Sunday, July 31, 2016

1920 Census

Enumerated: 1 January

[1] Residence, house number/farm
[2] number of dwelling & family in visitation order
[3] name & relationship to head
[4] home owned, rented, mortgaged
[5] sex
[6] color/race
[7] age
[8] marital status
[9] year immigrated to US
[10] naturalized or alien
[11] attended school within year
[12] able to read/write
[13] person's birthplace & mother tongue, parents' birthplace & mother tongue
[14] able to speak English
[15] occupation
[16] employer, wage earner, self-employed
[17] number of farm schedule

States: 48
Territories: Alaska, Hawaii
Also: Military & Naval bases, Virgin Is., Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Panama Canal Zone

Saturday, July 30, 2016

1910 Census

Enumerated 15 April

[1] address [ & if house or farm]
[2] dwelling & family in order of visitation
[3] each person with relationship to head
[4] color/race
[5] age
[6] marital status; number of years of current marriage
[7] years married to present spouse
[8] number of children born/ number living [for mother]
[9] brthplace of person & parents
[10] if naturalized or alien
[11] if able to speak English; other language spoken
[12] if blind, deaf and dumb
[13] if survivor of Union or Confederate Army
[14] occupation, workplace
[15] if employer, employee, self-employed
[16] if home owned or rnted, farm or house, if mortgaged

States: 46
Territories: New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii
Military and naval bases, Puerto Rico

Friday, July 29, 2016

1900 census

State, county, township, city/town: enumerated 1 June

[1] name
[3] address
[3] relationship to head of household
[4] color/race
[5] month & year of birth [new feature!]
[6] age at last birthday
[7] marital status
[8] year married
[9] number of children born to mother/ number living [new!]
[10] birthplace of person & his/her parents
[11] citizenship status of those over 21
[12] occupation
[13] if able to read, write or speak English
[14] if home owned or rented
[15] if home was a farm
[16] if home was mortgaged

45 States with Utah added
5 Territories: Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oklahoma

Thursday, July 28, 2016

1890 Census - up in flames, mostly

A fire at the Commerce Department in DC in 1921 destroyed most of the '90 census. There are "census substitutes" that will help fill in the missing years between 1880 and 1900. City directories, some state censuses, tax records and the veterans' censuses [more on these later] can give you some details.

The following partial records survived:

Alabama - Perry Co.
DC - Q, S, 13th, 14th, RQ, Corcoran, 15th, SE, Roggs streets and Johnson Ave.
Georgia - Muscogee Co. [Columbia]
Illinois - Mound T., McDonough Co.
Minn. - Rockford, Wright Co.
NJ - Jersey City, Hudson Co.
NY - Eastchester, Westchester Co., Brookhaven T., Suffolk Co.
NC - South Point and River Bend T., Gaston Co., Twp. #2, Cleveland Co.
Ohio - Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Wayne T., Clinton Co.
SD - Jefferson T., Union Co.
Texas - SP#6, Mountain Peak, Ovila Pct., Ellis Co., Pct. #5, Hood Co.; Pct. 6 & JP7, Rusk Co.; Trinity Town & Pct. 2, Trinity Co.; Kaufman, Kaufman Co.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

1880 Census

The 1880 census introduced two new features, how members of the household were related to one another and the birthplace of each person's parents. This helped genealogical research a great deal.
This was also the first time "Indian" was included as a race.

State, county, township, town/city, enumeration date - 1 June.


[1] name of each member of the household and their relationship to the head of the household
[2] name of the street and house number for urban areas
[3] sex, race, age, marital status, ability to read and write
[4] birthplace and birthplace of parents
[5] occupation and number of months unemployed
[6] whether blind, deaf, dumb, crippled, maimed, idiotic, insane, bedridden, other disability

New states: Colorado [38 total]

Territories: Arizona, Dakota, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Indian [included Indians only] and the non-organized territory of Alaska

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

1870 Census

State, county, township, city,/town; enumerated 1 June:


Same as 1860, with following additions and modifications:
[1] if child under one year, number of months as of 1 June
[2] profession of every male and female
[3] whether father and mother were of foreign birth
[4] those who could not read
[5] those who could not write
[6] deaf, dumb, insane, idiotic

