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An example of why not to only use indexes for genealogy

6 March 2012 Leave a comment

Ancestry.com has an entry for a William H Moore who died at age 85 on 14 February 1898 in New York City. When I first saw this a few months ago, I was so excited. This must be my William H Moore, I thought. The birth dates line up, after all.

Using the information provided by Ancestry, I ordered a copy of the death certificate from the NYC archives. I was so disappointed when I received it–it couldn’t be my William H Moore. I quietly filed it away and moved on.

I was searching on Ancestry recently, and noticed that many people are attributing this record to my William H Moore. This is simply not true, so let me set the record straight.

My William H Moore was born sometime between 1812 and 1815 in New York. He married a Julia, and they lived in Genoa, Cayuga County and Lansing, Tompkins County. They had the following children:

  • Grayson R. Moore (b 1848)
  • Odell D. Moore (b 1851)
  • Harry W. Moore (b 1853, d 1920)
  • Anna J. Moore (b 1855)
  • Hattie R. Moore (b 1857)
  • Isaac R Moore (b 1860)
  • John R. Moore (b 1862)
  • Julia R. Moore (b 1863)
  • Wilson F. Moore (b 1866)
  • Frederick Moore (b 1868)
  • William Moore (b 1868)

This William H Moore did NOT die February 14, 1898 in New York City.

William Henry Moore died February 14, 1898 at age 85 years old. He was white, a widower, retired, and born in New Jersey. He had lived in New York City for 50 years. His father’s name was Alexander Moore, who was born in New Jersey. His mother was Elizabeth Moore, who was also born in New Jersey. He died at 341 Broome Street (a hotel), where he lived.

This could not be the William H Moore who lived in Genoa and Lansing, because the William H Moore who died in NYC had lived there for 50 years. Even if that was an exaggeration, in the 1880 census, the William H Moore I’m interested in lived in Lansing, so the longest he could have lived in NYC would have been 18 years, which is hard to confuse with fifty years.

When you go soley by the index, you miss important information and misattribute information. Everyone has been guilty of it at one point or another, but with the internet the way it is, once you put something out there, it’s out there forever, and it gets spread around until it’s taken as fact. I am sure that many people will copy the false information from the member trees, and almost none of those people will ever read this, but it should be put out there.

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I think I figured out the Groton, MA problem

16 February 2012 Leave a comment

In an earlier post, I expressed confusion as to why land that was disputed between Massachusetts and New York was referred to as belonging to the proprietors of Groton, MA–I couldn’t find a nearby Groton that would logically fit.  Today I think I figured it out.

The proprietors of the town of Groton, MA were granted land in 1771 as compensation for land lost when the line was ran between Massachusetts and New Hampshire (of Groton gore).  These proprietors then sold the land to the various people mentioned in the petition.  When the line between Massachusetts and New York was surveyed and “ran,” it was discovered that these lands were not a part of Massachusetts, so the petitioners were granted the land in Maine.

The land that was lost was not called Groton, it was just land that was granted to the proprietors of Groton in a similar equivalent lands deal.

I did get a copy of the map of the grant from Massachusetts Archive.  It was bounded in the southeast corner by Williamstown, MA.  One part of the grant was bordered by “Capt Gardner,” but I’m not sure which Gardner that is referring to.  It seems to include what is today Petersburg, NY.

Family of Martin James Lowther: Finding the Co. Mayo links of Irish immigrants

23 December 2011 13 comments

The Lowthers have been my latest obsession. I can’t believe that I can find records for ancestors of mine in Ireland–I thought it was almost a lost cause. And yet, because of how few Lowthers there are in County Mayo, I’ve been able to figure out my ancestors a bit.

My immigrant ancestor is Martin James Lowther, who I knew had lived in the Bronx, New York, and who had emigrated from County Mayo. I had found his US census records, and I found his name on a ship passenger list from 11 Mar 1900. The ship passenger list is what really helped. It gave me his age as 23 and a last residence of Ballina. It also gave the address of the relative he was going to join–his brother-in-law Patt Gillespie at 12 Lexington Ave, New York City. Even more interestingly, a James Cawley was listed three lines down. He was also from Ballina, and was joining his cousin Mrs. Gillespie at 1512 Lexington Avenue, Brooklyn. After going through the census records, I was able to find A Patrick & Mary Gillespie living at 1512 Lexington Avenue in 1900 (and 1514 Lexington in 1910 and 1508 Lexington in 1920).

