Saturday, February 28, 2015

More Family Stories & Legends

CAIN: This family get a mention just because of the unique family monument at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana. Eliza Ann [Jennison] Cain [c1812-1881] was the wife of Captain John Cain, Sr. & the daughter of Rufus Jennison, Sr. & Jerusha Field. John Cain served as agent for the Nez Perce from 1853-58 and was replaced by his son Andrew.

The Cain monument at Crown Hill is a virtual family group record. Several members of the family predeceased Eliza and were buried elsewhere. She had those remains reinterred at Crown Hill in 1874. On one side of the monument is recorded the names of John and Eliza. Her parents and brother Rufus Jr. were named on another side. On a third panel were inscribed the names of children Andrew J. Cain, John Cain, Clara Bierce, Jerusha V., Van Buren, Caroline, Harriet and Jessie B. Cain.

The Day Book for Crown Hill interments gives more detailed information on several of the family members including birth & death dates & places.

One curious item does exist for the family. Eliza's father, Rufus has a death date of 6 August 1862. Family records are consistent as to the date. The fly in the ointment - Rufus' obituary & funeral notice appear in the Indianapolis papers in 1864. Did he die in 1862 or 1864?

The Day Book & the monument are rare finds.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Stories & Legends V

CALLUM/MACCALLUM: I haven't found much yet on Malcolm MacCallum, but what little I do know, makes for an interesting character sketch. I would estimate that Malcolm was born between 1625 & 1632 in Scotland. He was probably a conscript in the Scottish army in the fight against Oliver Cromwell's English forces. MacCallum was captured at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. Cromwell sold many of his prisoners into servitude at iron works & other businesses in the Colonies.

Young MacCallum found himself aboard the Unity bound for the Saugus Iron Work at Lynn, Massachusetts in 1651. There he worked off his indenture, possibly early, and remained in the Lynn area. Malcolm had married by 1655. He & wife Martha had three sons & three daughters. The MacCallums probably moved to Salem and, possibly, Rowley later on.

There is a lot more to be learned in order to complete the Malcolm MacCallum story.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


BREWSTER: Back in my early research days while working on my Hazen genealogy, a fellow researcher informed me that she had been told that there was a Mayflower connection to that family. None of the research to that time supported the claim. Little did I know at the time that early researchers had made a crucial error in calculating relationships in the lineage. Elizabeth Dart was presumed to be a Dart by birth, whereas she was actually a Dart by marriage and a Turner by birth. That was the key to solving "the Mayflower mystery."  The evidence was in the records. It had been overlooked. Elizabeth Turner's grandmother was Mary Brewster, daughter of Jonathan and granddaughter of Elder William Brewster.

Brewster was a native of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England. He served Secretary William Davison and was in the "Low Countries" with Davison when he negotiated an alliance with the States General. He was later postmaster of Scrooby. About 1602 Brewster began hosting worship services in his home. The attendees would form the Separatist Church in 1606. Brewster was arrested in 1607 for trying to lead a Separatist group in fleeing England. The next year he was released and joined the Separatists in The Netherlands and was chosen ruling elder in 1609. After escaping authorities in 1619, Brewster was able to secure a grant from the Virginia Company.

The Mayflower and the Speedwell left Plimouth, England in August 1620 for Virginia, The Speedwell was forced to turn back and the Mayflower sailed off course, landing at Cape Cod [Massachusetts] in October. The passengers, about half Separatists and half Strangers [non-Separatists] signed the "Mayflower Compact" - the document that laid out the government of the new colony. [men only]

Of the 102 passengers, 52 survived the first winter. The Fortune arrived in 1621 with relief for the survivors.

Brewster served as leader of the church for many years. He was praised by his contemporaries for his leadership. William moved to Duxbury in 1630 to join his son Jonathan [who arrived in 1621]. He died there in April of 1644 at the age of 89.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Family Stories & Legends III:

BILLIOU: The Walloon Pierre Billiou was born about 1622 in the LaBasse or Wicres region of Flanders [later Artois, France], the son of Jean/Jacq Billiou. Being of the Protestant faith, Pierre fled the Catholic-ruled Spanish territory for Leiden, Holland, The Netherlands. There he married Francoise DuBois [sister of New Paltz, NY founder Louis] in 1649. The Billious had five daughters before leaving for the Dutch colony of New Netherland in 1661. Four of the girls accompanied Pierre and Francoise to America. It is believed that the eldest, Marie, sailed to New Netherland with the DuBois family a year or so earlier.

The Billious would eventually settle on Staten Island, where Pierre was one of the original petitioners for the new settlement of Oulde Dorp [Old Town] near South Beach. In 1663, Pierre began building their house - which still stands today as part of the Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House. [Dongan Hills section on Richmond Road, see photo below]  Pierre went on to acquire additional tracts of land on Staten Island, Flatbush, Long Island and New Jersey. He was active in local politics and was a strong community leader.

Marie Billiou and her husband, Arent Jansen Prall, relocated from Kingston to Staten Island about 1675.

Pierre became a widower in 1696 and remarried perhaps twice. He died in 1701, leaving behind a pioneer's legacy.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Family Stories & Legends II

BALLINGER: Josiah Ballinger, Sr. was a pioneering Quaker. His parents, Henry Ballinger, Sr. and Mary Wright settled in Burlington Co., NJ. Josiah moved his family to the Monocacy Valley in present-day Frederick Co., Maryland in 1725. Quaker monthly meetings were held at Ballinger's home until a new meeting house could be built. The Ballingers were on the move again by 1736. This time they moved to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Josiah settled along Apple Pie Ridge north of Winchester [formerly Fredericktown]. He was instrumental in helping to establish the Hopewell Monthly Meeting. Josiah died in 1748. In 1755, the 44th and 48th British regiments camped on the Ballinger property. On 6 August 1755, surviving members of General Braddock's command also camped there. It was noted that the "two old maid Quakers" who lived there did a good job of caring for the troops. Josiah's daughter, Sarah, married Evan Rogers. The Rogers clan helped pioneer the Back Creek Valley of Frederick Co., Virginia.

Note: The Ballinger family still requires some research, at least Josiah's wife does. For some years it was believed that MaryWright Ballinger's mother was Mary Davis. An article by Stewart Baldwin in the April 2000 issue of the American Genealogist disputed this, providing evidence that it was Mary Bowater who was Mary Wright's mother. Supporters of the Davis theory have challenged Baldwin's findings.

Can you say SLIG Problem Solving project? :)-

Monday, February 23, 2015

Family Stories and Legends

I thought I'd focus on the stories of ancestors [direct and collateral] for awhile. I'm going to try to take the surnames alphabetically. That brings a "collateral cousin" up first.

ARNOLD: My direct Arnold descent is through the immigrant, William [1587-1675] and his daughter Joanna [1616-1693], who married Zachariah Rhodes. Joanna's elder brother was governor of Rhodes Island and passed his given name on for several generations. Gov. Arnold's great-great-grandson was a pharmacist, merchant trader and gained a reputation as a superb military leader early in the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, the officer's ego and vanity frequently got in his way. Although Horatio Gates received the credit for the American victory a Saratoga in 1777, it was Arnold who turned the tide and received a serious leg wound. He was appointed military governor of Philadelphia while he recuperated. Arnold was court-martialed and received a reprimand from Gen. Washington, who later offered him a field command. Arnold chose the job of commandant of West Point. Gen. Arnold, with the help of his Loyalist- sympathizing wife, Peggy Shippen, negotiated with British spy, Maj. John Andre to turn over West Point to the enemy. The plot was discovered, Andre was captured and hanged, but Arnold escaped. Gen. Arnold was given a Loyalist command in the British Army. The proud name of Benedict Arnold was terminated in the American line. Now how many of us can have a military hero and traitor wrapped up in one package!?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Journals can be bad news too! Sort of....

I think all family historians dream of stumbling across letters, diaries and journals that, at the very least, have a mention of one of their ancestors.

I have had a little luck in this area. A couple of journals have confirmed family relationships or events such as marriages or deaths for some of my ancestors. A letter published in a genealogy confirmed a parent-child relationship.

Surveyor George Washington mentioned stopping at an ancestor's inn on a couple of occasions!

Physical descriptions of ancestors have been a rarity. My Mom and uncle told me about their Uncle Jack, who tipped the scales at 400+ pounds. A couple of NYC histories mentioned "Wall Street John" Simmons, a tavern-keeper, who was reported to have been the "most corpulent man" in New York.

Now comes Thomas Treadway, an innkeeper, who was described by Dr. Alexander Hamilton as "a fat, pursy man who had large bubbies like a woman." Yikes! Talk about a physical description! Dr. Hamilton, on a later stop over, referred to the inn-keeper as his "old friend Treadway." It also seems that Thomas was in ill health.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cunningham - Treadway families II

I continue to work on my "new" Cunningham and Treadway data. One of the toughest parts is assigning plausible birth years to folks that don't have them recorded.

Case in point: The five Cunningham brothers [or is it six?] Their grandfather, Thomas Treadway, names five Cunningham grandsons - Crispin, Thomas, George, James and Daniel. [No evidence that they are in birth order.] There are several online trees at that deal with this family. Several add a 6th son, William. Births range from the mid-1740s to the early 1760s. I have located births for two of the brothers, Crispin [1761]and Daniel [1763]. That leaves three open to conjecture, Thomas, George and James. And of course, there's no marriage date for their parents.

I have relied on marriage dates and a scattering of tax records to determine reasonable births for the trio. That's assuming they married between the ages of 18 and 23, fairly common for that time period.

For Thomas, I have yet to locate a marriage, so he's totally guesswork. George married in 1779, so a 1756-1761 range makes sense.  He was over 18 in 1778, that puts his birth pre-1760. James married in 1773 and was over 18 in 1778. I give him a birth range of 1750-1755.

I settled on the following: James born c. 1752 [married at 21], Thomas born c. 1755 and George born c. 1757 [married at 22]. These dates are fairly disagreeable with those on the trees. If parents Clotworthy Cunningham and Mary Ann Treadway were married about 1744 as suggested on the trees, then my estimates are off considerably. Then there's William. If there was a 6th son, his death pre-dated that of his grandfather.

What is needed, besides birth records for all of the boys, is a marriage date for the parents!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cunningham - Treadway Family

My search for the parents of Pathiah Cunningham did lead to "new" data on her husband's clan - the Cunninghams.

Retooling notes is an adventure! I had a "family story" on the Cunninghams authored by Isaac Prall, the brother of my gggf Hugh M. Prall. Isaac's memory was a bit fuzzy! He mixed up details in the lives of James Cunningham Junior and Senior. As new details surface, the bios of father and son change considerably.

Isaac made errors in the rest his story as well, but at least he left an account of the family to be sorted out!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Upon further review......

SIGH! There's nothing like having your bubble burst! I was just about convinced that I had the parents of Pathiah Standiford identified until I examined the date of birth [1735] and compared it with the marriage date [1773]. Pathiah would have been 38 when she married James Cunningham and about 53 when her last of six children was born - say, 1786. Those numbers just don't work!

 Pathiah would probably have been between 18 and 23 when she married in 1773 [b. 1750-1755]. That means another generation of Standifords now sneaks into the picture, or at least a younger sibling of Samuel [the possible father, or so I thought!]

When you think you have a line figured out, double-check your available sources - strong, weak, or otherwise, to make sure.

As for  me?
Back to the drawing board!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cunningham and Standiford

It's amazing how suddenly the flood waters break through the levee. I'd say brick wall, but sometimes a new find throws up another level of bricks!

Last week I was searching for my Cunningham ancestors and came across an assortment of trees, some with attached records, that take my Cunninghams back at least another generation. Today, I continued my search on the Standiford side of the family and came across a handful of possible lineages and enough evidence to convince me that I had the Standiford ancestry screwed up, which I suspected anyway.

As a result, I can add a generation to the Cunninghams and a new family [Treadway]. On the Standiford side, a couple of new families and the fun of sorting out which lineage - if any - is the correct one for the family.

It appears that the Cunninghams were from Scotland, not much of a reach. As for the Standifords, the Scottish Lowlands or northern England appear to be origin options.

Once I get everything sorted out to my satisfaction, then I can go back and update those family timelines!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Salt Lake Institute 2016 Information

The 2016 Salt Lake Institute will be held January 11-16. Registration will begin June 20, 2015.

The 2015 institute was held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center for the first time. I t will be there again in 2016. I encourage anyone interested in any of the topics listed below to register. Also - I will continue to promote the Problem Solving track, it's a great "brick wall-busting opportunity."
The track offerings are as follows [course coordinators are in parentheses]:

  • Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy (Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL)
  • Advanced Genealogical Methods (Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS)
  • Advanced Research Tools: Land Records (Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA)
  • Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum (Angela Packer McGhie)
  • Intermediate to Advanced DNA Analysis Techniques for Genealogical Research (Angie Bush, MS)
  • Beginning Genetic Genealogy (Blaine T. Bettinger, JD, Ph.D.)
  • Writing a Quality Family Narrative (John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA)
  • Research in the South (J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA)
  • Resources and Strategies for Intermediate U.S. Research, Part 2 (Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS)
  • Research in New York (Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS)
  • Early U.S. Church Records (Rev. David McDonald, CG)
  • Solving Problems Like a Professional (Michael G. Hait, CG)
  • Problem Solving (Luana Darby, MLIS)

Monday, February 9, 2015

A New Find and Genealogy Block

I think I am about recovered from a serious bout of 'Genealogy Block.' I just haven't found the time or motivation to post blogs over the last couple of months. Research efforts have been a bit lax as well.

My annual trip to the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy didn't provide the necessary motivation either. I took the class on "Digging Deeper into New England Research" with Josh Taylor. Since this was a "classroom experience," library time was limited. The course was extremely interesting and beneficial, as I have numerous New England ancestors [Massachusetts, Connecticut & Rhode Island.]

I'm used to spending my SLIG week with the Problem Solving track. Having two hours of classroom time and the rest of the day researching grows on you. Fortunately, SLIG is bringing back Problem Solving next year. Hooray! It will be nice to get back into the "normal routine."

I will post the 2016 SLIG tracks later this week.

Getting over my genealogy block came with a chance "find." I was searching to see if the WWW held any data on my Simmons, Jennison or Twiss families. I came across a link on Find a Grave to John William and Dolly [Jennison] Simmons. Lo and behold, I was looking at a photo of John W.  and Dolly from the mid-1850s! Photos for either side of my family pre-dating 1900 are few and far between, this is a terrific find. [photo courtesy of Douglas Bean - 10/10/2014] Thanks for posting the photo Doug!