No relationship given

States: ME, CT, RI, MA, VT, NH, NY, NJ, DE, PA, MD, OH, IN, IL, MI, WI, MN, IA, NE, KS, MO, AK, LA, AL, GA, FL, SC, NC, TN, KY, VA, WV, NV, CA,TX, OR, MS

Territories: Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Indian, Dakota

Monday, July 25, 2016

1860 Census

State, county, township, town/city recorded; enumerated 1 June:


[1] name of each member of household
[2] age
[3] sex
[4] color
[5] birthplace
[6] occupation of those over 15
[7] value of real estate
[8] whether married within the year
[9] whether deaf, dumb, blind, insane, pauper, convict
[10] able to read or speak English
[11] attended school within the year

No relationships given

States: AL, AK, CA, CT, DE, Wash. DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MS, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WI

Territories: Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Washington

Saturday, July 23, 2016

1850 Census

State, county, township, town/city, enumerated 1 June:

[1] Every member of the household recorded for 1st time
[2] age
[3] sex
[4] color
[5] birthplace
[6] occupation of males over 15
[7] value of real estate
[8] if married within the previous year
[9] if deaf-mute, blind, insane, idiotic
[10] persons over 20 able to read or write
[11] if attended school in previous year

[no relationships are given, be careful in identifying to whom members of household match up with]

No major losses

States: AL, AK, CA, CT, DE, Wash. DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA
Territories: Minnesota [incl. SD], New Mexico [incl. Arizona], Oregon [incl. Wash., Idaho], Utah

Friday, July 22, 2016

1840 Census

State, county,town, district, enumeration: 1 June

The same categories were included from 1830, plus the following additions:

[1] age of Revolutionary War pensioners
[2] number involved in agriculture, commerce, manufacturing, trade, navigation [oceans, canals, lakes, rivers], learned professions, engineers
[3] number in school
[4] number over 21 unable to read or write
[5] number of insane

26 states: LA, MS, AL, GA, SC, NC, TN, AK, MO, KY, VA, IL, IN, OH, PA, MD, DE, NJ, NY, CT, VT, NH, MA, RI, ME, MI
Territories: Wisconsin, Iowa, FL
No losses

Thursday, July 21, 2016

1830 Census

 State, county, town, district recorded, the enumeration date was 1 June.

Categories in addition to head of household:
[1] Free white males and females: 0-5, 5-10, 10-15, 15-20, 20-30, 30-40, 40-50, 50-60, 60-70, 70-80, 80-90, 90-100, over 100
[2] name of slave owner and number of slaves
[3] number of male and female slaves and free colored persons by age categories
[4] number of foreigners [not naturalized]
[5] number of deaf, dumb and blind

Losses: some counties in MA, MD, MS
States: ME, VT, NH, RI, NY, PA, NJ, DE, VA, NC, SC, GA, AL, TN, KY, OH, IN, IL,MO, LA
Territories: MI, AK, FL

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

1820 Census

State & county; enumerated 7 August [info given as of that date]
[1] Age categories were the same as for 1800 & 1810
[2] New age category: free white males 16-18 [this was for militia purposes]
[3] number of persons to be naturalized
[4] number engaged in agriculture, commercial or manufacture
[5] number of "colored" persons [some in age groups]
[6] number of others, except Indians

Schedules for: MS, LA, GA, SC, NC, KY, VA, OH, IN, IL, MD, DE, NY, PA, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, ME, Michigan Terr.

Partial schedules: Arkansas Terr., Missourri Terr., NJ, Alabama [AL] - half, TN [20 counties in east]

One plus to the new males 16-18 age category, it allows you to narrow the ages for family members that fit there.

Monday, July 18, 2016

1810 Census

Enumeration date: 6 August 1810 [all information reported as of that date]
Categories, with state & county:
[1] head of household
[2] number of free white males and females in age categories [0-10], [10-16], [16-26], [26-45], [45 & older]
[3] number of free persons, excluding Indians, not taxed, number of slaves
[4] town or district

Schedules exist for: SC, NC, VA, KY, PA, MD, DE, NY, CT, MA, RI, NH, VT, ME [MA], District of Columbia [DC], Georgia Territory, Mississippi Territory, Louisiana Territory [Missouri (MO)], Orleans, Michigan and Illinois Territories [MI, IL]

Partial losses: DC, GA, Indiana Terr., Miss. Terr., LA Terr. [MO], NJ, TN, IL Terr. [St. Clair Co.], OH [except Washington Co.]

