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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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 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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Careers of the Hachez Family Men

I still am mulling over the recent discovery that my 3rd great-grandfather Ferdinand Hermann Hachez’s oldest brother — Heinrich Joseph Peter Hachez — was a Catholic missionary to Diocese of Paderborn. He served in the town of Plettenberg in the Märkischer Kreis in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. He is often referred to as J. P. Hachez or H. J. P. Hachez in German records online.

Their father Johann Ferdinand Dominikus was a Kaufmann [buyer or merchant in English] like own his father, according to background on the Hachez family of Bremen. Another relative was Joseph John Arnold Hachez (1828-1901), manager and part-owner in the shipping company D. H. Wätjen.

One of Ferdinand’s younger brothers was Hermann Constantin Emil Philipp Hachez — called Emil Hermann Hachez (1820-1875), buyer and partner of the Cigarrenfabrik Hachez and Mueller, according to his son’s biography on Wikipedia. That son was Joseph Emile Hachez who, after training in Antwerp, returned home to start the Hachez chocolate firm that exists yet today in Bremen. The firm started in the old part of town, selling chocolate, cocoa, and sweets.

So there was a strong entrepreneurial and merchant tradition in the family. My Ferdinand Hermann Hachez had a career in agriculture, first managing Hachez family farms, near Bremerhaven I believe, and then managing estates including farm lands in Holstein and Mecklenberg, according to his obituary. In New Holstein, Wisconsin, where he migrated in 1854 with wife and son, he was able to buy and manage his own farm.

Then his son Ferdinand Hachez, my 2nd great-grandfather, chose not to stay on the farm. Instead, in 1872 when the railroad arrived, he chose to own and manage the Farmers and Mechanics Tavern in the Town of New Holstein — going back to his family’s merchant ancestry. Only later in life, when his granddaughter Lucille was born, did he return to farming at the urging of his wife Elise.

This is how the children in a family disperse into different occupations, following their own talents and ambitions. Each has his or her own niche in many cases.

And there was a tradition of one son to the priesthood in Catholic families, described very well in a New York Times article from 19 Nov. 2000: “In generations past, when Roman Catholic families were large and devout, behind almost every Catholic priest was a Catholic mother who had encouraged one of her children to commit his life to a career in the service of God.”

Ferdinand Hermann Hachez — who was a member of the Turnverein and said in his obituary that he “followed the principal of liberalism” — clearly cared about his elder brother. He made references only to him and to his own married son in New Holstein in his obituary in 1874. Interesting insights into the family and background of an influential ancestor — insights that perhaps help explain why he migrated to America.

NOTE: A special thanks to Susanne, a genealogist in Minnesota born in Germany, for translating snippets of online books in German that mention J. P. Hachez or H. J. P. Hachez.

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Published in: on June 4, 2016 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ferdinand Hermann Hachez (1818-1874), Bremen to New Holstein


52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors, Number 5
Ferdinand Hermann Hachez (1818-1874), Bremen to New Holstein

I love chocolate. However, as I set out to research my mother’s ancestors, I never expected to find a relative establishing a famous brand of chocolate in Bremen, Germany, in the late 1800s. But I did.

I knew the Hachez surname well as part of our family history, thanks to my mother and grandmother. In fact, the first family surname I ever put into Google was Hachez, along with the Wisconsin town of New Holstein. When I got immediate and relevant results, I was hooked on genealogy.

Most of the settlers of New Holstein in Calumet County, came from the Schleswig-Holstein region of northern Germany, just south of Denmark. But Ferdinand Herman Hachez was distinctive. The 1870 Census shows that he came to from Gem. Bremen, in other words Gemeinde Bremen or Municipality Bremen, located in the Hannover region. Discovering his family and his life took resources in America and Europe, online and off, including the assistance of a skilled genealogist in Germany.

We found that Ferdinand Hermann Hachez was born into the Bremen merchant family, surname Hachez, his parents being Johann Ferdinand Dominikus Hachez and Hermine Constanze Detmers. He was born on 20 Sept 1818 in Celle, Hannover, Germany, according to an old family group sheet and the Bremen local family heritage book held at Die Maus, the Bremen Genealogical Society. He was baptized at Celle on 27 Sep 1818, according to the Kirkenbuch or church book for the Catholic Church in Celle, which is south of Bremen.

