Posts Tagged ‘soldier’

Some memories of Petworth and the Old Soldiers’ Home in DC

6 March 2013 Leave a comment

The other day, the Washington Post Magazine had a great article about the rebuilding of ties between the Old Soldiers’ Home (a.k.a. Armed Forces Retirement Home) in Washington, DC and the surrounding neighborhoods of Petworth and Park View.  The article is well worth a read for a historical perspective of the Home, an example in community building, and a reminder of the effects the race riots had on DC.

But what I liked the most was the memories that people had posted in the comments section, which I’m going to repost here. Many times, comments don’t get as much notice, or they may get lost when systems/databases are changed, so I wanted to archive them for others to find easily.

3/2/2013 9:37 AM GMT-1000
Wow, the Old Soldier’s Home finally got some space here. I worked at the cemetery there during the 70’s for a couple of summers while in college. I believe that is the oldest federal cemetery in the country. Back then, the whole scene there was rather depressing. Most of those who ventured out beyond the gate went to one of two bars: Kenny”s and Ethel’s, which were practically right next \door to each other.

The cemetery opened during the civil war and buried there are both confederates (i.e., traitors) and union men. Before Gettysburg.

3/2/2013 11:17 AM GMT-1000
Ms. Wax, this aging veteran has tears in his eyes after reading this engaging story of renaissance. I watched the city burn just before I joined the US Navy, so 45 years is a long time to wait. I hope that any development there mostly benefits the veterans and their neighbors’ interaction with them. Everyone wins, and how often does that happen in DC? Thank you!

3/2/2013 2:13 PM GMT-1000
I remember back in the1950’s my grandfather taking me to the Soldier’s home and watching cows- there must have been some sort of dairy operation there at the time.

3/2/2013 2:25 PM GMT-1000
Well let me share this. Its great to see the relationship with the Old Soldiers Home and the community being reforged. Its disappointing however to hear it being implied that those relationships had ever been completely severed . Many generations of Washingtonians have worked there, taking care of the solders and the grounds or had relatives staying there. The reality is the “Home” shut itself off, even in the the most foreboding times there were always individuals and families in the neighborhood who could have been welcomed to associate with the veterans.

My interest in the site goes back even further than the establishment of the Home, having finagled my way on to the campus several times. The native Indians in this area once regarded the area as sacred. If you look at a Army Corp of Engineers topographical map, its conjectured this is where the headwaters of Washington’s “Third River” originated-Tiber Creek or Goose Creek. No doubt the native Indians had another name for this sacred place. I suspect the cistern that feeds the ponds now was the original font.

Water from the head of Tiber Creek was once taken down to the White House by wagon train. The creek meandered down to the plains feeding into the old canal system, which eventually became so polluted it was covered over and became part of the cities sewer system. What could be more symbolic of what was done to this once beautiful land, A sacred river turned into a sewer. Profoundly shameful.

Herman Aronovic
3/3/2013 3:49 AM GMT-1000
Growing up in my granmother’s house on Varnum St just a few yards away from the Soldiers Home gates in the 1960’s and climbing over those iron spikes to play football before they put up the barbed wire was very interesting to say the least! Ms Wax you just don’t all the stories in my head for the last 50 years about that neighborhood and the curious little boy who hung on to that neighborhood as my roots to where I’m at now? I used to go Senator’s games at RFK with a couples of Soldiers who rented a room from us There were 3 beer taverns on Upshur St just outside of the main gate,and alot of alcohol consumed.The pharmacy had a lunch counter and had great milkshakes and ham sandwiches! Tico’s variety store had several pinball machines and a bowling one.Ray’s had half smokes and twist doughnuts next to Barnes barbershop! I Anyway thanks for bring back some cool memories and inspriing me to contine on with my story of the little white kid on the block! I can still see tanks driving up the street in 68 riots! Sincerely,Herman

Willy Wagner
3/3/2013 11:17 AM GMT-1000
Thank you for a great story. I am a resident of the AFRH-W (Soldiers Home).
I have known Mr. Jessie James for about 10 years. He is all you wrote about him and much more.
He is courteous and assists his fellow residents in many ways.
Regarding the relationship with our outside the fence neighbors.
I am a Caucasion (don’t like to use black or white – snow is white and I have never seen a snow
white person) and when I first arrived at the home in 2002 it was African American Residents who warned me about the neighborhood. Coming from California you can imagine the effect this had on me.
As someone else already mentioned, most of the employees at the home are African Americans.
They do an excellent job and we all get along fine.
I have since lost my fear or apprehension about the DC area. To me it is a place like any other place. People are people, no matter where you live.