Sunday, July 17, 2016

1800 Census

In addition to the state and county, the following categories were included:
[1] head of household
[2] number of free white males and females in age categories - 0-10, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, 45 & older
[3] number of other free persons, except Indians, not taxed
[4] number of slaves
[5] town or district of residence

Surviving 1800 schedules: SC, NC, VA, PA, NY, CT, MA, NH, VT, MD, DE, RI, ME [part of MA]

Lost schedules: GA, Indiana Territory [IN], KY, Mississippi Territory [MS], NJ, Northwest Territory, VA, Tennessee [TN], Alexandria Co., District of Columbia [Some schedules have been reconstructed.]

Each column under the age groups was marked with the number of people who fit into that category. It was often the case that the "tick" marks were written in the wrong columns. That is something to be aware of.  If your ancestor was, say, 25 [16-26], he or she might have been inadvertently marked in the [26-45] column. If that is the only "age group" error in the census for your family, you may still have the right one.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

1790 US Census

The state and county of residence was given on each page.
[1] name of the head of the household
[2] number of free white males 16 or older
[3] number of free white males under 16
[4] number of free white females
[5] number of all other free persons
[6] number of slaves
[7] sometimes the town or district

States recorded: Connecticut [CT], Maine [ME, part of Mass.], Maryland [MD], Massachusetts [MA], New Hampshire [NH], New York [NY], North Carolina [NC], South Carolina [SC], Pennsylvania [PA], Rhode Island [RI], Vermont [VT, formed in 1791]

Totally lost or partially missing: Georgia [GA], Delaware [DE], New Jersey [NJ], Kentucky Territory [KY], NC, VA.

Some of the schedules were recreated from tax lists and other local records. [i.e. VA, some counties in NC & MD,]

Enumerators missed folks now and then, so not everyone was counted. Sons and daughters could have been apprenticed out, so were part of other households.

Make a list of household members and their ages to use as a guide. Allow for elderly relatives, in-laws, other relatives, servants, hired help and lodgers.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Look at the US Federal Census

I thought I'd do a few posts on census records. The US government started keeping official census records in 1790. Why 1790? The Founding Fathers had finally organized things well enough to form a federal government with the Constitution.

It was decided that the census would be taken every ten years beginning in 1790. So, we had the census for 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 and so on.

US Census records are released 72 years after they are taken. The 1940 census was released in 2012. 1950 will be released in 2022, 1960 in 2032, etc.

The 1790 through 1840 censuses recorded the head of household and family members by age groups. The number of slaves were also recorded.

Beginning in 1850, every member of the household was listed with age, sex, race, occupation and birthplace. In 1880, the birthplace of each person's parents was added along with their relationship to the head of household. The amount of information expanded over the next 4 censuses.

Pay attention to the year the state or US Territory you are researching was added to the Union. Some states are missing for various years, so check to make sure what is available. Nearly the entire 1890 census went up in flames, so very few states are available.

Some states have added state censuses on the 5 year [1815, 1865, 1895, etc.] and can help fill in missing Federal census records.

Other federal censuses: agricultural, mechanical, mortality and slave schedules.

I will cover each census in its own post. The state and special censuses will be covered in separate posts.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Favorite Revolutionary War Story

While conducting research, you sometimes come across a neat story. This one involves a collateral ancestor, Conrad Earthenhouse, whose daughter married the brother of my Martin Cawby.

Earthenhouse was a Hessian soldier during the Revolutionary War. On the ship over, he befriended a soldier from another regiment, Jacob Zeuch [Zike]. Their regiments were initially stationed in New York. In 1779, they were sent to Virginia. It is unclear whether Earthenhouse and Zike missed the ship that would take them from Virginia by accident or intentionally. Conrad and Jacob decided to switch sides. They made their way to Maryland and enlisted in the Continental Army. The pair fought at Camden, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse and Yorktown.

Conrad and Jacob would settle in Maryland after the war and eventually make their way to Jessamine County, Kentucky. Earthenhouse applied for a pension in 1832, but lacked sufficient documentation to prove his service because Jacob Zike, the one man who could confirm his service, had died three years earlier.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pittsburgh and Uniontown

I attended a national genealogy conference in Pittsburgh about 2001, give or take a year or two. After the conference, I rented a car and drove to nearby Uniontown to research my Faucett and Crousore ancestors. The research was not terribly successful. I still had a couple of days left before flying back to FL.