So, Mary and Martin were brother and sister and had a cousin named Cawley. I found a ship passenger list from 25 Mar 1893 that has a Mary Lother (age 20) emigrating to New York from Ballina, which lines up with the census records. With Martin Lowther and James Cawley going to join Mary Lowther, I figured that there would be other family members who would also be visiting or joining Mary Lowther. An Ann Lowther was on two ship passenger lists but crossed out. The 9 May 1898 list has Annie Lowther (age 20) visiting her sister, Mrs. Gillespie, at 102 East 102nd Street, NYC. The 20 May 1898 list has Ann Lowther (age 20) visiting her sister, Mrs. Gillespie, at 102 East 102nd Street, NYC. On 19 Sep 1906, Annie Lowther (age 24) and Lizzie Lowther (age 18) from Rathglass were on a ship list to visit their sister Mrs. Gillespie at 1512 Lexington Avenue, NYC.

At any rate, this led me to baptismal records and civil birth registrations. Although I found records for a Martin Lother, an Ann Lother, a Mary Lother, and an Elizabeth Lother as children of a Michael Lother and Bridget Cawley, the dates did not match up with census records or the WWI draft registration of Martin James Lowther. But then, I found a census record from 1901 of the family. The ages don’t match up exactly with the registration & baptism dates, but it is clearly the same family–which makes me confident that the Lowthers who followed Mary Lowther were all the children of Michael Lowther and Bridget Cawley.

Children of Michael Lowther and Bridget Cawley

Witnesses
Mary Lother 1872 Rathglass
Catherine Lother 1874 Andrew Lother, Catherine Huston
Martin Lother 1876 Rathglass Patt Lother, Mary Lother
Ann Lother 1878 Rathglass Andy Lother, Mary Walsh
Bridget Lother 1882 Rathglass Patt Lother, Julia Lother, Catherine Cawley (Grandmother)
Michael Lother 1885 Rathglass
Elizabeth Lother 1888 Rathglass Andrew Lother, Bridget Rape
Penelope Lother 1891 Pat Creig, Mary Creig

For more details, view the sources
Birth records from Roots Ireland
Ship passenger lists & US census from Ancestry.com‘s National Archives (USA) collections
Census from National Archives (Ireland)

Added Maps

14 October 2011 Leave a comment

I have added a maps section to let others see/use the maps I have created for genealogy.

The first one focuses on Philadelphia. When I was researching my Donaghy, Cassidy, and McPeak families, so many of the addresses no longer existed. It was pretty clear where an address like “416 N 23rd Street” would be in the grid system, but it was also pretty clear that that address no longer existed. So, with the help of a railroad map and directories, I tried to reconstruct the area around the current Philadelphia Art Museum. See the Spring Garden, 1858 map.

The second one is not completed, but part of it is. It’s a map of the Moores who were enumerated as living in New York state in early censuses. Right now, it has the 1790 census and a few other pieces of information. My plan is to also do the 1800, 1810, 1820, and 1830 federal censuses. See the Moores in New York Censuses map.

Resolve on the Petition of Palmer Gardner, approved January 24, 1792

2 September 2011 Leave a comment

I had some copies made from the Massachusetts Archives from the legislative packet related to the January 24 1792 general court resolve to grant land in Lincoln County to people who had lost land in the surveying of the boundary with New York. On October 1, 1798, Caleb Eddy was ordered by the Supreme Judicial Court to post notice in newspapers about his petition before the petition was to be heard on the June 26, 1799 by the Supreme Judicial Court at Pownalborough (now in Maine). John C William was Caleb Eddy’s attorney, and H W Dwight was the court clerk on October 1, 1798. I had seen these notices in newspapers while searching for Palmer Garnder, and was hoping to find reference of any Dyers, since the Dyers and Gardners supposedly owned adjoining lands…but I did not. Still interesting and valuable, just not something that would knock down a brick wall.

I’m not sure where this Groton is located. Asa Douglas was a Jericho valley pioneer (Jericho being for former land grant of the Hancock area) who lived in Stephentown, NY, and who was a representative of the area in the MA House of Delegates. Douglas’ son Benajah Douglas settled in Ballston Spa, New York. The present village of Groton, NY seems too far away–but Massachusetts had tried to claim as far west as they could, though I had thought that they weren’t that aggressive by 1771. Groton, MA is too far east to be questioned in relation to NY. Groton, CT and Groton, VT are too far away from any NY/MA joint contested border.