3/4/2013 12:04 PM GMT-1000
My husband’s paternal grandfather was an army doctor during WWII and was stationed at the “Old Soldier’s Home” in DC. His son, my husband’s father, spent many of his boyhood years there, visiting with the veterans and listening to their stories. My father-in-law still has the uniform patches and other small but meaningful memorabilia that some of the soldiers gave him. I did not realize the Soldier’s home was still open. Thank you for this article.

In addition to the Post article, I was reminded of a blog article I read last year. Prince of Petworth/House History Man did a feature on an old corner store (District Grocery at 234 Upshur Street NW) that used to service the Old Soldiers’ Home, and a couple old residents made comments as well regarding their memories:

The NeighborHood Reporter
April 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Wooo this takes me back, I grew up around the corner on Webster St and that place was wonderful . I remember one Easter back around 1962 my parents took me there and we purchased a live chick and brought it home and it only lived about 5 days . I also remember my father took us there,me and my sister and we bought my first kite. We took the kite over to Solders Home to fly but soon a security guard there told us that we couldn’ t fly it there so we had to bring it down. That was a wonderful place you could by toys candy everything a child my age (6yrs old) could want. Believe it or not I was just thinking about that store about a week ago. Pleasant memories forever THANKS POP for this trip down memory lane

May 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Thank you SO much for posting this! I lived in a house at 3rd and Varnum when I was a kid — and continued to maintain ties to the neighborhood long after that. In many ways, it was a perfect neighborhood in which to grow up. We had 3 corner stores — the one I went to was “Ben’s” which I think is/was directly across the street from the one profiled above. There was also “Tico’s” about a half a block away. That block of Upshur had a dry cleaner’s, a small variety store, a small grocery store, and when I was VERY young, a drug store — that actually had a soda fountain.

This picture and the accompanying history brought back a lot of great memories for me! Do people still by pickles from huge glass jars (“No, not that one… THAT one!”) while the patient store owner fishes for them with a giant fork? I remember Ben’s as a family business, with a tiny deli counter in back, an open “freezer” full of ice for bottled sodas, and a separate one for popsicles and such. It was kind of store and the kind of neighborhood where small kids would be sent with a scribbled note and a dollar bill from a harried parent — and come back with the bread or butter or whatever was needed for a meal — when there was no time to do the “real” shopping at Safeway. Ben’s was the first place I was allowed to go to on my own — when I was considered old enough to cross the alley — but not the street — so I have few specific memories of what we called “the store across the street”, because I only went there when ALL of the other stores on “our side” of the street were closed, or didn’t have what I’d been sent to purchase.
LOL! Seeing this picture has clearly sparked a LOT of fond childhood memories for me! Thanks PoP and Paul!!!!!


A Name Recovered from History: Piecing Together Clues, Collector Identifies Fallen Soldier in Liljenquist Collection

19 April 2011 Leave a comment

Note: I am reprinting this work under the understanding that works made for the US government are not under copyright in the US. This is from the Library of Congress Gazette dated April 15, 2011. It’s a great story of researching the identification of unknown people in old photographs using genealogy. It’s also a great example of the benefits of crowdsourcing and what happens when what was once a private collection is made public to all.

By Mark Hartsell

Piecing Together Clues, Collector Identifies Fallen Soldier in Liljenquist Collection

He definitely knew the face.

The mustache and hat were unfamiliar. But Bryan Watson instantly recognized the eyes, the chin and, especially, that nose – long and flat on the sides.

The title of the photo – part of the Library of Congress collections on Flickr – offered only the sketchiest of information about the man pictured: “Unidentified Confederate soldier in captain’s frock coat wearing hat.”

Watson had been collecting Civil War ambrotypes and tintypes for 18 years, and he never forgot one of these haunting faces.
Including this one.

This captain in the Library’s collection, Watson was sure, was the same man pictured in an ambrotype of an unidentified captain in his own collection.

“Those images burn into your mind, and you remember stuff like that,” Watson says. “That’s why when I saw that picture, I thought, ‘That has got to be the same guy I have.’ ”

Now, Watson needed a way to confirm his instinct – and, hopefully, put a name long lost to history to that familiar face.