Those days were spent visiting a few French and Indian War sites: Fort Necessity, the site of Braddock's Defeat and a couple of others. It was a very informative trip. I learned quite a bit about Washington's early military career.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

McHughs in Wisconsin

In 2001, I  attended the Samford University [AL] Genealogy Institute for a week, then drove to Springfield, IL to see Abe Lincoln sites. From there, I  traveled to Galena, IL and Lafayette Co., WI. After that I went to Madison, WI and then to Indy to visit cousins.

Lafayette Co., WI was the key to the trip. My McHughs had settled there in 1849. I was able to meet with the county historian for awhile. I also took in the historical society and library in Darlington, the county seat. The McHughs resided at Gratiot for a few years before moving to Shullsburg, a few miles away. The 1st generation of the family was buried at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Gratiot. The 2nd generation was interred at St. Matthew's near Shullsburg. I toured both cemeteries and took pictures of the headstones.

Backtracking to Galena for a paragraph: I checked a city directory for John "Jack" McHugh, who owned a cigar factory there for several years. The address for the cigar factory was now a corner stationary store, I asked the manager if a cigar factory had been in the building. She called the owner and confirmed that part of the store had indeed been Great-Uncle Jack's cigar factory. I also located the building where he had lived while in Galena.

Oh, the cousins I visited in Indy? McHughs.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Misguided, but great Adventure

I was a novice researcher back in 1990. I had been told by my Aunt Dorothy that the Pralls were Pennsylvania Dutch and my Pop said he had been told we were Scottish. When I learned that the University of St. Andrews  [Scotland] was offering a one week genealogy workshop, I jumped at the chance to go. It would be my first trip overseas!

The Prall surname failed to appear in any of the records. The day trips and evening activities though, made the trip worth while. Earlshall Castle, the fishing village of Crail, Edinburgh and an assortment of local museums and pubs occupied the week. One evening I took in "When the Nightingale Sings" at the local theater. The play told the story of a British family during World War II. It was fantastic!

As it turned out, I later learned that Prall was Dutch, German or Norman-English in origin. A few Scots or Scots-Irish have popped up in the family over the years: Douglas, MacCallum, Cunningham, Campbell, Mahurin and, probably, Crail. I had visited the ancestral home after all!

I hope to return to Scotland someday and see more of the country.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Shelbyville Adventure

About 5 years ago, I went to do Crail research in Shelbyville, IN. I knew it would be a longshot, I was trying to find info on James B. Crail and Mary Jones - my most elusive ancestral couple. While I located a scattering of tax records that might have referenced James, my most interesting find concerned his namesake grandson, James Crail.

James was a veterinarian in Shelbyville during the first decade of the 20th century. I had found his office address in a directory advertisement some years earlier. The town had undergone changes and I wasn't able to pinpoint the exact address.

A local historian had compiled a set of books based on city directories that showed where businesses were located during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Lo and behold, Dr. Crail's veterinary surgery was shown in one of the books. He was conveniently located between a butcher shop and a livery stable.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Quest for the Mayflower and a Birthdate

Another of my Salt Lake Institute trips generated quite an adventure. I was trying to determine if my Hazen family had a Mayflower connection as a couple of researchers had been told. Nothing in the Hazen genealogy or research had pointed to such a link. If there was a Mayflower tie-in, there had to be an error in the research dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

That was the case. John Hazen had married Elizabeth Dart in 1726. What early researchers had missed was the fact that this was Elizabeth's 2nd marriage. Her 1st had been to Thomas Dart in 1717. Elizabeth's maiden name was Turner! She was the daughter of Ezekiel Turner and Susanna Keeney. Ezekiel was the great-grandson of William Brewster, one of the leaders of the Mayflower.

With  the main goal accomplished, I also wanted to find out exactly when Mary Hazen [daughter of John and Elizabeth] was born. I had two dates 22 May 1735 and 18 May 1735. The first date was recorded in the family bible, the second turned out to be her baptism date. While going through Connecticut deeds, I found a note at the bottom of a John Hazen deed. It gave Mary's birth date - 5 January 1735!