The Hachez name is well known in Bremen, due to the chocolate company that exists even today, although the family itself is gone. That fame prompted Hermann Sandkühler to write the article “Schiffe und Schokolade zweimal Joseph Hachez” (Ships and Chocolate Twice Joseph Hachez), available online in German, to explain the family origins in Belgium and arrival in Bremen in 1785. Find the article here. Then put the URL in a free online translation service to read it in English.

Ferdinand, a given name popular in his branch of the Hachez family, appears to have grown up in Bremen but as a young adult turned to agriculture. His 1874 obituary says he first farmed near Bremen, likely family lands, and then managed estates for the nobility in Holstein and Mecklenburg, today in Germany. He must have heard of the excellent farm land to be found near the German settlement of New Holstein. Wisconsin had gained statehood in 1848 and actively promoted immigration to settle its farmlands, forests and towns.

His father Johann Ferdinand Dominikus Hachez died on 23 March 1847 in Bremen, Germany, and his will directed that each of his children was to receive a fair share of his estate as their legacy. This inheritance likely helped Ferdinand Hermann Hachez take his great journey to the New World. About this same time, Ferdinand married a woman named Louise. Where they married or who her ancestors are is unknown. Their son Ferdinand Hachez was born 10 April 1848 somewhere in Holstein, Germany, if the census records are right.

In the summer of 1854, the family of three set sail from Bremen on the vessel Robert, arriving 4 Aug 1854 in New York City, as shown on passenger lists found on Ancestry.com. They set off at once for Wisconsin, arriving in New Holstein that same year, as shown in the book Memories of the First Years of the Settlement of New Holstein, by Rudolph Puchner.

The Hachez family took up farming on land about two miles northeast of the village of New Holstein. The elder Hachez was active in local and agricultural affairs> For example:

> he provided meteorological reports for a few months in 1864 and 1865, as shown the Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, 1874.
> when a local group met in September 1867 to incorporate the New Holstein Turnverin or Turners group, Ferdinand Hachez, father and son, became members
> F. Hachez for several years was president of the German Agricultural Society in New Holstein as seen in Report, Issue 4, by the United States Dept. of Agriculture, 1870.
> Ferdinand Hachez, Sr., Claus Oesau, Sr., of New Holstein and others incorporated the Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Wisconsin, with legislative approval granted on 25 Feb 1870.

About this time, several important changes occurred for the Hachez family. On 3 June 1869, son Ferdinand married Eliese Boie, daughter of Nicholas Boie and Cecilia (Tonner) Boie. By the 1870 Census, Louise Hachez was deceased, although the specific date is not known. And then in 1872, the railroad arrived on the east side of the village of New Holstein, opening new commercial opportunities. The Hachez family ceased farming, and the younger Ferdinand moved into the village to operate the Farmers and Mechanics Saloon on the east end of town.

The elder Ferdinand then went into business selling hail insurance. He moved to another German community – New Ulm, Minnesota – by 1872, according to A comprehensive index to A.T. Andreas’ Illustrated historical atlas of Minnesota, 1874. He died there on 10 Aug 1874, and was buried “with a great following to the cemetery. The Turnverin showed last honors ‘in copore,’ since Hachez had been a member in good standing, ” his obituary says.

Ferdinand Hachez, both father and son, experienced the call of commercial enterprise, matching the Hachez family’s merchant tradition in Bremen. Oh, and yes, chocolate. Joseph Emile Hachez, a nephew of Ferdinand Herman Hachez, founded Bremer HACHEZ Chocolade GmbH & Co. in Bremen in 1890. Today it is said to be the second largest manufacturer of chocolate in Germany.