The image recognized by Watson is one of more than 700 ambrotypes and tintypes of Union and Confederate soldiers assembled by Tom Liljenquist, a McLean, Va., businessman, and his three sons over a 15-year period and donated to the Library last spring.

Almost 400 of those portraits went on display in the Jefferson Building on April 12 in “The Last Full Measure: Civil War Photographs from the Liljenquist Family Collection,” an exhibition commemorating the sesquicentennial of the war. The exhibit runs through Aug. 13.

The identities of the vast majority of the subjects in the photographs remain unknown.

The Library in December posted the collection to Flickr, a photo-sharing website, for the public to view – and, it was hoped, help fill in gaps in information about the soldiers.

Tracking down long-lost identities of Civil War soldiers is a tricky business – records often contain conflicting dates, ages and spellings.

So researchers gather clues, weigh probabilities and second-guess their own assumptions. Any identification leaves a shadow of doubt without the confirmation of another portrait bearing the same name and a solid provenance.

“When clues exist, such as part of a name with a rank, state, or regiment, you check such sources as the Soldiers and Sailors System and,” says Carol Johnson, photography curator in the Prints and Photographs Division. “But you usually have to make assumptions along the way, for example, that a soldier who lived in North Carolina joined a regiment from that state.”

No soldier in the Liljenquist Collection had been solidly identified since the images went online. A Virginia researcher in December tentatively put a name to an image of a Union soldier, but uncertainties about the name, age and date couldn’t be definitively resolved.

Then, in mid-March, a message appeared on Flickr in the comments section for an unidentified Confederate soldier wearing a captain’s frock coat and a hat and sporting a mustache.

“I am sure I know who this is,” the message read. “I will follow up with the story later.”

Watson grew up far from the heartlands of the Civil War in a small town in Wyoming where he still lives and works as a pharmacist.

Watson loved history, and as a teenager on a family trip to Oregon in 1992 he noticed a photo of a Civil War soldier in an antique shop. The image touched something in him, so he bought it and continued to collect.

“These photographs were like a chain reaction: I just started buying more and more, as much as I could find,” says Watson, now 36.

About five years ago, Watson bought three images – a Confederate ordnance sergeant, a Confederate captain and a South Carolina militia officer – from an estate in Florida.

The photos weren’t put together by a dealer or collector – part of their appeal to Watson. “They’d been sitting together forever,” he says.

Two of the solders were unidentified. But the image of the sergeant carried two inscriptions: a note in period ink on the cushion opposite the photograph read “Father of R I Barnes.” On the back of the image was inscribed “William Sharpe Barnes, 19 years old.”

Watson searched for information on William Sharpe Barnes, found nothing and put the search aside.

Years passed.

Then, in March of this year, Watson viewed the Liljenquist Collection online and saw that familiar face: the unidentified Confederate soldier in a captain’s frock coat.

Beneath the mustache and hat, the soldier bore an unmistakable resemblance to the photograph of the captain Watson bought from the Florida estate.

Watson put the image of the Liljenquist captain on his computer screen side by side with the image of his captain.

The eyes. The chin. The long nose, flat on one side. This has to be the same guy, Watson thought. They are even wearing the same uniform.

The Liljenquist captain wears his coat open with a string bowtie hanging prominently from the shirt collar. Watson’s captain wears what appears to be the same coat, but closed. A string bowtie peeks just above the coat collar.

The same man, Watson was sure, but a man with no name.

Inspired by the chance discovery, Watson resumed his search for information about the soldiers in the photos from the Florida estate.

This time, a Google search on William Sharpe Barnes produced a hit at, an online database of cemetery records.

The database entry, posted in 2009, showed that a William Sharpe Barnes, born in 1843, rose in rank from sergeant to lieutenant to aide-de-camp for Gen. Bryan Grimes of the 4th North Carolina.


The record also showed that Barnes had four children, the last of whom was Ralph Ivor Barnes.

Yep: R I Barnes, the name on the note attached to the photograph.

“How many people have a middle name that starts with ‘I’? Ralph Ivor Barnes? That’s absolutely him,” Watson says.

Watson had positively identified the sergeant in his photos, but what about his ambrotype comrades?

William Sharpe Barnes, the record showed, had two older brothers – including one who served as a captain in the 4th North Carolina.