My guess was that the Bible record was a memory error on the part of the recorder. In the Lyme, CT  First Congregation Church baptismal records, there were three Hazens: Thomas, Mary and Ezekiel. Ezekiel had not been previously listed in any of the Hazen family groups.

One of the best sources I came across was the Diary of Joshua Hempstead. Hempstead chronicled the activities of New London, CT for 47 years [1711-1748]. The Hazens, Turners and Darts were oft mentioned.

It was a busy and interesting week!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Begat, Bewed and Begone Notebook

I have a special notebook/photo album for important documents and pictures. This is primarily for direct line ancestors. My title for the book may be a bit irreverent, but I call it my "begat, bewed and begone book."

Begat: birth certificates

Bewed: marriage licenses, applications, returns and certificates

Begones: death certificates, records, obituaries, announcements, coroner's reports

Additional: cemetery and gravestone photos, photos of homes or workplaces, some rare family photos
I can access the notebook quicker than family files if I need to check on a birth, marriage or death date.

I could also add copies of the documents to the individual files, but haven't as of yet.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Organizing your genealogy materials

Staring at my pile of papers to be organized motivates me to share my filing system, such as it is. I came up with this one on my own way back as a beginning genealogist.

Folders: I use colored folders with two pockets. Regular file folders are generally used by researchers. The folders I use are more secure in holding the papers. I generally hit the stores when school supplies are on sale and pick up several folders of various colors. I use file stickers to identify each folders content.

A family is assigned to each folder. The name of the family is written on a sticker and applied to the center edge of the folder. That worked nicely early on. As new material is found for each family, adjustments are made. I create a new folder for individuals as the need arises. For example, my Prall family has several folders: Arent Jansen, Pieter, Aaron, Cornelius Sr., Edward, Benjamin, James, Elizabeth, Cornelius Sr., Isaac R., Hugh M., William M., Miscellaneous [unrelated Prall info], Cornelius Sr./Jr. Deeds.

Data collected on each persons family is placed in his/her folder. Any kids who generate a good deal of info get a folder of their own.

In a few cases, two families will share a folder if there are only a couple of items on each family.

What goes into the folder? You name it. Vital records, probate, deeds, biographical composites, local records, etc. all go into the folder.

For better or worse, I do not put birth, marriage and death certificates into the individual folders. Photos of graves or the people themselves are withheld as well. I have a special notebook for those.

Many researchers have a folder for every person in their database that generates a document. Others recommend  important documents be put in a computer file. There are a ton of different organizational options. Check online for ideas or ask other researchers for ideas. Then tweak to suit your needs.

[next: bmd records and photos]

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Aaarrggh! Almost enough information....

One of my brick walls is Hester Jane or Jane Hester Moore who married James Morris Simmons in Warren Co., OH in 1826. They are my 2nd great-grandparents.

The other day, I was checking to see if anything new had cropped up on Hester Jane. On Family Search, the detailed marriage record book has been digitized. This record had been a gold mine for my Crousore/Smith research. [Jacob Crousore's father was named, as were Ama Jimima Smith's brother & father.]

For James, the record showed "of legal age by oath" and for Jane H., "with consent of her father, present."

Aaarrggh! Why couldn't the clerk have slipped in the name of her father?!

I guess names weren't big in the Moore family. In the Crown Point Cemetery records [Kokomo, IN], Hester is shown only as "Mrs. James M. Simmons."

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Revolutionary War Battlefields, Historic Sites

A bit off topic, but an extension of yesterdays post, Revolutionary War sites to visit:
Historic Philadelphia, PA
Valley Forge
Monmouth Court House, NJ
Boston's Freedom Trail, MA
Lexington & Concord
Fort Ticonderoga, NY
Vincennes, IN
Yorktown, VA
Mt. Vernon
Kings Mountain, NC
Guilford Court House, SC

There are many others. Those above I have visited. One that I'd like to visit, the Old Stone House in Brooklyn where the Maryland 400 made their stand to allow Washington to escape.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence! Tribute to Ancestors who believed in the Cause

To the following men and the families  that supported them in their quest to create a new nation, and any that I overlooked:

