Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Everybody Loves A Parade!

Bill West is having a parade at West in New England and I've been busy trying to find everything I need for my float and trying to decide who to invite to ride on it.

Because so much of my family history has a connection to the Erie Canal, the center piece of my float will be the packet boat currently housed in the Erie Canal Museum. I think we can get it right out of the end of the building. The float will be pull by a team of mules, led by my great-great-grandfather, Michael Camfield. Mike met his wife, Sarah Wisner, on the banks of the canal so we'll have the entire family on the float.Sarah's father, William Wisner owned land along the canal so we'll have Sarah's family too, including her grandparents, Anthony and Mary Elizabeth (Bookhout) Badgley and some of her aunts, uncles and cousins.

I picked a packet boat because they had flat tops where the passengers often rode in nice weather. So we'll all sit outside on top of the boat and take turns sitting in the rocking chair that is said to have come from the porch of a hotel in Syracuse, NY. I can't find any reference to any of my family ever being connected to a hotel in Syracuse so I think it was actually from the Clinton House in Rochester, NY. Isaac Ashley owned the Clinton house and it was located near the canal. His wife was Charlotte Carlisle. The family must have thought a lot of Mr. Ashley as Charlotte's brother, Daniel Carlisle, named one of his sons Isaac Ashley Carlisle. Ashley, as he was known, is in the one with the beard in the center of the family photo, having married Sarah Camfield. I'm not certain which members of the family worked on the construction of the canal so I'll send out a general invitation to all of those that did to come ride on the float and see who shows up!

I haven't quite worked out the construction details but we need to have water surrounding the boat. Because Bill is having the parade in winter it should freeze nicely so that we can invite my paternal grandparents, Kim and Mary Kelly Berry, to ice skate on the float as they did on the canal when they first came to Syracuse. Grandma really tried to teach me to skate.

Of course my family will all be on the float too, so that they can all meet their ancestors. Mike has has flutephone lessons in school so he'll give half of our crew a quick lesson while I teach the rest the Erie Canal song, a song I grew up with and know by heart:

I've got a mule, her name is Sal,
15 miles on the Erie Canal
She's a good old worker and a good old pal,
15 miles on the Erie Canal

We've hauled some barges in our day
filled with lumber, coal and hay
And we know every inch of the way from
Albany to Buffalo.

Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge for we're coming to a town
And you'll always know your neighbor, you'll always know your pal
If you've ever navigated on the Erie Canal.

We better get along on our way ol'gal,
15 miles on the Erie Canal

'Cause you bet your life I'd never part with Sal,
15 miles on the Erie Canal.
Git up there mule, here comes a lock,
We'll make Rome about 6 o'clock
One more trip and back we'll go, right back home to Buffalo.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dining Out

I have four dinners to plan and choosing who to dine with was very hard. I have so many brick walls and so many interesting folks in my tree. I’ll bend the rules a little and have four separate dinners so as to have time to focus on each individual and I’ll pick one cousin and three ancestors.

For my first dinner I will travel back to January 31, 1912 to crash a birthday party in Phelps, Ontario County, NY. On that day Milantha Hall Marsh (my 1st cousin, 4 times removed) celebrated her 100th birthday.

I’m certain I’ll wear her out with my questions. What does she remember about her grandparents, William and Ruhamah (Andrews) Hall? How did William come by the title Captain? Who were her three siblings besides Olney Hall? Was Olney’s marriage to Lucretia the cause of the rift between him and his children or was it something else?

Accidents seemed to besiege the family. What can she tell me about these tragedies and others. Her father, John Hall was killed by a kick from a horse; her nephew, Orson Hall, died from a fall from a horse; a cousin, James Hall died at the age of 3 when he fell into a bucket of hot water; her niece, Helen Elizabeth Hall lost her husband, David Brusie (Brazze, Brezee, Brasie) in a horrible threshing machine accident; and her own son, Henry Marsh, died in a fall from a tree while coon hunting.

Where did all of her aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins move to? Did she visit any of them in her travels? Did any of them return to visit her? I’d specifically like to know what she remembers about her aunt, Tamesin Hall who married David Glover (my 3rd great-grandparents.) When Milantha’s father died David Glover owed him money which was never paid. Did this cause hard feelings between the families? Did she ever meet the family of Daniel and Zipporah (Wheeler) Carlisle?

I would love to see her loom and would love to see how it worked. How did she receive her education? What inventions during her lifetime were most important to her? How did her daily activities change over the decades? How did the town change over time? How many of my other relatives that passed through or settled in the area near Phelps did she know?

Will she cut off my questions as she is old and tired or will she invite me to stay the night and chat some more in the morning? I’m certain that her lifetime of experiences could fill a book.

My next dinner will be with my great-great-grandfather, Michael Camfield. I’ll invite him to meet me at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, NY before we drive down Erie Blvd for a nice dinner at the steak house located directly across the street from the cemetery where the grandparent’s (Anthony and Mary Elizabeth (Bookhout) Badgley) of his wife, Sarah Ann Wisner, are resting.

As we tour the museum I’ll ask questions about his time working the tow path along the canal and about his courtship of Sarah. Where did he live? Did he drive horses, mules or both? What was it about Sarah that caught his eye? How did he propose and where and when were they married? Was he welcomed into the family by his in-laws?

During the drive to the restaurant I’ll ask him what his name was before it was Anglicized and who his parents and siblings were. I’ll ask questions about his memories of childhood in Alsace Lorraine and why the family came to America. When did they come? What ship did they travel on and what was the voyage like? Did he ever see any of them again? I’m certain that the answers to these questions will lead to many more.