That brother, Jesse Sharpe Barnes, was killed at the Battle of Seven Pines near Richmond, Va., in the late spring of 1862.

Watson felt certain he had discovered the identity of the captain in the photo from the Florida estate – and, by extension, the captain with hat and mustache in the Liljenquist Collection he so closely resembled.

“How many Confederate captain ambrotypes exist to this day? Not many, perhaps a few hundred,” Watson says. “It’s got to correlate. They’ve got to be brothers. If they were just picked from different areas and put together, I wouldn’t think that. But the fact that they’ve been sitting together for 130 years just made me think that that’s got to be him.”

Watson posted his findings on Flickr, and Johnson and Helena Zinkham, chief of the Prints and Photographs Division, set about to confirm his theory.

Zinkham found information on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System database that supported Watson’s conclusion: The 4th North Carolina listed only one Barnes who held the rank of captain – Jesse S. of Company F.

Johnson found more corroborating evidence on, and the captain’s entry in the Library of Congress online database was amended to reflect the discovery – the only soldier in the Liljenquist Collection thus far to be positively identified.

The captain with the hat and mustache – his life lost 149 years earlier and his identity lost for decades unknown – officially had his name back: “Captain Jesse Sharpe Barnes, F Company, 4th North Carolina Infantry in frock coat and hat.”

And Capt. Barnes had close, newly discovered relations – a long-lost brother and a clean-shaven, slightly younger version of himself – sitting some 1,700 miles away in Wyoming.

But not for long.

Liljenquist heard about the discovery of his captain’s identity and thought a family reunion at the Library of Congress might be in order. He called Watson and offered to buy the three photos, with the intention of donating them to the Library.

Watson hesitated – selling his best images is the “equivalent of having your dog run over,” he says – but ultimately agreed.

So William Sharpe Barnes and Jesse Sharpe Barnes this month arrived at the Library to reunite with a long-lost comrade, a mustachioed captain in a hat and frock coat.

“The Liljenquist Collection,” Zinkham says, “keeps bringing us good surprises: A family reunion among the photos and a great education in visual literacy and how the ‘history detective’ sources really work.”

Jennie Ellison: broke through the brickwall

19 February 2011 1 comment

Well, I came across a huge finding today, using the information I found earlier this week about my Jennie Ellison having a brother named Jay who died in 1909.  I was able to (I believe) sort through the three Jennie Ellisons of Upstate New York.

Jennie V. Ellison

  • born Nov 1866 in Greece, Monroe, New York
  • died 15 Jul 1901 in South Greece, Monroe, New York

This Jennie Ellison is almost certainly unrelated.  She was apparently very bright and was often in the newspaper while she was in school for her academics.  She was still involved in the school in 1894.

Jennie Ellison was the daughter of Gon Ellison, who was born in Ireland around 1835.  He settled in Greece, NY and married an Eleanore (Langdon?) before 1863.  Gon enlisted in the military and fought in the Civil War for the Union.  Gon and Eleanore Ellison had at least the following children:

  • Matilda (1863-)
  • Jennie V (1866-1901)
  • Mary (1868-)
  • Buell W (1871-)
  • Nellie (1873-)
  • Eliza (1877-)
  • William (1879-)

This is according to census records I found.  There seems to have been a good deal of research done by Matilda’s descendants that can be found around the web.

Jennie Ellison married Francis A Spear, also of Greece, NY in 1890.  In the 1900 census, they had no children.  Jennie died 15 Jul 1901 at the age of 35.  Her death notice can be found in the Rochester (NY) Democrat Chronicle of July 16, 1901.  Photos of Jennie and her husband can be found here.

Jennie M Ellison

  • born May 1855
  • died after 1920

This Jennie Ellison was frequently in the newspapers of Utica with her sister, Ella.  In my earlier post, when I said that Jennie Ellison of Utica had a sister Ella Ellison Cresson, that was an error.  Though this Jennie did have a sister named Ella, it was not the sister who married Clinton Cresson.  This Jennie and Ella Ellison were spinsters who lived together in Utica into their old age.