Edward Prall, Captain, 1st Maryland [POW, Maryland 400 at Long Island]
Holden Rhodes, Prize Master, Rhode Island privateer [POW]
John Faucett, Private, Virginia militia, Pennsylvania Line
John Simmons Sr., NY Provisional troops
John Simmons, Jr., NY militias & Levies
Amos Singletary, representative, Mass. provincial congress
Peter Jennison, Massachusetts militia, Lexington
Henry Smith, VA Line, Yorktown
Seth Mahurin/Hurin, provided supplies for Continental troops at Morristown, NJ
Benjamin Prall, provided supplies for Continentals, probably brother Edward's Company
John St. John, NY Line & militia
John Land, VA militia
Thomas Land, VA militia
Thomas Sumter, Brig. Gen., Continental Army, commander of Partisan troops in SC
Nathanael Greene, Brig. Gen., Continental Army
Conrad Earthenhouse, originally with Hessian Lossberg Regt., deserted to join VA Regt. in 1780
and, for his pre-West Point actions: Benedict Arnold, Brig, Gen,, Continental Army prior to 1780

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Kaintuck Research

I've made two excursions to Kentucky for research and history trips. My primary Kentucky families are Land, Gulley, Cawby and Barlow. Madison and Jessamine Counties were the main focus, along with the KY History Center and the Archives at Frankfort. I also visited the Sons of the American Revolution Library in Louisville.

The History Center was a treasure trove for the Land and Barlow families. Local facilities in Madison Co., especially the library at Eastern KY University were helpful for my Gulley research. The Jessamine Co. HS had Cawby info. I also visited the cemetery where Cawbys are buried. It was in poor condition, but due for renovation soon.

I also took trips to Boonesborough and Harrodburgh to get the flavor of the perod.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Prall Reunion of 2000, a good researc opportunity

The Prall Reunion of 2000 was held in New Paltz, NY. Attendance was, to say the least, somewhat disappointing. However, the research opportunities were abundant. I was able to visit the Ulster County Historical Society [Marbletown] and Genealogical Society [Hurley], Elting Library in New Paltz and the Hugenot Historical Society in New Paltz. I was also able to check on a coyple of facilities in near-by Kingston.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Larry Van der Laan, who had been researching the families that had settled Staten Island. Larry had a theory that really changed the early history of the Prall family.

Up to that time, it was believed that the Pralls arrived in New York or Staten Island about 1660, with immigrant Arent Jansen van Naerden finding his way to Wildwyck/Kingston by 1663. He married Marie Billiou there in 1670 and they moved to SI a few years later.

Larry's research pointed to the Pralls arriving on SI by 1655 [at least one family history supported this, claiming a 1653 arrival] and being one of the few families to survive the Staten Island Massacre of 1655. Jan Arentse van Heerde and Baetje Jans were the parents of eight children by 1658. That the family was "van Heerde" [from Heerde in the Netherlands] contradicted Arent's Naerden origins. According to Larry, dialect played into the picture. The clerk who recorded Arent's home for his 1670 marriage misunderstood him. The clerk heard "vanaarden", but Arent said "vanheerden."

The sisters that were assigned to Arent were all from Heerde. Kenn Stryker-Rodda had speculated that Arent had at least four siblings [brother, 3 sisters] and may have arrived earlier than thought.

Larry provided me with a copy of his research report and I spent a few days checking his sources.

The "new Prall story" has not been accepted by all of the Pralls, but I'm satisfied.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Staten Island Adventures

My Prall and Billiou ancestors settled on Staten Island. The Billiou House still stands, although it has undergone several remodeling and restoration projects over the centuries.

I have made a few trips to the Staten Island Historical Society at Historic Richmondtown. Historic Richmondtown is a collection of historic residences and buildings that have been relocated there and restored. The Historical Society houses books and research material that focus on Staten Island and the families that settled there. Material on other NY/NJ families can be found there as well.

Historian/genealogist Kenn Stryker-Rodda spent years compiling data on the SI families dating back to the mid-1600s. His research became invaluable to my family history. Stryker-Rodda put together a series of short articles on each family.

I made copies of each family that I had documented at the time. [My last trip was late 90s or early 00s.] Prall, Billiou, Christopher, Blom, DuBois and Blanchan were the primary families. The research was done during the mid-20th century,  so errors were bound to appear. Most were errors based on then current research. Stryker=Rodda did an exceptional job with the resources available at the time.