanny’s deaths, and Margaret’s ancestry.

“Robert Gunyon, the testator, made a will February 10, 1892, and died within a few days thereafter, and… his will was duly probated April 12, 1892, in the county court of Milwaukee county. He left surviving him a widow and no children,” according to American and English Corporation Cases: A Collection of All Corporation Cases… Decided in the Courts of Last Resort in the United States, England, and Canada [1883-1894]. The volume also states that, after certain specific bequests, his property was to be “given and bequeathed to 15 relatives, whose names are given, share and share alike.”

The entry concerns a lawsuit by the Milwaukee Protestant Home for the Aged, seeking to have the executors turn over certain real estate willed to the home. The “residuary legatees answered, alleging that the devise to the appellant was void because made less than three months prior to the testator’s death.”

In Wisconsin Reports: Cases Determined in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, Volume 85, we learn that Robert Gunyon died four days after making his will, thus February 14, 1892. He did not make specific provision for wife Fanny in his first will, because both of them were “ill unto death” and he assumed she would not survive him. He also made a nuncupative will upon learning that Fanny was getting her health back.

Fanny indeed rallied and appeared on the way to recovery, according to newspaper articles on the legal tangle over the wills. Thus she used the option provided by law to obtain her portion of his estate, on 25 Feb 1892. She made her will, but then died on 3 March 1892.
Margaret’s husband John Church was one of the executors of Robert Gunyon’s estate. But it was Margaret Church who had to go to court to fight having Fanny Gunyon’s will admitted into probate, in order to ensure that it was the instructions in Robert Gunyon’s will that determined the distribution of his estate.

Complicated Case in Probate Court
In March 1892, articles appeared in numerous Midwest newspapers about the Gunyon wills.
The Chicago Tribune carried an article headlined “Bad Tangle Over the Gunyon Wills” on March 13, 1892, page 11. It stated: “The litigation over the probating of the two wills made respectively by the late Robert Gunyon and his wife Fanny, whereby it is sought to dispose of an estate of $100,000 to separate sets of beneficiaries, promises to be one of the most complicated cases in the annals of the Probate Court in this county.” It added that the notice to contest the wife’s will is signed by Mrs. Margaret Church “who sets forth that she is his [Robert Gunyon’s] niece and heir-at-law.”

On the same day, The Inter Ocean newspaper from Chicago, Illinois, carried an article on the contested wills on page 3. It noted a “protest against the admission of the will of Fannie Gunyon to probate was filed in the Probate Court this afternoon by Mrs. Margaret Church. Mrs. Church says she is one of the children of Ann Craven Legard, deceased, who was a sister of Fanny Gunyon, wife of Robert Gunyon, and that she (Margaret Church) was the legally adopted child of Robert and Fanny Gunyon, both deceased.” The estate is valued at $65,000.

On March 12, 1892, the Milwaukee Journal published the same news under the following headline and subheads: “Fighting for Big Estate / Objections Made to the Probate of Mrs. Gunyon’s Will / Two Wills and Both Contested.” Margaret’s explanation that she is the daughter of Ann (Craven) Legard, sister of Fanny (Craven) Gunyon and the adopted daughter of Robert and Fanny is again explained. A summary of the “peculiarly interesting” details of the matter of how their wills were written was described.

The Legal Contest Concluded and Aftermath
The final outcomes of all aspects of these legal contests is beyond the scope of this genealogy article. We can report that the Wisconsin Supreme Court in its January 1894 term did rule that Robert’s bequest or devise to the Milwaukee Protestant Home for the Aged was void because it was made less than three months prior to his death.

More important for our story, the various legal and newspaper articles cited make clear the ancestry of Margaret Legard Gunyon Church. Our research is confirmed.

Following these court cases, Maggie and John had their sixth child, son Edgar Benjamin Church, on 18 March 1894. They lost their daughter Harriet Margaret Church on 29 May 1896. Maggie died in July 1909. Husband John Benjamin Church died on 25 June 1911. Maggie and John are buried at Forest Home Cemetery near Robert and Fanny Gunyon.

Author’s Note on Benjamin Church, Milwaukee Pioneer
Benjamin Church, a native of Ulster County, New York, arrived in Milwaukee in 1835. He was a well known pioneer carpenter and builder in the young city. He is the author’s 3rd-great-grandfather through his daughter Ann Maria [Hannah M.] who married Sherman Abernethy Bradley, a native of Connecticut. John Benjamin Church, husband of Margaret Legard Gunyon, was Ann Maria’s youngest brother.

Queries from from Stephanie Legard asking about the link between the Legard family of Barnsley and Wakefield, Yorkshire, England and the Church family of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Her Legard genealogy traces to Margaret Legard Gunyon Church’s brother William W. Legard (wife Amelia); their son Frank (wife Elizabeth); and their son Leonard who married Ellen Wyman, Stephanie’s grandmother.
> http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/CHURCH/2003-09/1063718531
> http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/CHURCH/2007-08/1186030828
> http://boards.ancestry.co.uk/surnames.church/70.1/mb.ashx

Correspondence with Allan Green, genealogist, who lived in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England at the time the research for this article was done in February 2015.

Various UK and US census records, ship’s passenger logs, city directories and Milwaukee history books found on Ancestry.com.

“Judge Derek Mosley’s 160-Year-Old Home: The municipal judge’s home is unique — just one of just 38 in town built before the Civil War,” by Michael Horne.
> http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2014/08/18/house-confidential-judge-derek-mosleys-160-year-old-home/

“Lisbon Plank Road History”
> http://www.slahs.org/history/local/transportation/lisbon_plank_road.htm
“Barnsley” – West Riding, Yorkshire, England
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnsley
“Wakefield” – West Riding, Yorkshire, England
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wakefield
“Kirkcudbright, Scotland”
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkcudbright

“Fighting for A Big Estate / Objections Made to the Probate of Mrs. Gunyon’s Will / Two Wills and Both Contested,” Milwaukee Journal, March 12, 1892.
“Bad Tangle Over the Gunyon Wills,” Chicago Tribune, March 13, 1892, page 11, article with dateline Milwaukee, Wis. March 12
MILWAUKEE MATTERS. “Wills contested” article… in The Inter Ocean from Chicago, Illinois, Page 3, Sunday, March 13, 1892, dateline Milwaukee, Wis., March 12

And legal journals covering the lawsuits surrounding the wills of Robert and Fanny Gunyon including Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of Wisconsin, Volume 87, Callaghan, 1894.

Fourth and final part of an article completed in February 2015.
See Part One and Part Two and Part Three

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Published in: on June 10, 2016 at 2:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ancestry of Margaret Legard Gunyon Church: Part Three

Robert Gunyon and Fanny (Craven) Gunyon in Wauwatosa
In the 1853-1855 period, a handsome Italianate stone and cream brick residence with some Greek Revival touches was built for Robert and Fanny Gunyon on a 160+ acre farm in the Town of Wauwatosa, west of the city of Milwaukee. Its location today is in the Arlington Gardens neighborhood, surrounded by other homes, at 7927 West Appleton Avenue, Milwaukee. The 1860 Census enumerated Robert, 43, and Fannie, 39, living in the Town of Wauwatosa where Robert was farming. His real estate was worth $9,500. Living with them was Elizabeth Whitehead, 31, born in Scotland, no occupation listed.

More about the Gunyons and their house appeared in an article, “Judge Derek Mosley’s 160-Year-Old Home: The municipal judge’s home is unique — just one of just 38 in town built before the Civil War,” published online as a House Confidential at UrbanMilwaukee.com. For example, Robert was described as owner of “a lumber mill and was cranking out 10,000 boards a day in 1850 for the construction of the Lisbon Plank Road.” In fact, Robert was one of five men who opened the sale of stock for Lisbon Plank Road construction, on 20 Dec 1849 at Chestnut Street House. There was a short-lived plank road craze, soon snuffed out by the arrival of the railroads for moving people and goods.

The Varied Careers of Robert Gunyon
Robert Gunyon is also recorded as a grocer with a store at 45 Chestnut Street, according to Milwaukee History, Vols 9-11, by Milwaukee County Historical Society. There is no date for his store in the book, but a 1865 Milwaukee Directory shows him at that address. So Robert had an enterprise in the general area of Benjamin Church home, west of Milwaukee River. Remember that it was Benjamin’s son John Benjamin Church who married Margaret Legard Gunyon on 10 Sep 1879 in Milwaukee.