Over dinner we’ll talk about how he and Sarah came to take in a little girl and raise her as their own. Who were Sarah Ann’s biological parents? Did they name her Sarah or was she renamed for her foster mother? Was she ever formally adopted?

I’ll next ask about the move to Illinois and later Michigan. Did he really have gold sewn into his pockets? What work did he do in Chicago? Why did he leave Illinois for Michigan? What were his children like? Did they have other children that died young? Did he see much of his grandchildren? Maybe he’ll remember the names of his daughter-in-law’s parents, the Graham’s. I’ll want him to describe his farm and share any other memories he may have.

After our dinner is done we’ll retire to the bar where I’m certain our talk will continue until last call.

My next dinner will take place in a public house in Westmoreland, Cheshire Co, NH, we’ll shoot for the summer of 1790. The place is run by my 4th great-grandfather, Capt. Daniel Carlisle and his 2nd wife Lydia Pierce. Will I be fed some wild game or perhaps fresh fish from the Connecticut River?

I’ll try to wait for a time when Lydia is busy to ask about my ancestor and Captain Dan’s first wife, Lydia Conant. I think she was the daughter of Ebenezer and Ruth (Pierce) Conant, making his wives cousins (1st, once removed) and I’d really like to lock that down. I’d also like to know how she died.

I'm hoping he’ll volunteer the tales of some of his adventures. Did he really break Samuel King out of jail in Keene in 1782? What other civil disobedience did he get up to? I want to hear about his military career, from serving as a private at Bunker Hill to receiving a commission as Captain of the second Company in Col. Timothy Bedell’s regiment. I want to hear all about Quebec and the battles of Lake Champlain. Will he be willing to talk about being cashiered? Did he draw his gun on General Sullivan or was it a sword on Col. Waite?

Maybe before getting him reminiscing about the war I should ask about his parents and where they were from! I have no idea what his mother’s maiden name was and some say they were from Ireland but others say Scotland.

My last dinner will be with William Wisner but where and when? Since I hope to learn much about his ancestry I think it would be best to have dinner with him in the late summer of 1834 in Manlius. All of his children were born by then but being only in his early 50’s his memory should still be sound and perhaps Adam Wisner would be visiting then. Hmm. If I visit that early I won’t be able to ask about his grandchildren that I have questions about. So maybe 1870 when he is 83 would be better. His grandchildren George and Julia were living with him then and may be able to help out if he gets stuck. So Avon, Lake Co, IL it will be. If there is not restaurant there we’ll head into Waukegan.

My first question will be WHO WERE YOUR PARENTS!!!! I’ll apologize for shouting but they have been frustrating my every attempt to locate them for years. Will he answer Anannias, Adam or someone else? His mother I haven’t begun to look for since I can’t pin down a father. Next I’d like to know who his grandparents were and continue backwards. Do I descend from Johannes Weesner or some other Wisner!? Depending on his answers I’ll come up with more questions.

I have questions about where and when he met Betsey Badgley. Did they know each other in eastern NY or did they meet in Onondaga County? When and where did they marry? Why did he move to Onondaga Co? Did his father have a claim in the Military Tract? Did he have any connection to the salt industry? Why did he decide to leave for Lake County, Illinois and how far did they travel by water? What was the trip like? Did one or more of his children go first? Again the answers to these questions will lead to many others.

How did he really feel about his son-in-law, Michael Camfield? His son William Abner Wisner had two or three wives? And how did his grandchildren come to be living with him. Why did none of his sons stay in Lake County?

If we have time I’d love to hear stories of his time in Onondaga County and more about the Badgely’s. Did he help Betsy’s uncle, Henry Bogardus, and brother-in-law, David Merrill with the tavern at Bogardus Corners? Why did the tavern fail and what did Henry and David do after that? (Bogardus Corners eventually became the city of Syracuse. The tavern stood where the Post Standard Building is today.)

This was written for the 41st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy:
If you could have dinner with four of your ancestors who would they be and why? Here's a chance to exercise your imagination... Would you have dinner in the present day or in one of their eras? Would you dine out or opt for a home cooked meal? What would you discuss at the dinner table? What would you most like to share with them about your life? This topic was suggested by footnoteMaven who I'm sure you've heard is feeling poorly. Let's cheer her up with some interesting reading while she's convalescing!
Thank-you fM for suggesting this topic! I hope you are on the mend. To date this has been the most fun edition of the COG for me. I focused only on my maternal side here and may to do this again for my paternal side.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Buchanan, MI Postcards

I had a great time at Scanfest yesterday. Working while chatting with others makes the time fly by. A couple of times my husband came in to see what I was laughing about! I know from the past that I don't always concentrate or label as well as I should while chatting so this month I worked on an envelope on misc. photos that I had been putting off. In this batch were some postcards. My Mom grew up in Buchanan but since the cards are all older than she is they must have belonged to my grandparents. When I mentioned the postcards and asked who I should offer the scans to, Miriam gave me a link to the Penny Postcards. They have post cards from all over the country, arranged by State and County.

The first three cards all have divided backs and the following is printed as the divider:




The rest of the cards have a divided back and are printed with the words "PHOTO POST CARD" and the words "Kodak Paper" where the stamp would go.

This one is not labeled in any way but appears to be another view of Front St.

Scott - Ingalls- Currier - Worthington - P.M. -Van Every - Ashbrook - Rose 1906

Buchanan's First Fire Engine

Nothing printed on this one

Front St. Looking West

Nothing printed on this one. The sign in the backgrounds says "Lee and Porter, Dowagiag and Buchanan" It's possible that my grandfather, Daniel M. Carlisle is in the picture but I couldn't pick him out.