[folio 1 verso]

The proprietors petition of the Groton grant

Comtee on Petn of Groton Propr

Mr. [Jones?] B
Mr. Bowdoin
Mr. Parsons

[folio 1 recto]

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In the House of Representatives, June 10th 1790

On the petition of Palmer Gardner, Noah Eli, Reuben Hewett, Daniel McCarthy, Eleazer Bateman, Thos Eldridge, Jeremiah Mark, John Cops, Asa Douglass, Caleb Eldridge, James Osbourne, David Warren, John Rathburn, Barnett Stilwill and Jonas Shed praying compensation may be made them for lands lost by running the line between this Commonwealth and the State of New York.

Whereas it appears to this Court that Nineteen Hundred and eighty acres of Land belonging to a Grant of Land made to the proprietors of Groton in the Year 1771 have fallen within the State of New York and whereas it appears also that nine hundred and eighty acres of the Grant aforesaid were sold by the proprietors of Groton aforesaid to the above petitioners.

Resolved that the committee on the subject of unappropriated Land in the County of Lincoln be and they hereby are impowered and directed in behalf of this Commonwealth to confirm to aeach ofb the petitioners also caccording to the number of acres each of they Lost.d such a quantity of the unappropriated land in e the four eastern counties in this Commonwealth as the sd f Commissioners shall estimate to be worth g£245 in full [consideration?] of the Land lost [?] [?]

Sent up for concurrence

David Cobb Spkr

In Senate Febr. 19, 1791–
Heard + concurred with amendments as a, c, e, f, + g

Sent down for concurrence Saml Phillips Presidt

a. dele from a to b
c. dele from c to d
e. ins. either of
f. dele “Comissioners” + ins Committee
g. dele £245 + ins Five hundered + forty five pounds (in words)

[folio 2 verso]

Resolve on the Petition of Palmer Gardner and others granting them lands

Approved January 24, 1792

Groton Proprietors

March 1791 Refer’d

concurred

[folio 2 recto]

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In the House of Representatives

March 9, 1791

On the petition of Palmer Gardner, Noah Eli, Reuben Hewett, Daniel McCarthy, Eleazer Bateman, Thomas Eldridge, Jeremiah Mark, John Cops, Asa Douglass, Caleb Eldridge, James Osbourne, David Warren, John Rathburn, Barnett Stilwill and Jonas Shed praying compensation may be made for them for lands lost by running the Line between this Commonwealth & the State of New York.

Whereas it appears to this Court that nineteen hundred and eighty acres of land belonging to a Grant of land made to the proprietors of Groton in the Year 1771 have fallen within the State of New York and whereas it also appears from the Representation of the above Petitioners that nine hundred and eighty acres of the grant aforesaid were sold by the said petitioners of Groton aforesaid to the said petitioners–

Therefore Resolved that the Comittee on the subject of unappropriated land in the County of Lincoln be and they are hereby impowered and directed in behalf of this Commonwealth to convey and confirm to the said petitioners such such a quantity of the unappropriated land in either of the four eastern counties in this Commonwealth as the said Committee shall estimate to be worth Two hundred and forty five pounds*

Sent up for concurrence

David Cobb Spkr

*to have & to hold the same to them their several Heirs and assign in proportion to the Several quantities of Land which they have respectively lost as aforesaid provided the Petitioners have actually purchased the right of the said Proprietors of Groton to the said Nine hundred & Eighty acres & now hold the same.

[folio 3 verso]

Report upon Palmer Gardners Petition

concurred

[folio 3 recto]

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In the Senate Jany 23d 1792

On the petition of Palmer Gardner, Noah Eli, Reuben Hewett, Daniel McCarthy, Eleazer Bateman, Thomas Eldridge, Jeremiah Mark, John Cops, Asa Douglass, Caleb Eldridge, Jas Osbourn, David Warren, John Rathburn, Barnett Stilwill & Jonas Shed praying compensation may be made them for lands lost on running the line between this Commonwealth & the State of New York. –Whereas it appears to this Court that nineteen hundred & eighty acres of land belonging to a Grant of land made to the proprietors of Groton in the Year 1771 have fallen within the State of New York, & whereas it also appears from the representation of the above Petitioners that nine hundred & eighty acres of the grants aforesaid were sold by the said proprietors of Groton aforesaid to the said petitioners. –Therefore Resolved that the Committee on the subject of unappropriated land in the County of Lincoln be & they are hereby impowered & directed in behalf of this Commonwealth to convey & confirm to the said petitioners such a quantity of the unappropriated land in either of the four Eastern Counties in this Commonwealth as the said Committee shall estimate to be worth two hundred & forty five pounds. –To have and to hold the same to them their several heirs & assins in proportion to the several quantities of land which they have respectively lost as aforesaid provided the said Petitioners have actually purchased the right of the said Proprietors of Groton to the said Nine hundred & eighty acres & now hold the same.