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Published in: on February 4, 2014 at 6:24 am  Comments (1)  
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Hannah Baker Church: wife, mother and Quaker preacher

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 4
Hannah Baker Church (1775-1843), Ulster County, New York

The Society of Friends, or Quakers, played a significant role in the American women’s rights movement and in the campaign for women’s suffrage. This was due, in no small part, to the fact that they supported education for women and had many female ministers or preachers. Among them was my 4th great-grandmother Hannah Baker Church.

Hannah was born 4 March 1775, according to Quaker records. Her birth was most likely in Clintondale in the southeast corner of Ulster County, New York. Ulster County borders the Hudson River on its west side, with Dutchess County across the river along its east side. Her parents are thought to be Adam and Maria Baker, also of Ulster County, but that is not confirmed. Still, the household of Adam Baker in the 1790 U.S. Census in New Marlborough, Ulster County, included 9 females. New Marlborough was also in the southeast corner of the county.

Hannah married Caleb Church in about 1796 and they had 10 or more children, from John in 1798 to George Washington Church in 1819. Among their sons were Benjamin F. Church, my 3rd great-grandfather, born in 1807, and Samuel Church born in 1805. Samuel’s published biographical sketch provides important details on the Church family and genealogy.

On 21 August 1805, Hannah was received by request [rec. by req.] into the Valley Preparative Meeting of Quakers in Plattekill, Ulster County, New York, according to  the volume Quaker History and Genealogy of the Marlborough Monthly Meeting, Ulster County, N.Y., 1804-1900. Her “convincement” of Quaker values led to her membership. She would have been 30 years old.

The most noted of the early Friends ministers in that area were Dr. Adna Heaton, Hannah Church, Nathaniel Thorn, his daughter Esther Weeks, Sarah Roberts and Sarah E. Roberts, the book states. Hannah was a Quaker preacher “who went around on horseback with Hannah Frye,” according to the book Descendants of Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass.

Hannah is credited by several sources with playing a valuable role in establishing a Quaker meeting in Clintondale, Ulster County, and working for construction of a meeting house there. These include the book History of the Village of Clintondale, Ulster County, NY. The First Settlement to 1824, by P.N. Mitchell, and the History of Clintondale Monthly Meeting, online.

While her husband Caleb is mentioned as an Orthodox Quaker as is Hannah in son Samuel’s biosketch, Caleb is not listed in the Quaker book cited here. He perhaps was never a full member. The Church family was of Puritan stock, Samuel’s biosketch notes.

The final days of Hannah Baker Church, wife of Caleb Church, are narrated in a brief item in “The Friend,” 1844, Volume 17. It recalled that Hannah was “early in life convinced of the principles of Friends, and joined the Society.” Also remembered was that she “sometimes bore testimony to the goodness of her Divine Master and to the praise of the glory of his grace.”

Beset by a “rheumatic affection” at the end, Hannah died 24 September 1843 in Clintondale, survived by her husband Caleb and many of her children. A remarkable woman.

> Quaker History & Genealogy of Marlborough Meeting, Ulster County, N.Y.
> Samuel Church entry, Commemorative Biographical Record of Ulster County, New York: Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of Many of the Early Settled Families
> Descendants of Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass.
> Quaker Views on Women: Wikipedia
> Quakers in Action: Rights of Women
> History of the Village of Clintondale, Ulster County, NY. The First Settlement to 1824, by P.N. Mitchell.
> History of Clintondale Monthly Meeting
> History of Clintondale Friends
> “The Friend,” published by The Friend, 1844, in Volume 17 (1843/1844), page 72.

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Benjamin F. Church, Milwaukee public service

52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors: Number 2
Benjamin F. Church (1807-1887)

Much is written about Benjamin F. Church, a Milwaukee pioneer carpenter and builder, whose small Greek Revival house built for his family in 1844 is today a pioneer museum open to visitors each summer. I have written for Wikipedia both a biographical sketch for Benjamin and an article on the Benjamin Church House that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I have also photographed the house.

Here I briefly chronicle some of Benjamin’s public service and community leadership in the fledgling city, starting when Wisconsin was still a territory. Remember that Milwaukee was not incorporated as a city until 1846 and Wisconsin gained statehood in 1848.