Sunday, January 27, 2008

More Interesting Places to Visit

A first hand account of the Civil War can be found in Vincent DeLong's Diary of 1864. His great-great-grandson has transcribed the diary and I stumbled across it because of the DeLong's connection to Mexico, NY. Vincent writes of his service with Company G of the 24th Regiment, New York Calvary. He recorded day to day minutia as well as lists of casualties and prisoners. Included are links to histories of the battles mentioned and old family pictures.

I link to The Life of Riley from my other blog but you may find it interesting. Olive is 108 and billed as the worlds oldest blogger. The writing is actually done by her helper, Mike, and he often seems to have his own agenda. When the posts are about Olive's memories of living in Australia it is fascinating.

When I can get caught up on all of the blogs that I follow regularly I enjoy a trip to the History Carnival. And if they don't provide enough reading for you on their own they also link to other history carnivals.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Winter on the Tug Hill

Thomas, Randy and I all have ancestors that lived on the Tug Hill in Northern New York in the 1800's. Possibly many more of you did too. I live between the lake and the Tug so the weather this past weekend started me wondering why they came, how they got through the winter and why they stayed.

First off a little geography. Just what and where is the Tug Hill Plateau? From the New York State Tug Hill Commission:
Tug Hill is a 2,100 square mile, rural and remote region of New York State located between Lake Ontario and the Adirondacks. The region is heavily forested and receives the heaviest snowfall in the eastern United States. The headwaters of several major rivers spring from the region's core forests. The region consists of 41 towns (containing 21 villages) in portions of Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, and Oswego counties. With just over 100,000 people, about 50 people per square mile, one of Tug Hill's most notable characteristics is its relative lack of people

Tug Hill is noted for its heavy snowfalls, usually described as the heaviest east of the Rockies, though Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the White and Green Mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont rival Tug Hill.

The combination of winter winds blowing over some 150 miles of Lake Ontario waters and the 2,000-foot rise of Tug Hill creates these heavy snows. But "lake effect" snows can be very local, so snowfall amounts around the Tug Hill Region vary considerably. There is no "average" snowfall for the entire region, except to say it is heavy everywhere in the 2,100 square mile region.

Tug Hill's elevation and position with respect to Lake Ontario results in annual snowfall in excess of 200 inches--the heaviest snowfall east of the Rockies.

So what is "lake effect"? This is the short version. For more details see the full article at Wikipedia. (Emphasis added be me.)
Lake-effect snow is produced in the winter when cold, arctic winds move across long expanses of warmer lake water, providing energy and picking up water vapor which freezes and is deposited on the lee shores. The same effect over bodies of salt water is called ocean effect snow, sea effect snow, or even bay effect snow. The effect is enhanced when the moving air mass is uplifted by the orographic effect of higher elevations on the downwind shores. This uplifting can produce narrow, but very intense bands of precipitation, which deposit at a rate of many inches of snow each hour and often bringing copious snowfall totals. The areas affected by lake-effect snow are called snowbelts. This effect occurs in many locations throughout the world, but is best known in the populated areas of the Great Lakes of North America.
This is a composite of some of the radar returns from the weekend. You can see how tight the bands are. They do fluctuate up and down the eastern end of the lake. In the areas in yellow the snow was falling at a rate of 1"- 4" an hour.

And in this graphic you can see the average snow totals for the region. Most of the Tug Hill is in the pink and red. If your ancestors settled in Southwestern New York the conditions would be very similar.

So why did they come? My best guess is opportunity. There was money to be made from logging. I imagine that the land was cheaper in this area. But for now all I can do is guess.

At the risk of creating my own family myths, I have to wonder how they got through the tough, long winters that are part of living here. I couldn't find any pictures from the 1800's but I did find these from Oswego County, taken in December 1837, at the Library of Congress digital collection. Photographer: Arthur Rothstein.

My great-great-grandparents, in 1855, lived in a log cabin in Adams, NY. Would it have been similar to this one? How much wood did they have to cut each year to keep it warm? How much time did they spend in the nice months preparing for winter? How many layers did they have to wear to stay warm? What were their quilts like. Did they have snowshoes?

There would most likely have been animals to care for. How much hay and silage did they need? Was the barn heated? If they had a cow how hard was it to milk in the cold? How much did they shovel? Just a path to the barn or more? Did they have other animals?

Did the snow make some chores easier? Were logs easier to drag over snow? Did they have a sleigh?

Were they able to plow the roads with horses? Were they cut off from neighbors for days or weeks at a time?
I know that there were many more questions that ran through my mind over the last couple of days. Life on the Tug Hill couldn't have been easy in winter. It is beautiful county in the other seasons. Is that why they stayed? It wasn't enough for the many that moved on. Lots of questions and no real answers.

I couldn't resist including this picture for Terry.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Erie Canal Museum - Lecture Series, Part 1

First I have to thank Susan Kitchens for letting me know about the lecture series at the Erie Canal Museum as I hadn't heard about it. The rest of the series sounds interesting and if you would like more information your can find it here. Please help spread the word! I wrote about my visit to the museum here.

Much of my family history has links to the canal so I was looking forward to the lecture by Robert Arnold, New York State Museum senior historian; Myth and History: Distilling the Truth. He didn't disappoint me when he began his talk with his own family story of how his grandparents met on the canal. In his family, the story is told that his grandmother was standing at the edge of the canal, got knocked in and was fished out by his grandfather. Is this the way history happened or a good family yarn? He's not sure.

He went on to define myths as treasured stories that are hard to let go of. He then debunked the following four myths that are still widely held.
  1. The first colonists believed in freedom of religion.
  2. Militia sharp shooters lined up behind trees and thus outsmarted the British to win the Revolutionary War.
  3. The South had all of the slaves and the North wanted to free them.
  4. The Irish built the Erie Canal.
I enjoyed listening to the actual history of each of these even though I was familiar with them. He expanded on what I knew about the Revolutionary War and although I had heard the myth about the Irish I had never heard about how the myth came about. His explanation was that because the Irish spoke with an accent and held to a different religion than most they stood out in people's memories. Only about 15% of the workforce on the canal were Irish.

He then moved on to a personal myth, one of his own making! His family was from DeRuyter, NY and he found an Arnold Rd on a map. After having to ask for directions he found an abandoned road. On traveling the road he found a likely spot for a homestead and could see his ancestors living in such an idyllic spot. He had visions of getting permission to return and do some archeology with other members of his family to find the exact spot of the old home. When he actually checked old tax records he learned that Arnold Rd. was named for another family. His family had lived right in town. His lesson, "Don't think things are facts just because you want them to be."

He had a warning about the local histories written in the late 1880's that we are all so fond of. Most were written based on subscriptions so if your ancestor's didn't pay, they weren't included. If they were included you need to be aware that they provided the information that was published. Anything that they thought shameful or embarrassing would have been left out. Conversely they may have added an embellishment or two. The family papers I have on Hannah Glover Carlisle are written almost word for word like what I transcribed from one of these history books and now I know why!

I was beginning to think that our written and oral family histories weren't worth much after all! Not at all. He encouraged us to write it down now, as memories tend to fade. Get your relatives to record their memories now and compare notes. You may be surprised at how six different people will have slightly different memories of the same event. Next he spoke about a diary kept by one of his ancestors. It contained mostly the minutia of day to day life. But he was able to verify and learn from it. If there was an entry such as "Charles went to lodge meeting," he was able to look at old newspapers for that date and see that the Oddfellows had a meeting. He also told of interviewing an elderly Aunt who he said was right on about 80% of the time. She was able to corroborate some of what was in the diary. He's not buying the story that oxen dragged the yule log into the house.

Some other great points:

"Most myths have a grain of truth." I've found this over and over again in researching my family history.

"Be skeptical of your sources." Record your family myths - as myths. Then research them.

"All history is local." If you read that your family owned the first car in town, that's great but what does it really mean? You need to understand your family's place in history. Having the first car represents change. "We are embedded in our technology." How did all of the changes affect not only your ancestors but the community as a whole? How did changes to the community affect your family?

Mr. Arnold left us with this final thought: "A pedigree chart is just the skeleton. History is the flesh."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Erie Canal Museum - Upcoming Events

I was able to attened a very enjoyable lecture at The Erie Canal Museum this afternoon. (More on that later!) They have more great lectures scheduled and a new exhibit will open next month. If you live in CNY mark your calendars and I hope to see you there!

Lecture Series

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at 10:30 a.m.
Andrew Kitzmann, Erie Canal Museum, "Canal Basics." at 10:30 a.m.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at 1:00 p.m.
Art Cohn, executive director of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

Saturday, March 11, 2008 at 1:00 p.m.
Randy Duchain, author of "New York Waters," with book signing to follow.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 10:30 a.m.
Andrew Kitzmann, Erie Canal Museum, "Canal Inspired Architecture."


February 6 – March 17, 2008 The Art of the Draftsman

The success of the Erie Canal was based in large part to meticulous planning and preparation of surveys, maps, and geologic studies of the proposed route. This exhibition will explore the intended routes of the canal and the surveyors conducting the studies. The primary theme of the exhibition will be a chronological exploration of the changes in the canal route as the system was expanded and modernized over a period of 100 years. Maps will include early pre-1800 Inland Lock Navigation Canals, Benjamin Wrights Survey Journal, NYS engineering, birds eye, and various local and town examples from throughout the 1800s.

318 Erie Boulevard East
Syracuse, NY 13202

Mon.- Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun. 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Friday, January 18, 2008


I am thrilled that one of my pages was featured at WeRelate this week. A big thank-you to the person that nominated the page and to T.K. for telling me!

I love the idea of having a place to share my tree and collaborate with others. Being tech challenged I have struggled with some features on the site but I am learning as I go. There is so much there that I suspect I have barely scratched the surface.

I found it was taking way too much time to add each person and retype (or copy and paste) everything in my file so I broke out a portion of my Wisner family and uploaded it as a gedcom. Not everything transfered to the proper fields and my locations were not recorded in the correct format so I am now going through and correcting the information for each person. Still time consuming but much faster than starting from scratch. I did end up with some duplicate individuals this way that I've had trouble fixing. On the help pages they say they are working on a merge feature and I hope that will help me in the future.

One of the huge bonuses of going back through my file person by person is that I am forced to review what I have done. Some of my sources are missing and others will make sense only to me. One of the features I need to learn how to use is the individual source pages. Overall my file is benefiting from the scrutiny. My pages are not up to the standards that most of you have but I'm learning from all of you and making corrections as I work.

I'm also thrilled that I can add pictures on the appropriate pages and have as much space as I want to add biographical information or notes. Of course I had to learn how to resize pictures! Mrs. Mecomber helped me out at Mrs. Mecomber's Scrapbook. I also found another program that works at JLog. Once the pictures are uploaded I can easily identify each person as I did here.

Many of the pages I've visited at WeRelate seem to be gedcom uploads and not much different than what you'd find at rootsweb. But other pages are amazing! Take a look at the Family page for Oscar Robbins and Grace Faulke. If you are looking for Virginia links check out this page. I have no idea how they did it. (OK, html, tables, lots of code and a bottle of tylenol?) I love this source page! Again, I have no idea how they set up the contents box, maybe the wiki did it for them, but I'll be working to be able to add my own family notes in a similar manner.

Others have already added some of my early New England ancestors. I plan to link my pages to theirs as I work back and maybe meet some cousins along the way.

Are you using WeRelate? If you are I'd love to hear your opinions. And please share any tips you may have!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Five Blogs You May Have Missed

Denise, at Family Matters, has challenged each of us to "spotlight a blog offering local or family history."

I would never try to compile a top ten list but I've been remiss in not sharing some of the blogs that I enjoy that you may have missed. Here they are in no particular order.

  1. History Is Elementary - EHT (Elementary History teacher) has a wonderful blog. My elementary education must have been lacking because I am always learning new things here! I also love her Wordless Wednesday posts where each week she shares an image and challenges you to figure out the significance. Later in the week she gives you the answer.
  2. American Presidents Blog - EHT also contributes to this team blog. Want to know which presidents had Irish ancestry? Again, I'm learning here what I missed in school!
  3. Mrs. Mecomber is a home schooling Mom that travels the state with her children in a quest to learn about history. Not all of her posts are about history but many of them are. She is working at switching over to wordpress and is currently writing on both blogs. Check out both New York Traveler and New York
  4. Digging Up Dirt - Cat writes about her search for her ancestors and Pennsylvania roots. I often look at my own research problems in new ways after reading one of her posts.
  5. Family History Bites - This is a new to me blog by Heinz57 who has just completed a great series on the life and troubles of Ira Vermillion. I enjoyed it and I'm sure you will too.
There are many more logs that I follow and I will try to spotlight more of them in the future. Also some of the garden bloggers that I follow sometimes write history or genealogy articles and I will try to start linking to them here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Large Piece of Family History

Until I was ten I was a very frequent guest at my grandparents home on Rider Ave in Syracuse, NY. My room was the small bedroom at the top of the stairs, the windows on the right side in the picture. Others may have occassionally stayed in that room but generally guests were given the larger back bedroom. There was a twin size bed, a small dressing table, a free standing closet, half of the set of barrister book cases and a bureau that held extra linens.

The bureau had a history. I was always told that it was brought over from Scotland to Canada by my ancestors and that it had been a wedding gift. As with all family traditions I'm sure there is some truth there.

The bureau as it looks in my home today.

John Craig was born in Scotland 20 April 1802. On 19 December 1825 he married Agnes Craig who was born 2 April 1802 Paisley, Renfrew, Scotland. They emigrated to Canada sometime between 1826, when daughter Isabella was born in Paisley, and 1838 when their son William was born in Canada.

Isabella Craig married James M. White on 31 December 1855 in Dalhousie Twp, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada. James was born November 1824 in Dalhousie Twp.

Scan of a photo copy of the marriage certificates.
Location of original documents unknown.

This is to certify that James White, Lumborer and Isabella Craig, Spinster both of the Township of Dalhousie, were married at the Manse of Dalhousie by James Geggie, Minister
Given this thirty first day of December One thousand Eight hundred & fifty five

Alex McNicol } Witnesses
Marion Park

Low Church Parish, Paisley, Dec 19, 1825.
That John Craig and Agnes Adam both in this Parish, have been regularly proclaimed in order to marriage, and no ojection made is certified

John Craig and Agnes Adam both in the Low Church Parish, Paisley
having produced a Certificate of Proclaimation of Banns, were married this 25th day of Dec 1825 by me, ........., Minister
So was the bureau a wedding gift to John and Agnes Craig that they brought with them on a ship from Scotland? Or was it a wedding gift to James and Isabella White and the part about the bureau being brought from Scotland a nice embellishment? Is it possible that it was a wedding gift to James and Isabella White's daughter, Isabella?

Isabella White was born 6 April 1865 in Ontario, Canada, most likely in Dalhousie Twp. She married James Kelly 15 July 1891 in Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario, Canada. James was born 18 March 1856 in Adams, Jefferson County, NY. I feel fairly certain that she owned the bureau at some point.

Scan of photocopy. Location of original document unknown.

Marriage Certificate

I hereby certify that on the 15th day of July 1891
the rite of Holy Matrimony was solemnized by me, by
authority of Licence between James Kelly
of the city of Ottawa in the County of Carleton Province
of Ontario Dominion of Canada, and Isabella White
of the city of Ottawa in the County of Carleton Province
of Ontario Dominion aforesaid.

Witness my hand at Ottawa this 15th day of July 1891
In presence of Jennie McCormick
Henry Bell

(I can't read the name)
Officiating Minister
#399 registered at Ottawa

Isabella White Kelly 1949.
I'm not sure if this was taken in Ottawa or Syracuse.

The next owners of the bureau were my grandparents, Kimberly and Mary (Kelly) Berry. Kimberly Powell Berry was born 6 January 1900 Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario, Canada and Mary Leith was born 6 Jun 1990 in Calabogie, Refrew County, Ontario, Canada. At some point Mary moved with her mother to Ottawa and Mary and Kim lived next to each other at 493 and 491 Metcalf Ave where they were married on 12 April 1922. I believe that the bureau was given to them at the time of their marriage. Shortly after their wedding they relocated to Geddes,Onondaga County, NY near where Kim's uncle, Daniel Holligton, and his cousins lived.

Scan of photocopy. Location of original unknown.

Certificate Of Marriage

Certify that I solemnized the marriage of:
Kimberly Powell Berry
and Mary Leith Kelly
Province of Ontario
on the 12th day of April 1922
In the presence of
Witness Thomas David Berry
Address 491 Metcalf St
Witness May Jarvis
Address 18 Fourth Avenue
Name A. F. Pollack
Address 138 Lewis St.
Denomination Congregational

Kimberly P Berry and Mary L Kelly.
It is thought that this is their wedding portrait.

During the Depression my grandmother hired someone to add the ivory diamonds. I'm guessing that the drawer pulls were changed at that time as well. Kim and Mary moved to the Rider Ave. house in April 1936.

Grandma died 10 October 1970 and my overnight visits ended. The bureau remained in the little front bedroom until Grandpa died 1 August 1984. My father was the executor of the estate and he gave the bureau to me telling me that that was what grandma had wanted. He was disgusted that grandma had had the ivory diamonds added as he felt it decreased it's value. To my mind it may have decreased the monetary value but it increased the sentimental value. The bureau has moved with me 5 times so far and I use it everyday. I don't plan to part with it any time soon but it is my hope that it will eventually find a new home with another female descendant of my grandmother's.

So how old is it? Who were the original owners? I may never know. I know very little about how to judge the age and I have never had it appraised. It is my guess that it originally belonged to James and Isabella Craig Kelly because I don't believe that such a large piece would have accompanied the family on the journey from Scotland c1830 and family oral history is that it has been passed down through the family.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Apple's Surnames

I would be happy to share information on any of these lines. Leave a comment or send me an email.

Paternal – Actively researching all

Lanark, Ontario, Canada

Blockley, Worcester, England c.1800 - ??
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada c1874 - present
Syracuse, Onondaga Co, NY c. 1922 - present

Paisley, Scotland before 1841
Lanark, Ontario, Canada 1841 - present

England before c1843
Quebec, Quebec, Canada c1830-1880

Suffolk, England before c1843
Quebec, Quebec, Canada c1830 – c1880
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada c 1875 - present

Ireland before 1854
Ontario, Canada c1854 – 1856
Jefferson, NY 1856 – present
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 1880 – present
Oswego, NY c1920 - present

Alfriston, Sussex, England 1795

Lanark, Ontario, Canada

Rawlings Rawlins
Bourton on the Hill, Gloucestershire, England c1780 - ??

Kent, England
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Scotland before 1820
Lanark, Ontario, Canada 1820 - present

Maternal – 20 generations Currently Researching

Flushing, NY 1688 – 1732
Dutchess, NY ?? – 1800
Onondaga, NY 1800 – present
Oswego, NY 1810 – present

Bookhout Bookout Buckhout Bocholt Bocholte
Leiden, Holland before 1663
Brooklyn, NY 1663- ?
Dutchess, NY c 1735 - present
Onondaga, NY 1800 – c 1840

Camfield Canfield Cumveldt Komvedlt
Alsace Lorraine before c. 1830
Onondaga, NY 1830 - 1850
Lake or Cook, IL 1850 - ??
Berrien, MI 1870 – 1880
Branch, MI 1880 – 1899
St. Joseph, IN 1870 – 1986

Middlesex, MA c 1730 – 1738
Worcester, MA 1738 – 1769
Cheshire, NH 1768 - ??
Ontario, NY c 1810 - 1830
Genesee, NY c 1810 - present
St. Joseph, MI 1839 – 1840
Cass, MI 1840 - 1860
Berrien, MI c 1850 – present
CA - ?? – present

Northern Indiana / Southern Michigan c1830 - ??

Worcester, MA
Ontario, NY

PA 1783 – c 1810
Onondaga, NY c1810 – 1840
Lake, IL 1840 – c 1930
Washington, KS 1880 – present
Interested in all Wisner lines, especially those in PA

Other Surnames Dates and locations to be added as time allows Mostly early New England











Brauningen ?? maybe, line not verified




































Hall two lines















































Stegh line in question



























John's Surnames

These are the surnames of my husband's ancestors. There are many associated surnames that I will add in the future as time permits.

I would be happy to share information with anyone else that is researching these families.

Paternal – all Syracuse, Onondaga, NY
1880’s - present










Saturday, January 12, 2008

Meeting Cousins

I grew up in a family that kept itself very isolated from extended family. Why? No reason that I'm aware of, it's just the way it was. So I have a natural reluctance to reach out to relatives. I have names and addresses for many cousins that I should contact but never have. I don't know why just the thought of contacting distant relatives makes me uncomfortable but it does. However I am thrilled when they find me! Yup, I'm a bit odd but I'm not responsible for the genes I was given ;-)

There have been some connections over the years that have really helped me. There have been many connections made through various messages boards. I was able to really fill in a lot on my Canadian lines this way. I have received Bible records, photos and other records through online connections. I have also freely shared what I have. In the last few days I have either located or tried to reconnect with four different cousins. Just this morning there was a message posted to the Wisner board looking for information on the line that I've been working on! Sadly I just located some Kelly cousins through a local obituary. It feels wrong to contact them at this time.

I may have connected online with many distant relatives over the years but there are very few that I've met in person.

Several years ago, I made a visit to Collamer Cemetery in East Syracuse, NY. I had visited the cemetery once before and I don't remember why I went back. I was taking pictures of the Badgley monuments when the caretaker stopped his mower and came over to me and asked if they were my people. I told him that they were distant relatives. He then said that they were his daughter-in-law's people. I was so surprised that I didn't know quite how to respond. I wrote down my information and he passed it on.

It wasn't long before I was contacted by my cousin. Her mother was a Badgley and would like to meet with me. Sadly she died before a meeting could be arranged. But later on I was invited to my cousin's and she had invited another cousin. We spent a very pleasant morning exchanging information.

I grew up near Syracuse thinking that I had no relatives in the area. I know now that I have several cousins here, on both sides. I tried to contact one cousin several years ago and was rebuffed. I haven't tried to contact anyone else since then but with some of the tips and stories that other have been sharing maybe it is time that I try. Of course I could just hang out in the local cemeteries and see what happens.

This was written for the 40th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, Living-relative connections, hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene.

The Murder of Mr Wisner

I tracked down a couple of accounts of the murder of a Mr. Wisner in St. Joseph County, Michigan in 1839. I believe that this is probably the murder to which Ethel Wisner referred.
My great grandfather, Daniel D. Wisner was killed by the Indians about 100 years ago in Michigan, near Kalamazoo. This has always seemed an important event in the family history. We have been able to trace the relationship to several Wisners from this Calamity.

“I have just been able to gather a little more data regarding our branch of the Wisner family. My great-great-grandfather installed the first salt works in the United States at Syracuse, NY.

“His son, James Wisner, killed a drunken Indian in a dispute over a horse in St. Joe county, Mich.
Her two accounts appear to be garbled. In the first she states that her great-grandfather was killed. In the second she states that it was his son who did the killing.

Based on what I've found Mr. Wisner is most likely Daniel Dekay Wisner. There was a son named James age 12 to 15 who ran for help. If this is correct he most likely is not the James, age 15, living with William Wisner in 1850. So this lead didn't pan out but it made for an interesting afternoon. Below are the three slightly different accounts that I found. Other posts in this series may be found here.

Title: History of St. Joseph county, Michigan, with illustrations descriptive of its scenery, palatial residences, public buildings , fine blocks, and important manufacturies.
Publication Info: Philadelphia,: L. H. Everts & co., 1877.

Pg 14

The Death of Wisner was the last Indian murder in St. Joseph County, and occurred in the winter of 1839.
Joseph Sin-ben-uim, known by the name of Joseph Muskrat, with his squaw and two children, came to the house of Mr. Wisner, and asked to stay all night; consent was freely given, and a good fire built up in the huge fireplace, in order that all might get warm, they being thoroughly chilled. The Indian was intoxicated, and wanted to wrestle with Wisner, but the latter declined. The Indian held a low conversation, in his own language, with his squaw, after which she seemed much excited, and took the gun and hatchet of her husband, and set them out of doors. The Indians laid down before the fire to sleep. Wisner and his wife did not undress themselves, as though apprehensive of danger. The Indian and the squaw were both restless, and rose several times, and at last the former seized Wisner, who threw him on the bed, and stepped back to the fire. The Indian then rose up from the bed, and before Wisner was aware of his intention, stabbed him (Wisner) in the temple, and he fell dead upon the hearth, with one hand in the fire. Mrs. Wisner pulled her husband out of the fire, but the wretch that had murdered him, interfered and cut one of her hands severely, crippling it for life. Mrs. Wisner called to her son, a boy of twelve years, to run and alarm the neighbors. He immediately darted out of doors, and around the house, pursued by the Indian, but escaped him, and gave the alarm. While the Indian was out, Mrs. Wisner closed the door and barred it against him, whereupon he started with his family for the settlement, stopping at the house of John DeYannond, in the extreme northwest corner of the town of Mendon, where they got refreshments, and stayed about two hours, and then went east on the town line, and were overtaken between Bear Creek and the Portage, by Thomas P. Nolan, who was in advance of his comrades. On discovering Nolan, the Indian tried o shoot him, but his gun missed fire, by reason of the priming being covered to keep it dry. Nolan fired, but missed the Indian, and they then clenched each other, and a severe struggle ensued; but the Indian fell, and was held fast by Nolan until his comrades came up, who tied his legs and hands, and placed him in a “pung” that they had brought along with them, covered him with a blanket, and started for Schoolcraft. Meeting a party of other pursuers, they went back to look at the ground where the struggle had occurred, leaving DeYannond and O. Clark, who were driving the horse and walking behind the sleigh. The latter had proceeded but a short distance, when the Indian, who had succeeded in biting off the rope with which he was bound, sprang from the cutter, and raised the war-hoop, but DeYannond caught him by the wrists, and held him fast. The Indian seized DeYannond’s arm with his teeth, and it through the coat and shirts, wounding the arm severely. He was trown upon his face, his arms tied behind him, and so conveyed to Schoolcraft, where he was tried and sentenced to be hung; but his sentence was subsequently commuted to imprisonment for life. He died about two years afterwards.

Title: Michigan historical collections. [Vol. 38]
Author: Michigan Historical Commission.
Publication Info: Lansing [etc.]: Michigan Historical Commission [etc.],
Collection: Making of America Books
Pg 410
Personal Recollections of Pioneer Days
By Ruth Hoppin
…….. I say terror, for not a month before a neighbor, Mr. Wisner, had been killed at his own fireside by an Indian. Had Mr. Wisner, like my father, been a temperate man, the tragedy would not have occurred. The Indian owed Mr. Wisner a grudge, but only manifested the spirit of revenge when under the influence of liquor. This time he got his victim “to drink too much” and the result was death to the white man. I shall never forget the outcry of voices, when that brave, fifteen-year-old lad, James Wisner, roused us with the cry, “Help! Help!! The Indian has killed my father and I left him trying to kill the rest of the family.” Then there was the hurry of dressing, harnessing and driving rapidly away to save the wife and little ones. How relieved we felt at daylight when a horseman returned, with the word that no others had been killed, although some had been badly hurt. My father and brother did the last duties in dressing the murdered man for the grave. A day later the remains were brought to our house and the funeral was held. ………