Jennie was born probably in Herkimer County, NY to George Ellison (b abt 1816, d abt 1870) and Jane E Hildreth (b abt 1823, d 22 Apr 1899 in Utica). In Jane Hildreth Ellison’s obituary, it mentions the following children:

  • Gertrude E Ellison (1843 – ), m. Daniel W. Green
  • Henry Hildreth Ellison (1847 – ), m. Ella Matilda Averill
  • Ella Ellison (1850 – )
  • Jennie M Ellison (1855 – )
  • George P Ellison (1859 – bef 1899)

And finally…

Jennie Ellison

  • born Feb 1864
  • died after 1910

Using the fact that Jennie Ellison had a brother named Jay who died in Pennsylvania in 1909, I conducted a search, and lo and behold, I found her mother’s obituary in the Wellsboro (PA) Agitator of Nov 7, 1906.

Jennie Ellison was one of thirteen children.  She was born in Steuben County, NY, probably in Greenwood, to Joseph H Ellison (b abt 1820 in New York, d aft 1880 prob in PA) and Mary Conrad (b Jun 1827 in NY, d 27 Oct 1906 in Knoxville, Tioga, PA). Their thirteen children were:

  • Frank (Franklin, Francis) A Ellison (1848 – bef 1906), m Minnie bef 1894
  • George Ellison (1850 – ), m Amelia abt 1880
  • Adalaide Adeline Ellison (1854 – )
  • Josephine Ellison (1856 – )
  • Fred Ellison (1859 – ), married and widowed between 1880 & 1900
  • Ward Ellison (1860 – )
  • William D. Ellison (1862 – ), m abt 1896
  • Douglas Ellison (1862 – bef 1906)
  • Jennie Ellison (1864 – ), m Isaac R Moore abt 1886
  • Elizabeth Ellison (1868 – ), m Joel H Chase abt 1898
  • Jay Ellison (1869 – ), single in 1900
  • Ella Ellison (1870 – ), m Clinton Cresson abt 1890
  • Bertie Ellison (1875 – ), m Jacob E Costley abt 1899

For Josephine or Adalaide/Adeline, one of them had died by 1906 and the other had married a Waldo Wade and lived (in 1906) in Dixon, Illinois.

The Ellison family moved from Greenwood, NY to Knoxville, PA between 1870 & 1880. In the 1880 census, William and Jennie show up living with Daniel G. Ellison and his wife Roxy Palmer. William is listed again in the 1900 census as living with Daniel, Roxy, Jennie, and Jennie’s son. It seems that when Joseph & family moved to Knoxville, PA, they left William and Jennie to live with Daniel and Roxy in Genoa, Cayuga County, NY. Daniel and Roxy never had children of their own.  Because William and Jennie are always listed as nephew and niece, I’m assuming that Daniel G and Joseph Ellison are brothers, but I’m not too sure about that–they could be cousins and it was just easiest to refer to the children as their niece and nephew.

Something that needs more investigating is the following:

Blacksmiths.–Peter Roberts engaged in blacksmithing at Knoxville in 1824. He was succeeded by John E. White, who came to Knoxville from Windham county, Conn., in 1833, and labored at his trade most of the time until 1853. Joseph Weaver ran a shop from 1836 to 1844. Josiah Welsh succeeded him. John Hogencamp came from Ludley, N. Y., and opened a shop September 9th 1855, and still follows the trade. Joseph Ellison and E. F. Mott, who located in the town in 1866, are practical blacksmiths, still in business. J. G. Plaisted, who makes and repairs wagons, located in town in 1867.

from History of Tioga County, Pennsylvania, (W. W. Munsell & Co., New York : 1883) PP 313-326

The dates are early for the family having moved to Knoxville, so it could be that a) Joseph Ellison partnered with EF Mott’s existing business, b) a family member also named Joseph set up shop in Knoxville before my Joseph moved, or c) it’s pure coincidence and the blacksmith is unrelated.

And that’s where I stand at the moment. There could be a relation between Joseph H, Daniel G, and George Ellison: a Jabez Ellison was living in Urbana, Steuben County, NY from 1840-1860. In 1850, a Daniel Ellison is living with Jabez and his wife Cinderella Ellison (yes, that was really her name). The would explain both George and Joseph H having daughters named Ella–their daughters would be named after their mother, (Cinder)Ella.

The elusive Benjamin Nichols Dyer

18 February 2011 2 comments

I am trying to look into the Dyer family who lived in what was Stephentown, but I don’t believe any of them lived within the current Stephentown limits.  I’ve done pretty much all the research I can do remotely, and I’m not sure what sort of records exist for early Stephentown/Petersburg/Rensselaer County.  Ideally, I would like to see some land or court records, wills, births, any documents, really.  I’m looking for proof of the relationship between who I believe are son, father, and grandfather.