Sent down for concurrence
Saml Phillips Presidt

In the House of Representatives Jany 24 1792
Read & concurred John [Coffin?] [Jones?] [?] [?] [?]
Approv’d
John Hancock

[folio 4 verso]

Report upon Palmer Gardners Petition

concurred

[folio 4 recto]

To the Honourable Court the petition of the subscribers [?] of the proprietors of the Township of Groton Humbly shows that whereas the Said proprietors of Said Township Laid out a certain tract of land Granted to them by the General Court in the Supposed town of Hancock who sold great part thereof to us the subscribers and [yisok?] their pay for the same and by the Running of the line between the Commonwealth of Masachusits and the State of New York great part thereof is cut of from said Masachusits and we understand that the original proprietors [?] the Honourable Court for a compensation to be made to them for all the land cut off from said grant by [said?] [line?] where they have had a full compensation for most of said land from [?] the subscribers which we think is an unreasonable Request of said proprietors to ask a compensation for any more than that which they have not Sold and that your petitioners should have no compensation for all the money they have paid to said proprietors and the Heavy Taxes they have paid to the Masachusits for the lands Belonging to the State of New York. Therefore your petitioners Most humbly pray the Honourable Court to take that matter in to your wise consideration and grant them a compensation for the lands purchased by Said subscribers which [?] off from the Masachusits which the Subscribers have been obliged to [?] of the [?] or loose some at a very high rate a plan of which will be herewith presented Shewing what the said proprietors have sold and what they have not solde that your Honour May be capable of Doing Justice to your petitions and to Said proprietors which is all we Desire and your petitiors as in Duty bound will ever pray.
[signed]
Palmer Gardner
Noah Ely
Elizer Bateman
Reuben Hewit
Daniel Carthy
Caleb Eldredg
Thomas Eldredg
Asa Douglass
Barnet Stilwill
John Rathbon
James Osborn
David Warren
Jonas Shed

Clues to Benjamin Nichols Dyer

22 July 2011 Leave a comment

Part of the problem with tracing Benjamin Nichols Dyer is that him and his family seemed to move around quite a lot.  Not only that, but the borders between states were frequently disputed during his and his parents’ life times.

I don’t know too much about his parents.  George Dyre and Ann Nichols were married in West Greenwich, RI on 25 Dec 1760.  There exist birth records for 10 children in Rhode Island.  However, according to the Gardner history and genealogy By Lillian May Stickney Gardner, the family had moved to Hancock, MA, next to Ann Nichols’ sister, Hannah Nichols Gardner.

Ann is listed in as having died in 1780 during the birth of her 11th child.  This is listed in Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Rutland County, Vermont (1899) and Genealogical and family history of the state of Vermont by Hiram Carleton (1903).  Carleton’s information is lifted word for word from Biographical Sketches.

I’m not entirely convinced this is true.  George Dyer did marry an Amy (she is listed as “Consort of George Dyer, Esq., in 75th y” on her gravestone in Claredon Flats), but I have seen in many peoples’ notes where they confuse his marriage to Amy ___ with Waite/Waity Gardner.  A Waite/Waity Gardner married a George Dyer in Hancock, MA on 7 Apr 1797.  This was most likely George Dyer, Jr.  Benjamin Nichols Dyer was living in Stephentown, NY (only a short distance form Hancock) in the 1790 and 1800 censuses.

In 1792, Palmer Gardner of Hancock, MA lost land in the survey of the border between Massachusetts and New York.  He and others were granted land in what is now Maine as equivalent land.

Destruction of library books

27 April 2011 Leave a comment

This is what I hate about people: they will take a razorblade and cut out about 200 pages of a library book–because they want that information. Photocopy? Transcription? Too much work and too much money for them, it just makes so much more sense to rip it out!

This book deals with land patents and surveys in New York between 1766 and 1882. I am trying to understand the border disputes between Massachusetts and New York, and was hoping it would help. All of the appendices with all of the details and data have been ripped out. The book itself is from 1884, so who knows when they were ripped out. “Ripped out” is also not really accurate, because it was done with a razorblade very cleanly and very precisely. This was not a heat-of-the-moment type thing, this was someone who thought about what they were doing and have the forethought to bring a razorblade with them into the library.

ARGHHH!! Assholes.

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