As noted earlier, Robert and Fanny went back to Yorkshire some time in 1865, returning in August with Fanny’s niece Margaret Ledgar, later Legard, whom they adopted. The 1870 Census enumerated them together in Milwaukee, with Robert’s occupation lumber merchant. City directories show that his lumber yard was “on the point” at the foot of Cherry Street. One imagines that Robert met Benjamin Church, a pioneer carpenter, builder and father of John Benjamin Church, at this time if not earlier. The Benjamin Church house was on 4th between Cherry and Galena streets.

Robert had one more change in his active career. Between 1874-1878, he was listed in city directories with the business Gunyon, Cryderman & Pollow, tanners, 492 Canal. His partners were Jacob Cryderman, residence 753 7th Street, and John A. Pollow, residence 609 4th Street. Leather tanning was a big business in Milwaukee. How intriguing that Robert got into the leather industry, his father-in-law being a leather currier in Yorkshire.

After that, Robert apparently retired from active business. Milwaukee city directories show Robert and Fanny Gunyon residing at 710 Walnut Street, at least from 1874 until their deaths. Walnut is six blocks north of Cherry Street. John and Maggie Church lived at 714 Galena in 1891, three blocks south of the Gunyons.

Robert Gunyon in Politics
As we’ve seen, several Milwaukee history books mention Robert Gunyon. In another one, he is listed as Rob. Gunyon with men in new political party that had the motto “free soil, free speech, free labor, free men.” This was the Free Soil Party, active from 1848 to 1852, that opposed the expansion of slavery into the country’s western territories. This mention is in the 1871 book Milwaukee written in German by Rudolph A. Koss. The book also mentions the shop of Rob. Gunyon in Chestnutstraße or Chestnut Street.

The final phase of Robert and Fanny’s story — in which Margaret also played a role — was perhaps the most dramatic. We’ll tell it in the fourth and last installment of this family history mystery resolved, coming soon.

Third part of an article completed in February 2015… to be continued. See Part One and Part Two

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Ancestry of Margaret Legard Gunyon Church: Part Two

Why Margaret Came to America
That still left the question of why Margaret – the youngest of six children – would leave her large family in England for America. Here are some thoughts, steps toward unraveling her mystery.

A significant error in the 1900 Census, showing Margaret coming to America in 1877, led to initial confusion. That error made it appear that she left home at age 20, about the time her father died. Futher research in English and American census records, however, turned up the correct date. First, Maggie Gunyon, age 13, born in England, was enumerated in the home of Robert and Fanny Gunyon in Milwaukee in the 1870 Census [surname mistranscribed Gwnyer]. Then the 1871 Census for Yorkshire, England, has no Maggie in the William and Ann Legard household.

A search of ship’s passenger logs revealed that “Margt Ledgar,” born about 1858, age 7, female, nationality English, origin England, had arrived in New York on 7 Aug 1865. She was traveling with Robert Gunyon and Fanny Gunyon of the USA; their ports of departure were Liverpool, England, and Queenstown, Ireland, their destination the USA. Thus, in late July or early August 1865, Margaret Ledgar [later Legard] left her native Yorkshire, England, to live with Robert and Fanny Gunyon of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Gunyons adopted her as their daughter, although we’ve not seen the documents.

Newspaper and legal journal articles concerning the wills made by Robert and Fanny in early 1892 state that the couple had no children of their own – and reveal the family connection. Fanny was the sister of Margaret’s mother Ann (Craven) Legard, and so was Margaret’s aunt. We surmise that the families thought good opportunities would be available in America for Margaret, and she could be a daughter and companion to Fanny. Robert Gunyon was a very active businessman as will be shown. Thus Fanny likely craved having a child in the house.

Adoptive Parents Robert Gunyon and Fanny (Craven) Gunyon

We know a good deal about Robert and Fanny who, the 1850 and 1860 U.S. census records tell us, were born in Scotland and England respectively. Once the sister connection between Fanny (Craven) Gunyon and Ann (Craven) Legard was understood, many records for the family were found in English and American censuses, passenger lists, city directories and much more.

Robert Gunyon: Robert was enumerated in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England, in the 1841 Census, taken June 6. In the household were John Gunyon, 25, and Robert Gunyon, 20, both drapers, and Joseph Irving, 15, a draper’s apprentice. Their address was “back of Cheapside.’ All three were born in Scotland. John and Robert were perhaps brothers or cousins, we thought. Then a check of Pigot & Co.’s Directory of Yorks, Leics… , 1841, turned up a Wm. Gunyon under Grocers and Tea Dealers, his shop located on Cheapside, Barnsley.

That find of the three Gunyon men led to the discovery that Robert was born on 28 Sep 1817 in Kelton, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, the son of William Gunyon, a cooper, and wife Mary (Gullon) Gunyon. His brother William was born there on 11 Sep 1809 and his brother John Gunyon was born there on 5 Aug 1814. Kelton is a parish 10 miles (N. E. by E.) from Kirkcudbright, pronounced kirr-KOO-bree, a town and parish in Kirkcudbrightshire, within the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland. It is situated on the estuary of the River Dee in southwest Scotland.

Robert was recorded as a draper and son of William Gunyon when marrying Fanny Craven in Barnsley in 1841, a match with the Robert Gunyon in the other documents. A draper was originally a retailer or wholesaler of cloth used for clothing such as silk, linen and cotton. West Yorkshire, England, Marriages & Banns, 1813-1935, show that Robert Gunyon, a draper, married Frances Craven on 10 Sep 1841 in Silkstone with Stainborough, All Saints. His father was William Gunyon, farmer; her father was William Craven, a currier. Robert and Frances were both recorded as “of Barnsley” on their marriage record.

Frances “Fanny” Craven: Frances was baptized on 1 Jul 1821 in the parish Barnsley, St Mary. The church record shows her father was William Craven, a currier, and her mother was Mary Craven. Frances was born in the first half of 1821, based on her age in census and other records. She was usually called Fanny. She was enumerated in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England, in the 1841 Census, taken June 6. In the household were William Craven, 55, Mary Craven, 55, Mary Craven, 20, Fanney Craven, 20, Harriet Craven, 15, and Martha Craven, 10. Daughter Ann Craven was not there as she had married James Ledgar in 1840.

Father William Craven was a currier, suggesting how Ann met James Ledgar, also a currier. Mother Mary’s maiden name was Coe. William Craven, age 21, married Mary Coe on 23 Jan 1808 in Barnsley, Yorkshire.

Robert Gunyon and Fanny (Craven) Gunyon in Milwaukee: In late August of 1843, Robert and Fanny set off for America, departing on the ship Birmingham from Liverpool, England. On 9 Sep 1843, one day short of their second wedding anniversary, Robert Gunyon, age 25, and Mrs. Gunyon, age 22, arrived in New York City. Both were recorded as from Great Britain. His occupation is hard to read on the ship’s log. There is no evidence, but Robert and Fanny likely sailed north on the Hudson River, took the Erie Canal west to Buffalo and then sailed the Great Lakes to Wisconsin. They likely arrived in Milwaukee in late 1843 or early 1844.

Evidence of Robert Gunyon in Milwaukee begins in 1845-1846. Robert was one of eight men of Scots heritage who organized the first curling club in Milwaukee, and likely the first in Wisconsin. The game was played on the frozen Milwaukee River at the foot of Mason Street, according to Pioneer history of Milwaukee: from the first American settlement in 1833 to 1841, with a topographical description. That source says 1846 but another says 1845.

On 2 Jun 1846, Robert Gunyon was reported as having a letter remaining at the Milwaukee post office, according to a listing in the Milwaukee Sentinel and Gazette of this date. On March 24, 1847, Alexander Mitchell rallied the Scottish community in Milwaukee to raise funds for relief of famine victims in Scotland. Robert Gunyon was involved, according to the “Historical Messenger” of the Milwaukee County Historical Society, Vols 22-25.

The book Pioneer history of Milwaukee also mentions Robert’s involvement in early Milwaukee politics. On 11 March 1850, he was listed was one of three men to receive the highest votes for 2nd Ward assessor, and then, on 1 April 1850, he stood for election on the People’s Ticket for 2nd Ward assessor. He apparently did not win. The Milwaukee Sentinel on 2 April 1850 said he ran for assessor on the Law and Order Ticket for the 2nd Ward. Later, in 1879, he ran for the State Senate as a Greenbacker, but again did not win, according to the Blue Book of the State of Wisconsin.

The 1850 Census for Milwaukee lists Robert Gunyon, 33, a merchant born in Scotland, with wife Fanny, 29, born in England, in the 2nd Ward on the west side of the Milwaukee River.

Second part of an article completed in February 2015… to be continued. See Part One and Part Three

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Published in: on June 7, 2016 at 3:42 am  Comments (1)  
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Caleb Church, farmer and cooper

Map of Ulster County, NY, from Beers via Wikipedia

Map of Ulster County, NY, 1875, from Beers via Wikipedia. Find towns of New Paltz, Lloyd and Plattekill in the southeast corner.

52 Weeks,
52 Ancestors: Number 3
Caleb Church (1772-1856) of Ulster County, New York

Milwaukee pioneer carpenter and builder Benjamin Church, who arrived there in 1835, was the son of Caleb Church and Hannah Baker Church of Ulster County, New York. Born in 1807, he was one of ten or more children born to Caleb and Hannah between 1798 and 1819. Ulster County is located on west side of the Hudson River, opposite Dutchess County.

A vivid if brief picture of Caleb Church (1772-1856) emerges from several books and online resources such as land and probate records. Noteworthy is his brief profile in the book Descendants of Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass. Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle Co., 1913 – in the section for Church families with unproven links to Richard Church.

That book says Caleb was born on 9 Dec. 1772, married Hannah Baker in Dutchess County N. Y., and settled “in Loyd Township, Ulster Co., N. Y., where he carried on farming and coopering. He was also his own lawyer, his favorite retreat when studying a case being the great garret, flat on his back, with his feet against the rafters. His wife was a Quaker preacher.”

Caleb was a substantial land owner having purchased 100 acres on 8 Dec 1798. Ulster County, New York Deeds, FHL# 944750, states that “Caleb Church of Newmarlborough, Ulster Co, NY, bought for 250 pounds etc land in New Paltz from Newman Waring.” This is consistent with his grandson Oliver B. Church’s biographical sketch that says Caleb bought land, built a log cabin, and raised large family. Neighboring landowners in Ulster County included the Terwilliger, Housbrouck/Hasbrouck, Ellis and Freer families.

The book’s entry for him – No. 2542. Caleb Church – and a listing of Caleb and Hannah’s children are online here.

Caleb is said to be of English Puritan ancestry, and was born in Dutchess County, New York, where he grew up on a farm, according to his son Samuel’s biographical sketch in the book Commemorative Biographical Record of Ulster County, New York: Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of Many of the Early Settled Families. This book also states that Caleb and his wife were members of the Orthodox Friends Church, and he was a Democrat in politics. See Samuel’s biography online here.

Samuel, perhaps with his father’s assistance, went to New York City in 1821, when he was 16, to learn the carpentry and building trades. There is no evidence that his younger brother Benjamin had this training, but if not, he surely learned skills from Samuel before heading west in 1834 to pursue a career as a carpenter and builder.

Who were Caleb Church’s ancestors? Mrs. Susannah B. Lefevre (Susannah Brodhead Church LeFevre), Caleb’s great-granddaughter, believed he was descended from Richard Church (lineage Caleb 5 , Nathaniel 4 , Joseph 3 , Joseph 2 , Richard 1) but this is unproven. Her submission was included in Descendants of Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass. in the unproven section. This Richard Church came to America in 1630, became a freeman in Plymouth in 1632, and married Elizabeth Warren, daughter of Richard Warren who came on the Mayflower. More about him online here.

There were three Church families in the 1790 Census in Dutchess County, namely Benjamin Church, John Church and Thomas Church. The Church Family section in the book Little Compton Families from Records compiled by Benjamin Franklin Wilbour, Volume I, says there was a Benjamin Church born in 1732, married in 1773 to Johannah Wilbor, daughter of Joseph Wilbor, who went to Nine Partners, Dutchess County, New York. This Benjamin Church was in Dutchess County in 1785 when his father Joseph deeded him land from an Uncle Caleb. According to Descendants of Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass., his father deeded on 18 Dec, 1785, to son Benjamin “of Nine Partners, N. Y., a 15-acre lot left me by my uncle Caleb Church.” The lineage of this Benjamin Church is Joseph 4, Joseph 3 , Joseph 2 , Richard 1.

For now, the ancestry of Caleb Church who married Hannah Baker is unknown, but there are theories and possibilities worth pursuing. In the meantime, we enjoy thinking of him up in the garret, his feet on the rafters, preparing for a legal case.

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Genealogy blogger Amy Johnson Crow has issued a challenge to all who blog about their family history: write about 52 of your ancestors in 52 weeks, or one per week. See her challenge here. A number of bloggers are taking up the challenge, and you can find their posts by searching the Internet with the phrase 52 ancestors 52 weeks.

This is a great way to make sustantial progress on writing one’s family history, and can also be a way to connect with unknown cousins who do web searches on names of shared ancestors. I have started 2014 with a posting — actually a detailed query – about my 3rd great-grandmother who was the wife of Milwaukee pioneer Benjamin F. Church. She is called Permelia and Elizabeth in various Wisconsin records. A maiden name of Clemens is given in one record, but is not confirmed.

I hope to continue this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Thank you, Amy!

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Permilia, wife of Benjamin Church

52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors: Number One
QUERY for the wife of Benjamin F. Church, her name perhaps Elizabeth Permilia Clemens Church

I am seeking the parents, birth date and birth place for the wife of Benjamin F. Church, a pioneer builder who arrived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1835 from Ulster County, New York. He spent time in Chicago in 1834 before coming on to Milwaukee. I would also like to know when and where she married Benjamin. Here is what is known about her from various records:

Given names: She is Permelia Church in the 1850 Census, Permilia Church in her first daughter’s marriage record [1859] and Parmelia Church in her 2nd daughter’s marriage record [1875]. In deeds in 1840 with husband Benjamin she is recorded as Parmelia H., Pamelia or Purmelia. She is recorded as Elizabeth Church, a married woman, in the 1856 burial records at Forest Home Cemetery where she is buried in the Benjamin Church Lot with infant Benjamin F. Church Jr. who died 1850. She may have been Elizabeth Permilia or Permilia Elizabeth.

Surname: Her surname of Clemens is given in just one place, her first daughter’s death record [1891] where she is listed as P. Clemens. This is unconfirmed, and could be Clements or other name.

Birth: She was born in New Hampshire in 1815 or 1816, as per the 1850 Census where she is shown as 34 years old.

Marriage: An 1838 or 1839 marriage date is estimated based on the apparent 1840 birth of her oldest known child, Ann Maria Church, recorded as 10 in the 1850 Census. No marriage record has been found for Benjamin and Permilia, either in Milwaukee [Early Milwaukee Marriages booklet] or in Chicago [Fink Index].

Meeting: We can only wonder where they met, whether in Buffalo, New York, the port where ships sailed to Chicago and Milwaukee, or in Chicago where Benjamin first settled in 1834 or Milwaukee. She would have been with parents or other relatives. Ulster County, New York, is on the Hudson River, so it is likely Benjamin went west to Chicago via the river, the Erie Canal and then a Great Lakes ship. He came overland to Milwaukee in the fall of 1835, and returned to Chicago to settle his affairs before settling in Milwaukee, according to his obituary [1887].

Children: Benjamin and Permilia had 6 known children: Ann Maria Church [1840-1891], Ann Augusta Church [1843-1876],  Charles B. Church [1847-1885], Benjamin Church Jr [1850-1850],  John Benjamin Church [1851-1911] and Susan Church [1855-1870]

Death: Benjamin’s wife died 21 Feb 1856, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to Forest Home Cemetery records for the Benjamin Church plot. Recorded as Elizabeth Church. No Church in the death index, Milwaukee Register of Deeds, 1852-1875.

I have found Clemens families in New Hampshire in census records of the right period, even some with females of the right age in their household. But I have not found a published genealogy or other source that puts Elizabeth Permilia into a family. This is a tough brickwall and any help would be appreciated.

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Published in: on December 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm  Comments (5)  
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