I’m looking for information regarding George Dyer (if he ever resided in Stephentown) and any sons who lived in Stephentown (Benjamin Nichols Dyer and any others).  I’m looking for the name of Benjamin Nichols Dyer’ wife (and any other information about her), and for proof that Benjamin Nichols Dyer was the father of Benjamin Wood Dyer and Burton Hammond Dyer.  There was a lot of moving around, so I want to outline all of it so hopefully it helps with where to start.

George Dyer married Anne Nichols on 25 Dec 1760 in West Greenwich, RI.  They had at least 7 sons and 3 daughters in RI.  One of the sons was named Benjamin Nichols Dyer, who was born 3 Sept 1762, according to FHL film 925978 (record has “Benjamin Nichols Dyre” as name, so middle name is confirmed).  Another son was George (jr), born 4 Mar 1769.  After 1790, after the death of his wife, George Dyer Sr left RI and settled in Rutland County, VT.  George was still in West Greenwich with 2 females at 1790 US Census.

In regards to North Petersburg, this might be him: (

David Russell of Salem built the old grist mill which originally was conducted by Nathan Hakes, and which was abandoned about 1825. Among the first tavern-keepers of the village were men named Lewis and Dyer.

There was a Benj N Dyer was living in Stephentown in 1790, near Nathan Hakes.
There was a Benjn N Dyer was living in Stephentown in 1800 census
There was a Benjamin Dyer living in Windham, Windham, CT in 1810 census
There was a Benjn Dyer living in Onondaga, NY in 1810 census

In 1798, a Benjamin N Dyer was a member of the military from Rensselaer County:

A Benjamin Dyer is buried in the Old Congregational Cemetery in Pittsford, VT.  His gravestone inscription says he died July 11, 1819, in his 57th year, which would match up to the RI birth record.
There are also Benjamin Dyers from the time period buried in Wiswell Cemetery, West Townshend, Windham, VT (no data on inscription) and a Capt Benjamin Dyer who died 19 Jan 1856 a 77y, buried in the Shaftsbury Center cemetery, near Baptist church, Shaftsbury, Bennington, VT.

Benjamin Nichols Dyer is rumored to have married his wife in Hancock, Berkshire, MA before their first child was born in 1790.

A George Dyer (probably George Jr) married a Wait Gardner in Hancock, Berkshire, MA on 7 Apr 1796.  Waity Dyer died in 1843 in Rutland, VT.  In 1810 census, both George Sr & Jr lived in Rutland.  In 1817, George Sr died in Clarendon, Rutland, VT.  On 20 Jul 1843, George Jr died in Rutland, VT.  George Jr had a son Alanson, b 1800.  Alanson is listed in an 1861 Vermont Supreme Court case as the father of a Benjamin N Dyer.

Benjamin Nichols Dyer’s sons I believe include Benjamin Wood Dyer and Burton Hammond Dyer.  I believe Benjamin Wood to be born in Petersburg on 1 Sep 1797, but I’m not sure if Burton Hammond Dyer was born in New York or Vermont.  Benjamin Wood and Burton Hammond Dyer moved to Madison County, NY.

I looked in the publication “Records of Stephentown Baptist Church, 1795-1816” but it did not have any Dyers.  On April 9, 1820, the Wampsville Presbyterian Church society was formed, and Burton and Benjamin Dyer were supporters at that time.

Benjamin Wood Dyer married Mahala Barnard maybe in 1833.  She was the daughter of Pardon & Mahala/Polly/Dolly (Cadwell) Barnard, who resided in Madison County, NY from 1807-1840.  Benjamin Wood died 17 Feb 1888 and buried in Lenox, Madison, NY.  Benjamin Wood has a son, Benjamin Nicholas Dyer (born about 1836).  Benjamin Nicholas Dyer has a son Benjamin N Dyer (b about 1877)

Burton Hammond Dyer married Rebecca Walker Johnson of Sangerfield, NY on 15 May 1835.  He lived in Oneida at that time.  He died 23 Apr 1892 in Oneida.