One of the first records of his civic involvement is seen in the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel and Gazette of 2 Nov 1839 that reported on a meeting of 2nd Ward Whigs at Washington House. “On motion of Benj. Church a committee of Vigilance and Finance for the Second Ward was appointed, consisting of J A Phelps, L N Dewey and Wm Sanderson,” the paper states. Other news article show he was active locally in the Whig Party, but later was a Republican.

On January 1, 1844, Benjamin was elected one of five trustees of the West Ward, and was reelected in 1845. This was the area west of the Milwaukee River, originally called Kilbourntown, where he had built his family home. He, Byron Kilbourn and three others were the West Ward trustees at the historic first meeting on May 7, 1845, of representatives of all three wards of what would become Milwaukee on January 31, 1846. The meeting was during the infamous “Milwaukee Bridge War.”

After incorporation, Benjamin was 1 of 15 men chosen for a 2nd Ward nominating committee to develop a slate for alderman, assessor, constable and street inspector, as reported the Milwaukee Sentinel on 22 March 1847. During the 1850s, Benjamin Church was elected to represent his ward on the Board of School Commissioners and to serve as assessor for his ward. He also was a fire warden and election inspector for his ward. Later in his career, Benjamin was one of 13 men to serve as sealer of weights and measures, as per the History of Milwaukee (Andreas, 1881).

In other realms, Benjamin was one of 5 founders of Royal Arch Masons Chapter 1 in Milwaukee on 16 Feb 1844, as per Memoirs of Milwaukee County: from the earliest historical times. He filled several offices including, in 1844 & 1845, Junior Deacon; 1849-1853, Treasurer; 1853, Senior Warden; and then in 1860, Tyler. He was also a member of Milwaukee’s Old Settlers Club since he had arrived from New York before 1839. He was the son of Caleb Church and Hannah Baker Church of New Paltz, Ulster County, New York.

Benjamin F. Church was clearly a “builder of Milwaukee,” not only as a carpenter and contractor but also in helping establish governing structures and fraternal organizations for the city as it boomed in population from 5,605 in 1840 to 31,077 in 1850, soon after incorporation, to 138,537 in 1880, according to Populations of States & Counties of the U. S. (1790-1990), edited by Richard L. Forstall.

It is little wonder that many of his descendants to this day having noted with pride that Benjamin was among their ancestors.

Note: I am seeking the ancestry of Benjamin’s wife Permelia, full name perhaps Elizabeth Permelia. View the query here.

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Published in: on January 12, 2014 at 1:36 am  Comments (3)  
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Ancestors Born in England or New England? Part 3: Timelines

In this series — Ancestors Born in England or New England? — I identified a significant problem with birth dates in a number of Ancestry.com resources. Many individuals in the immigrant generation are shown with birth dates and places in New England towns, especially Massachusetts and Connecticut, before those towns were settled. In fact, some of English ancestry are shown as born in New England before 1620, the arrival of the Mayflower.

In Part 1, I wrote: “Over and over, I have found English ancestors listed as born in towns in New England with dates such as 1600, 1612, 1615 and so on. Clearly impossible as these dates were before the Great Migration of 1620-1640.” See Part 1.

In Part 2, I described the types of database records at Ancestry.com that contain these errors. These include Family Data Collection – Individual Records, Millennium Files and American Genealogical-Biographical Index, or AGBI, among others. See Part 2.

To ensure that you avoid birthplace errors for your early New England ancestors who were actually born in England or elsewhere in Europe, use timelines for the founding of the early towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Check to make sure each town has been founded or settled by European immigrant ancestors before giving those towns as birth places! Here are timeline resources you might wish to use:

Here is a map with the towns of Plymouth Colony with founding dates including Plymouth, Duxbury, Scituate and so on:
=> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Plymouth_Colony_map.svg

Here is a listing of all the towns in Massachusetts with dates of founding and incorporation:
=> http://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cisctlist/ctlistalph.htm

Here is a listing of Connecticut Towns in Order of Establishment
=> http://www.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?a=3188&q=392440

Important Dates in the History of the Settlement of the Colony of Connecticut until Unification with the Colony of New Haven in 1665
=> http://www.cslib.org/earlysettlers.htm

Good strategy: print out these timelines and refer to them every time you are about to add a birth date and place for an early New England ancestor. If there is a birth date before 1620 and a birthplace in Massachusetts or Connecticut, look for additional source materials. That ancestor was likely born in England or other European county such as Holland. Your family tree will be more accurate, thanks to this extra review.

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Ancestors Born in England or New England? Part 2

What are these Ancestry.com databases or record collections mentioned in the previous post about early New England ancestors? I mean the databases with files on New England ancestors who are sometimes shown as born in Massachusetts or Connecticut before 1620.

Ancestry.com has a “hint” system that points its users to an array of resources including census records; birth, marriage and death records, and contributed family trees. Hints also point to records such as the following, where I have found problems:
> Family Data Collection – Individual Records
> Millennium Files
>  American Genealogical-Biographical Index, or AGBI

What are these?

Ancestry.com describes Family Data Collection – Individual Records as a “database containing 5 million genealogical records (20 million names) that were saved from destruction after being rejected from scientific studies. The Family Data Collection records were created while gathering genealogical data for use in the study of human genetics and disease. Compiling data for genetic research does not require the same type of documentation as traditional genealogical research. Use this database as a finding tool….”

Given this source for the Family Data Collection, it is no wonder that there are so many cases of early New Englanders shown as born in Massachusetts towns before 1620 and in Connecticut towns before 1633.

Ancestry describes the Millennium File as “a database created by the Institute of Family Research to track the records of its clients and the results of its professional research. It contains more than 880,000 linked family records, with lineages from throughout the world, including colonial America, the British Isles, Switzerland, and Germany.”

The description also states that “one of the things the Millennium File focuses on is linking to European nobility and royalty.” It says as well that source information “is also provided in this database, making it easier to verify the accuracy of the research done.” However, I have not found that to be true. The source listed is simply Heritage Consulting. The Millennium File. Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

As noted in Part One of this series, some Millennium File records contain births of early New Englanders before the arrival of the Mayflower.

Ancestry describes the American Genealogical-Biographical Index, or AGBI, as “one of the most important genealogical collections… the equivalent of more than 200 printed volumes. This database contains millions of records of people whose names have appeared in printed genealogical records and family histories.” It notes that the source of the index is Godfrey Memorial Library. American Genealogical-Biographical Index. Middletown, Connecticut, USA.

A key challenge with this database is that some of those who entered data from the Index into the Ancestry.com database used the space for “Birthplace” in a curious way. The line may say “England, Massachusetts, shoemaker,” for example. Does this mean born in England, migrated to Massachusetts, or born either in England or Massachusetts? The user is left with a conundrum.

In addition, Ancestry does not provide access to images of the original AGBI pages as it does so well with other sources such as the census, family history books and more. If the actual images were available, the usefulness of these records would increase.

Alert to Ancestry.com users: The problem that has been created by the above databases is that the errors in them have been propagated across thousands of family trees on Ancestry.com. Now, when new suscribers begin working on their New England ancestors, they find the errors both in the records from these databases and in many shared family trees. Thus, it becomes easy to assume that the information is correct – and to merge it into one’s own tree. So the spread of the errors continues.

In the next part, I’ll look at solutions to this problem including use of historical timelines.

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Honoring a World War II Veteran

Donald Custer Bradley continued a Bradley family tradition of serving his country, a tradition stretching back to his ancestor Aaron Bradley of Litchfield, Connecticut, who served in the Revolution War and to ancestors who served in local militia groups in Guilford, Connecticut, in the 1600s. Here is his story, shared on Veterans Day 2012.

Donald C. Bradley studied military science and was a Cadet Captain in ROTC at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he graduated on May 29, 1943. On July 1, 1943, he received orders to report to Camp McCoy, near LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He was then transferred to Fort Benning, Georgia, for six months of training. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry at Fort Benning, Georgia, on Dec. 30, 1943.

His first assigments were training troops as follows:
— Feb. 27-June 4, 1944, IRTC, Camp Roberts, Templeton and Atascadero, California.
— June 6-July 18, 1944, Camp Adair, Corvallis and Albany, Oregon, 70th Infantry Division.
— July 22-August 11, 1944, Fort Leonard Wood, Lebanon, Missouri, 70th Infantry Division.

On September 5, 1944, his second wedding anniversary, he was in New York City waiting to be shipped overseas to Europe. This was three months after the D-Day Invasion. He went first to England and then to France for the end of the Allied Campaign in northern France. He was assigned to the 116th Infantry of the 29th Division that, in late September, took up defensive positions along the Teveren-Geilenkirchen line near Aachen inside Germany.

Lt. Bradley was wounded at the Battle of Aachen, which began on October 13, 1944. Located near the border with Belgium, Aachen was the first major German city to face invasion by the Allies. The American 1st and 30th Divisions began the assault, but when the 30th had many losses, parts of the 29th Division entered the battle. Military historians state that winning Aachen was key critical step for American soldiers attempting to breach the fortified Siegfried Line in the fall of 1944.

More specifically for Lt. Bradley, his 116th Infantry was deployed in the Aachen battle as follows: “The main German escape route from Aachen was the road to Alsdorf, which ran northeast from the besieged city. With attached battalions from the 66th Armd. Regt., 120th Inf. Regt., and 99th Inf. Bn., the 116th moved against Wurselen, five miles north of Aachen, Oct. 13, repulsed a counter-attack, cut the Alsdorf Road to seal the Aachen Gap.”  [Source: “29 Let’s Go!” — a small booklet on the history of the 29th Infantry Division, published by the Stars & Stripes in Paris in 1944-1945.]  The Combat Chronicle of the 29th Division in World War II also reports of 1944 battles that “In mid-October the 116th Infantry took part in the fighting at the Aachen Gap.”

After hospitalization and healing, Don rejoined the 29th Division in action pushing east into Germany. He was with Allied Forces when they met the Russian Army at the Elbe River at the end of the war.  Some sources say the Division had reached the Elbe on April 19, 1945, and that first radio contact with the Soviet troops occurred by April 23. The official meetings of American and Russian forces occurred on April 26, 1945, near Torgau.

According to the “29 Let’s Go!” booklet, “Given a regular combat mission again, the 29th dispatched its 115th and 116th to clear all opposition in the division sector west of the Elbe. Resistance was slight; the river was reached April 26.”

A 1945 newspaper article from Wisconsin summarized it this way: “Lt. Bradley, a rifle platoon leader, fought with the 116th Infantry of the 29th Division from Aachen to the Elbe River, where his unit was one of the first to make contact with the Russians. He was wounded in the Battle for Aachen and was awarded the Purple Heart.”The article added that Don was then transferred to the Military Police Platoon, 95th Infantry Division, and returned to the United States with that platoon. There was every expectation that his next assignment would be in the Pacific, but the Japanese surrender in mid-August 1945 made that unnecessary.

Lt. Bradley completed his military duties with assignments as follows:
— August 10-October 13, 1945, stationed at Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, awaiting redeployment.
— October 15, 1945-March 9, 1946, Camp Butner, Durham, North Carolina

Don, his wife and their young daughter then headed home via a visit to Washington, D.C., and its historic monuments, including a stop of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The U.S. 29th Infantry Division has as its motto, “29. Let’s Go!” Its nickname is Blue and Gray, and its patch is a yin and yang symbol of the two colors, recognizing that it was made up of units that fought for the Union and the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Donald C. Bradley was awarded a Purple Heart, recognizing that he had been wounded in action. The original Purple Heart, called the Badge of Military Merit, was created by George Washington in 1782.


=> Find the booklet “29 Let’s Go!” at this Web address: http://www.lonesentry.com/gi_stories_booklets/29thinfantry/
=> Read the story of the 116th Infantry during World War II: http://116thinfantry.org/2.html
=> See the history of the 29th Division at this Web address: http://www.29infantrydivision.org/ and also here: http://www.freewebs.com/29thbattlefieldclan/29thhistory.htm