CLEWS The Historic True Crime Blog

In 1839 would come news of another white settler murdered by an Indian. In Kalamazoo County, a white family by the name of Wisner allowed an Indian named Joseph Muskrat (or Sin-ben-nim), his wife and two children to take shelter from the harsh winter in their cabin. But one day Joseph Muskrat got drunk, began wrestling with Mr. Wisner, and, when bested, stabbed him in the temple in a fit of pique. Wisner's neighbors arrested Muskrat.
Joseph Muskrat was certain that the white men would burn him to death for his crime, and he was desperate to avoid such suffering. To one white woman who showed him sympathy he said, "Good squaw, good squaw, you tell white man to kill me quick; no burn me, but kill me quick." He also tried to anger the white woman so she would strike him down, so he told her that he murdered one of his own children. "Me very bad Indian," he told her. "You kill me quick, me very bad, me kill papoose, put him under ice in swamp."
Joseph Muskrat was tried in Kalamazoo, found guilty of murder, and condemned to be hanged. But at that exact moment, the newly formed territorial legislature in Detroit abolished capital punishment. Muskrat was the very first beneficiary and was resentenced to a term of life in the newly constructed state prison in Jackson. He served two years before he died and was said to have ended his days heartbroken, docile, and a sincere Christian.

So who was James Wisner?

Previously I posted a clip of the 1850 census image for William Wisner and asked what others thought the first name of the last person listed might be. I thought maybe James. Some agreed and I also was given some other names and ideas to think about. Since then I have done a series of posts on the information that I have found on this family. James, or who ever he was, does not appear to be a child of William as he does not turn up in any other records. Both Lori and Miriam thought he could be a child of Fanny Reed Wisner from a previous marriage which had not occurred to me. He may not have been a Wisner at all. He could have been a hired hand or a nephew of William's wife, Elizabeth Badgley but I have nothing that points to that.

I've looked at The Wisners in America and their kindred : a genealogical and biographical history. Baltimore, Md.: unknown, c1918. by G. Franklin Wisner a number of times looking for clues as to the father of William Wisner. In looking again recently I found the following and I have highlighted the text that most interested me.

Pg 252

Miss Ethel Wisner, of San Diego, Cal., on Feb. 11, 1917, says:

My great grandfather, Daniel D. Wisner was killed by the Indians about 100 years ago in Michigan, near Kalamazoo. This has always seemed an important event in the family history. We have been able to trace the relationship to several Wisners from this Calamity.

My own grandfather, Daniel Clinton Wisner, crossed the plains in 1871 from Michigan. He settled in Kansas, where he died.

My own father, John Stewart Wisner, came west from Michigan to New Mexico in 1879, and followed railroad contracting all over the west for many years.


Under date of January 11, 1918, Ethel Wisner wrote:

“I have just been able to gather a little more data regarding our branch of the Wisner family. My great-great-grandfather installed the first salt works in the United States at Syracuse, NY.

“His son, James Wisner, killed a drunken Indian in a dispute over a horse in St. Joe county, Mich.

“My grandfather, Clinton Wisner, married Phoebe Protzman in Indiana. He died October 28, 1873, in Riley county, Kan. He had five sons – Frank, Daniel, Wales, John Stewart and Willard Bonaparte Wisner

“Frank Wisner married Anna Thorpe. Daniel Wisner married Mary Mapp. And they had four children – Frank, Phoebe, Oscar and Lee Wisner.

“Wales Wisner married P. Eaton and they had five children – Robert, Ester, Ada, Emma and George.

“John Stewart Wisner married Rosa Hitchcock. They had one child – Lillian Ethel Wisner.

“Willard Wisner married Showalters.”

These entries are interesting because of the name James combined with the locations mentioned. My Wisner line has connections to most of the places listed.

A quick check at rootsweb and I found several trees that appear to be Ethel Wisner's line. They contain conflicting information so I have some research of my own ahead of me to verify her line. It appears that she descends from the Lt. Thomas Wisner line through his son David.

The salt works in Syracuse were started in the very late 1700's. I have found nothing to place Lt. Thomas or any of his known sons in Syracuse at any time. The only Wisner's I have found in Syracuse or Onondaga County are my great-great grandfather, William, and James Wisner born between 1761 and 1764, son of Captain John Wisner and Mary Thompson. James lived in the western portion of the county in the towns of Elbridge and Camillus and moved on further west early. He may have have been closer to Syracuse at some point or traveled to work on the salt works but I have not found anything to support that. On the other hand, William owned land in Dewitt along the Erie Canal and later in the Town of Salina, not too distant from some of the later salt works. I have found nothing to indicate that he had anything to do with the salt works but his location makes it quite possible.

St. Joseph County, Michigan. My Carlisle and Glover ancestors came through St. Joseph County in 1849. William Wisner's daughter, Sarah Ann, married Michael Camfield and they lived in Berrien Co, MI in 1870 and Branch Co, MI in 1880. I have not located them on the 1860 census yet. So I do not see a direct connection here but I will try to see what I can find for St. Joseph Co.
One of William Wisner's sons, William Abner, settled in Washington Co, Kansas which is just north of Riley Co, Kansas. Is this a clue? Again, I have much more follow up work to do.

James Wisner, previously mentioned as having been in Onondaga County, NY, had a grandson, Addison Morell Wisner (born 1827) who is also on the 1850 census for Lake County, IL in Libertyville.

So what do I have? So far everything I have found could easily be caulked up to coincidence and maybe that is all it will ever be. I could spend many more hours tracking down these families only to find out that they do not in fact connect to mine. But I can't help thinking that there is a clue in there some place.

So is the James that was living with my family in 1850 a relative or just a stray? If he was related will he tie into one of the other two lines mentioned or be from another line altogether?