Samuel Johnson who removed to Hollis, NH

14 February 2011 Leave a comment

Looking into the identity of Samuel Johnson requires a look into his uncle, Edward Johnson.  The article Captain Edward Johnson, of Woburn, Mass., and some of his descendants by Hon. Edward Francis Johnson (The New England historical and genealogical register, Volume 59, on pages 275-6) shows the following:

The author identifies Samuel, father of Ezekiel, in the pedigree.  Going back to pages 152-153, we find:

Samuel6 Johnson (Samuel5, Samuel4, Capt. Edward3, Maj. William2, Capt. Edward1), who moved to Hollis, NH with his father’s brother Edward and was the father himself of Ezekiel, was born 20 Jan 1749 (probably in Woburn, MA) to Samuel Johnson and Elizabeth Kendall.  No other information on this Samuel is provided in the author’s article.

In the Woburn town records, we find two entries for a Samuel Johnson’s marriage within the same year.  The first is for a Samuel Thompson/Johnson* and Lydia Jones, of Concord, at Concord, May 10, 1770.  The second is for a Samuel, Jr., and Rebecca Connolly, Nov. 8, 1770.  However, the former couple does not have any children having been baptized in Woburn, but there are children baptized in Woburn for Samuel and Lydia Thompson.  This makes me believe that the Samuel Johnson I am interested in probably married Rebecca Connolly.  The author of “Captain Edward Johnson, of Woburn, Mass…” notes that Samuel and Edward Johnson removed to Hollis, NH around 1770–presumably shortly after Samuel’s marriage.

Marriage records of Hollis show that three Johnson girls married in 1790 and 1804. These are assumed to be 3 of the 4 daughters of Samuel which were enumerated in the census.  Polly Johnson of Hollis, NH married Daniel Lawrence in Hollis, NH on 6 May 1790.  Sarah Johnson of Hollis, NH married Gould Robbins of Dunstable in Hollis, NH on 30 Aug 1804.  Ann Johnson of Hollis, NH married David Roby of Dunstable in Hollis, NH on 30 Oct 1804.

I have not found record of Samuel Johnson in Hollis after 1800.

Ezekiel Johnson of Hollis, NH

14 February 2011 1 comment

In the book White Family Quarterly, Volume 3, page 18, there is an entry for

Rebecca Hartwell, b in Fitzwilliam NH, July 13, 1783; m pub June 27 1803, with Ezekiel Johnson of Hollis, NH.  They settled in Lexington, Mass, but removed soon to Sangerfield, NY.
Luther H Johnson
William S Johnson
Franklin Johnson
Josiah Johnson
Rebecca W Johnson
Sullivan Johnson, d 1819

My next task was to find out more about “Ezekiel Johnson of Hollis, NH.”

In the time before their marriage, there were two Johnsons in Hollis, New Hampshire census records: Samuel Johnson and Edward Johnson.

In 1790, a Samuel Johnson was recorded with 1 free white male under 16, 1 free white male over 16, and 5 free white females. There was no Edward.  I assume that the head of the house, Samuel Johnson, was the male over 16, and that his wife was one for the 5 females.

In 1800, a Samuel Johnson was recorded with 1 male 16-25, 1 male 45 & older, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 16-25, and 1 female 45 & older.  I assume that the head of the household was the male 45 & older and that his wife was the female 45 & older.  That leaves what seems to be one son 16 to 25, one daughter 10 to 15, and another daughter, aged 16 to 25.  Between this census and the 1790 census, it would make the son be born between 1775 and 1784.

In 1800, an Edward Johnson was recorded as having 1 male 26-44, 2 females under 10, and 1 female 26-44.  I assume that the head of the house is the one male age 26-44 and his wife is the one female 26-44, and the two young females are their daughters.

According to Revolutionary War records, there was a Samuel and an Edward in Hollis in 1775 and 1776.

According to CAPTAIN EDWARD JOHNSON, OF WOBURN, MASS., AND SOME OF HIS DESCENDANTS by Hon. Edward Francis Johnson (The New England historical and genealogical register, Volume 59, on pages 275-6), an Edward Johnson went to Hollis, NH with his nephew Samuel around 1770. This Edward died in 1779, and had two sons: Miles and Edward.  Accordingly, this would make the Edward Johnson in the census be the son of the Edward Johnson who participated in the Revolutionary War in 1775 and 1776.

Since these are the only two Johnsons in Hollis, and Edward Sr did not have a son named Ezekiel, I’m assuming that Ezekiel Johnson was Samuel’s son.

The next step is to look into the identity of Samuel Johnson of Hollis, NH and to learn about his family.

%d bloggers like this: