Saturday, January 20, 2018

SLIG 2018 - Day 1

So I've been so excited all of January to get to come to the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) this year! I have friends I get to see (and some meet for the first time in person), get to do a bit of personal research, and get to take a GREAT class that I am using as a personal litmus test of my genealogy skills - the Advanced Practicum. DUN DUN DUN.

Getting here was fairly easy. I had a super early flight, so I took a little nap between midnight and 245, finished packing, and got picked up at 4am. I loaded myself and Scooter into my mom's car (she and dad are taking care of him this week) and got dropped off at the airport. Super easy. Had to wait for food to open up but otherwise no problem.

Got to Las Vegas (for some reason I thought I was going to Phoenix both going to and coming back from SLC) for a short stop and I thought I wouldn't have to get off the plane. Alas, since ALL the flight attendants were getting off to change planes, so did I! I had no idea you could gamble at 6:30am in the Las Vegas airport. Though my luck is poor, so I didn't even try.

Made it early into SLC, picked up my bag, and started the trek across the airport to get the light rail into town, the Trax. I convinced myself I could do this. Ticket bought, loaded myself up, saw at least one other genealogist, and made it to the hotel, all before it started to snow. :)

I was even able to make it to the Family History Library for some research before lunch. Though I'll admit, for as little time as I have to do personal research, I didn't plan very well. I have a list of film not yet digitized that I want to look at for a variety of projects, but it isn't organized well. So I started in on the Germany records: one film is digitized but only viewable at the FHL or a FHC. I tried that first, thinking it would be easy, as I had an index to the records on that film. NOPE. Between the handwriting and the different sections of the film for different towns, I never found that indexed record.

By lunchtime, I gave up! Got a great meal at Caffe Molise about a block away from the library and a great conversation with a friend I met at GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh) five years ago now (ER MAH GERD). So I came back to the library literally fueled to research.

I ended up on the first basement floor, the international films floor. I found a likely looking microfilm reader, pulled up a second indexed record for a film that wasn't digitized, and went to work.

This time I had more luck: I had previously found an indexed record for the baptism of Maria Anna TRAUB, daughter of Stephen TRAUB and Katherina in Klingenm├╝nster, Germany, about 10 kilometers from where I think she died as the wife of Georg Jacob BRUNCK in Oberotterbach.

I found some more records in Klingenm├╝nster, but then I remembered that one of the classes I was taking on Tech Day (Saturday) was going to be "write as you go...."

Monday, June 12, 2017

Henrietta (Goff) Howe - Who Are You?

On 18 February 1858, a woman named Henrietta Goff married Christopher C Howe (full name probably Christopher Columbus Howe) in McHenry County, Illinois. They were married by James H Baldwin, MG.[1]

Neither name is that common, and you would think this would be an easy problem to solve. After all, I can find Henrietta and Christopher in Iowa from 1860-1900, and have Henrietta's death certificate from 1902.[2] Of course, none of those name her parents. Other family members move to Iowa in the 1860s and 1870s. It seemed like a perfect fit. Until I realized....

There are two Henrietta Goffs living in McHenry County, Illinois in 1850. Both are born between 1832 and 1835 in New York.

The first is Henrietta Goff, aged 15 years and born in New York, living in the household of David Gough [sic] and Sarah Goff in Center, McHenry Co, Illinois.[3] This is my Henrietta Goff, as her mother is Sarah (Davis) Goff and her grandparents are Asa Davis and Sarah Richardson, and her great-grandparents are Jonathan Richardson and Rhoda Thompson.

The second is Henrietta Goff, aged 19 years and born in New York, living the household of Cameron and Lydia Goff [enumerated as Taff] in Brooklyn, McHenry Co, Illinois.[4]

Based on ages alone, the second Henrietta appears to be a better match than the first when comparing ages in later census records. But knowing how off census ages can be, I keep digging!

A family history, the Genealogy of the Child, Childs and Childe Family, by Elias Child and published in 1881, identifies Henrietta Goff, daughter of Cameron Goff and Lydia Morse, as the wife of Christopher C Howe.[5]

A 1885 history of McHenry County, Illinois, biography of Henrietta's brother William W Goff states that her husband is Christopher C Howe.[6]

The icing on the cupcake:

The Woodstock (Illinois) Sentinel, Thursday, 17 November 1898, Volume XLIII, Number 18 (whole number 2202), page 5, column 3; digital image,, : accessed 12 June 2017.

Looks like it is back to the drawing board for my Henrietta Goff.

(Of course, these two families are related through the Goff family. The two Henriettas are second cousins, sharing a set of great-grandparents, David Goff and Almy Card.)

[1] "Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940," database, FamilySearch ( : 3 March 2016), 1420738 (005204724) > image 57 of 457; county offices, Illinois; entry for Christopher C Howe and Henrietta Goff, license number 1995.

[2] Illinois, Cook County, Department of Health: City of Chicago, Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate, Mrs. C. C. Howe (Henrietta), 27 September 1902, Chicago, file no. 6122; digital image, Cook County Clerk's Office - Genealogy Online,, accessed 12 June 2017.

[3] 1850 US Census, Illinois, McHenry County, population schedule, Center, p. 374 (stamped), lines 29-38, household 174, family 174, household of David Gough, 12 October 1850; digital image,, : accessed 12 June 2017, citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 117.

[4] 1850 US Census, Illinois, McHenry County, population schedule, Brooklyn, p. 347 (stamped), lines 8-12, household 92, family 92, household of Cameron Taff, 19 October 1850; digital image,, : accessed 12 June 2017, citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 117.

[5] Elias Howe, Genealogy of the Child, Childs and Childe Family, Of the Past and Present in the United States and the Canadas from 1630 to 1881 (Utica, New York:  Curtis & Childs, 1881), 181.

[6] History of McHenry County, Illinois : together with sketches of its cities, villages and towns : educational, religious, civil, military, and political history : portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens, also a condensed History of Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co., 1885), 601.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Wife of George O Pierce Identified!

This blog post answers Richardson family research question number 7: Who is the wife of George O Pierce (grandson of William Richardson)?

I had previously identified George O Richardson as a grandson of William Richardson (d.1877) based on the probate of William Richardson. The petition for proving William's will included the following living children in January 1894: Chester and Hiram, both of Canadice, Ontario County; John of Mendon, Monroe County; George of Harbor Springs, Emmet County, Michigan; Woolsey of Clyde, Washington County, Arkansas; and Polly J Magee of Springwater, Livingston County.  Four grandchildren were also named: George O Pierce of Springwater, Livingston County; and Miles, Oscar, and Lucy Adams of Litchfield, Hillsdale County, Michigan.

Miles, Oscar, and Lucy Adams were the children of Angelina (Richardson) Adams, who died in October 1874.[1] 

Polly (Richardson) Pierce Magee raised George O Pierce, as he is found in her household in the 1865 New York State Census just two years after his birth.[2] That census gives his relationship to the head of the household, Nelson Pierce, husband of Polly, as "nephew." If he was a son of Polly, he would not be listed as a grandchild in the probate of his grandfather since Polly was still living at the time.[3] However, the identity of his mother is still unproven.

George died 21 February 1898 in Canadice, Ontario County, New York.[4]. He died due to a logging accident on his brother Chester's property.[5]

I didn't know the name of George's wife, but I knew when she died: 1 March 1897. Her obituary gave her name as "Mrs. Geo. Richardson" and stated that she left a daughter and husband.[6]

Using the censuses from 1900-1910, that daughter was identified as Nora (Pierce) Wright, born October 1886, probably in Springwater or Canadice, wife of Frank Wright.[7]

Using the microfiche New York State Vital Records Index (via awesome lookup by a librarian at the Onondaga Public Library), there are two entries:

  • Marriages: George O. PIERCE, m. 9 May, 1885, Venice, #5177
  • Deaths: Hattie Pierce, d. 1 March, 1897, Canadice, #9088

The marriage record, alas, did not pertain to my George O Pierce. Since I didn't have the bride's name, and I was using a lookup instead of looking at the microfiche myself since I'm not going to get to New York anytime soon, that is not surprising.

The death record for Hattie Pierce was more helpful. First, the index had given me her first name! The death record included her age at death, place of death, cause of death, place of burial, and the names of both of her parents.[8]

Death Record of Hattie Pierce
Hattie's parents were Seneca Swan and Mary [--?--] Swan. She died of pleurisy.

In quick searching today, Seneca Swan died in the 1880s. Mary was Mary Eliza (Nutt) Swan Watkins, widow of Seneca Swan and Loren Watkins.[9]

So now we know that the mother of Nora (Pierce) Wright and wife of George O Pierce was Hattie (Swan) Pierce. She was the daughter of Seneca Swan and Mary Elizabeth (Nutt) Swan Watkins.

[1] Moses Conant Warren, A Genealogy of One Branch of the Morey Family, 1631-1890, Emily Wilder Leavitt, ed., privately printed (1890), pages 8 and 11.

[2] 1865 New York state census, household of Nelson Pierce, 10 June 1865, Springwater - Second Election District, Livingston Co, New York, page 9, lines 32-35, dwelling no. 60, family no.58, digital image, “New York State Census, 1865,” FamilySearch, : accessed 9 December 2010.

[3] Polly died between 1910 and 1920, when her husband is enumerated as a widower in her brother George Richardson's household. 1920 US census, household of George Richardson, 3 January 1920, Springwater, Livingston Co, New York, ED 65, page 2A (114), lines 14-21, dwelling no. 36, family no. 36, digital image,, : accessed 9 December 2010, citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1118.

[4] Death record, Canadice, Ontario Co, New York, "George O PIerce," 21 February 1898, volume not identified; copy of relevant entry from Town of Canadice, Ontario Co, New York.

[5] “"Rich" to Riz" Obituaries,” Ontario County NY Genealogy, 29 September 2011,, accessed 29 October 2011.

[6] “"Rich" to Riz" Obituaries,” Ontario County NY Genealogy, 29 September 2011,, accessed 29 October 2011.

[7] 1900 US census, household of William MaGee [sic], 27 June 1900, Springwater, Livingston Co, New York, ED 42, page 9B, lines 65-68, dwelling no. 219, family no. 226, digital image,, : accessed 9 December 2010, citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1071.

[8] Death record, Canadice, Ontario County, New York, "Hattie Pierce," 1 March 1897, volume not identified, number 105 (stamped); copy of relevant entry from Town of Canadice, 24 April 2017.

[9] Obituary of Mrs. Mary Eliza Watkins, The Cohocoton Valley Times Index, Wednesday, 28 November 1906, Volume XV, Number 28, page 3, column 2; digital image, Old Fulton New York Postcards,, accessed 24 April 2017.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Richardson Research Question 1: Jonathan Richardson (I) in Livonia, NY

Occasionally, my mom will ask me if I am sure there were three Jonathan Richardson's in Dad's family. Every time, I assure her that yes, there were three men named Jonathan Richardson (father, son, grandson).

However, little evidence exists in Livonia, Ontario County (now Livingston County), New York where the family settled between 1800 and 1810 (probably around 1804/5). The sources consist of two census records and three deeds.

Deed 1:

On 29 November 1814 Jonathan Richardson of Livonia, Ontario Co, New York bought a parcel of land from Robert Bowne of New York City for $329.31.  This land was described as being in the town[1] of Livonia containing 73.018 acres "...lying in the northwest corner of lot number sevente [sic]...."[2]  The witnesses were Wm H Bowne and Edmund P Gallagher.

Deed 2:
On 2 February 1821 Jonathan Richardson Sr sold 73.018 acres of land in the northwest corner of lot 70 of Livonia to Jonathan Richardson Jr for $1.[3] The witnesses were Jonathan 3rd RichardsonAsa Davis, and Warren Wheeler.
  • Analysis:
    • The wife of Jonathan Richardson Sr did not sign away her right to her dower portion of the land, a further indication that she was probably deceased by 1821 (also she was not in the 1820 census).
    • Note that on this deed there are three men named Jonathan Richardson acting on this deed: the original Jonathan; Jonathan Jr, his son; and Jonathan III, his grandson, son of Jonathan Jr.
    • Asa Davis is almost certainly the same Asa Davis that married Jonathan Richardson Sr’s first daughter, Sarah.
  • Warren Wheeler administered the estate of Daniel Richardson (believed brother of Jonathan Jr and Joseph Sr) when he died in 1820.

Deed 3:

On 14 October 1829, Jonathan Richardson and Rhoda his wife of Livonia, New York sold to Jonathan Richardson Junior of Richmond, Ontario Co, New York a parcel of land containing 73.018 acres in lot 70 of Livonia for $1,500.[4]
  • Witnesses to the deed were George Smith and Daniel Richardson
    • This Daniel Richardson cannot be the brother of the Jonathan2 and Joseph Sr as he died 10 November 1820 and his widow, Philena Richardson, had remarried by 1830 to John Backus.
    • Could be Daniel Richardson (b.1809) son of Jonathan and Rhoda Richardson, as he would be 20 years old. [This is most likely, given that Jonathan and Rhoda are the ones selling the land.]
    • Could also be Daniel Richardson (b.1805), son of Joseph and Abigail Richardson; he would be 24 years old in 1829. However, there is no record of this Daniel after the 1820 census.
    • Third potential is Daniel J Richardson (b.1806), son of Daniel and Philena Richardson, as he would be 23 years old. By 1827, he was living in Mt. Morris, Livingston Co, NY, with his wife, Thankful G. (Camp) Richardson.
  • Analysis:
    •  Rhoda signed her right to her dower portion of the land.
    • Based on this deed and the previous deed selling this parcel of land, Jonathan I Richardson had died, and Jonathan II Richardson, known as Jonathan Richardson Jr has now become a Jonathan Richardson without a modifier. The Jonathan Jr in this deed is the Jonathan III in the 1821 deed.
    • Portions of Richmond, Ontario Co, New York became part of the town of Canadice (in the same county) in 1829.

The 1810 US Federal census has the family of Jonathan (I) Richardson and Jonathan (II) Richardson in the same household:[5]
  • Jona Richardson's household consists of:
    • 3 males aged under 10 years [b. 1800-1810]
    • 1 male aged 10 to 15 years [b. 1795-1800]
    • 2 males aged over 45 years [b. bef 1765]
    • 2 females aged under 10 years [b. 1800-1810]
    • 2 females aged 10-15 years [b. 1795-1800]
    • 1 female aged 16-25 years [b. 1785-1794]
    • 1 female aged 26-44 years [b. 1766-1784]
    • 1 female aged over 45 years [b. bef 1765]
  • Unknown if the head of household is Jonathan (I) or Jonathan (II).
The family makeup is probably as follows:
  • Daniel, b. 9 Feb 1809, aged 1 year
  • Uriah, b. 31 Jan 1807, 3 years, probably Anna’s twin
  • Anna,  b. Feb 1807, 3 years, probably Uriah’s twin
  • Unknown boy, b. probably circa 1804/1805
  • Laura, b. 5 Nov 1802, 8 years
  • Jonathan III, b. 31 Aug 1799, 10 years
  • Unknown girl, b. circa 1797
  • Clarissa, b. 11 Sep 1795, 14 years
  • Rhoda, b. 1793-1794, 16-17 years
  • Rhoda (Thompson), wife of Jonathan II, b. 24 July 1773, 37 years
  • Jonathan II, b. 26 Nov 1762 or Dec. 3, 1762, aged 47 years
  • Jonathan I, b. supposedly abt 1743, if correct, aged about 67 years
  • Unknown female, possible wife of Jonathan I, aged 45 years or older at census

The 1820 US Federal census also has a combined household:[6]

  • Jonathan Richardson's household consists of:
  • 2 males aged under 10 years [b. 1810-1820]
  • 2 males aged 10-16 years [b. 1804-1810]
  • 2 males aged 16-26 years [b. 1794-1804]
  • 2 males aged over 45 years [b. bef 1775]
  • 5 females aged under 10 years [b. 1810-1820]
  • 2 females aged 16-26 years [b. 1794-1804]
  • 1 female aged over 45 years [b. bef 1775]

The 1820 census household:

  • Unknown boy, possibly b. c.1819-1820
  • Marinda, b. 26 June 1818 or February 1819, 1-2 years
  • Unknown girl, possibly b. c. 1816-1817
  • Louisa, b. abt 1815, 4-5 years
  • Harriet, b. abt 1813, 6-7 years
  • Philander, b. 1810-1811, 9 years, probably twin to Philandra
  • Philandra, b. 1810-1811, 9 years, probably twin to Philander
  • Daniel, b. 9 Feb 1809, 11 years
  • Uriah (b. 31 Jan 1807, aged 13 years) 
  • Unknown male, b. circa 1804 (based on this census and 1810) 
  • Possibly Laura, b. 5 Nov 1802, aged 18 years
  • Probably Maranda/Miranda/Mianda/Marinda (Moore), wife of Jonathan III, b. 30 April 1800, 20 years
  • Jonathan III, b. 31 Aug 1799, 20 years 
  • Rhoda (Thompson), wife of Jonathan II, b. 24 July 1773, 47 years 
  • Jonathan II, b. 1762, 57 years
  • Jonathan I, b. supposedly abt 1743, 77 years if correct.   

There is no probate for Jonathan I or Jonathan II in Ontario or Livingston counties.

Based on other sources, I believe the family came from Leyden, Massachusetts. However, what these five sources show is that there were three men named Jonathan Richardson in Livonia, NY, between 1810 and 1829.

Jonathan I - b. supposedly c. 1743; died between 1821 and 1829; spouse unknown.
Jonathan II - b.1762; d. 1850; son of Jonathan I; spouse Rhoda Thompson
Jonathan III - b. 1799; d.1880; son of Jonathan II and Rhoda Thompson; spouse Marinda Moore.

[1] For town, read “township”; “In New York, a town is the major division of each county (excluding the five counties that comprise New York City), very similar to townships in other states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.” (

[2] Bowne, Robert H to Jonathan Richardson, 29 November 1814, Ontario County, New York, Deed Book 22: 468-469, Ontario Co, New York County Clerk, Deed records v. 22-23 1814-1815, Family History Library microfilm 0494835.

[3] Richardson, Jonathan Sr to Jonathan Richardson Jr, 2 February 1821, Ontario County, New York, Deed Book 37: 359-360, Ontario Co, New York County Clerk, Deed records v. 36-37, 1820-1821, Family History Library microfilm 0494842.

[4] Richardson, Jonathan and Rhoda to Jonathan Richardson Jr, 14 October 1829, Livingston County, New York, Deed Book 8:44-45, Livingston Co, New York County Clerk, Deed Records v. 8-9, 1829-1831, Family History Library microfilm 0510038.

[5] 1810 US Census, Ontario County, New York, 6 August 1810, Livonia, page 191 (page 741 crossed out), line 10 (15 from bottom), household of Jona Richardson, digital image,, : accessed 3 June 2010, citing NARA microfilm publication M252, roll 74. Missing is Jonathan and Rhoda (Thompson) Richardson’s eldest child, daughter Sarah (b. 13 Oct 1792), who married Asa Davis c.1806.

[6] 1820 US Census, Ontario County, New York, 7 August 1820, Livonia, page 38 (60), line 15, household of Jonathan Richardson, 7 August 1820, Livonia, Ontario Co, New York, page 38 (60), line 15, digital image,, : accessed 3 June 2009, citing NARA microfilm publication M33, roll 62.

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Richardson Research Questions

If you follow my blog or have visited my website, a major research focus of mine is my Dad's RICHARDSON family.

I've come up with a series of research questions that I am going to focus on for this family.

  1. Who were the parents and siblings of Jonathan (I) Richardson? 
  2. Where did the Richardson family live before Leyden, Mass.? 
  3. What was the name of Jonathan (I) Richardson’s wife? 
  4. What other children did Jonathan (I) Richardson have besides Jonathan, John, Joseph, and Daniel? 
  5. Was William Richardson (son of John) born in Ontario Co, New York or in Vermont? 
  6. Who were the parents of George O Pierce (grandson of William Richardson, son of John)? 
  7. What was the name of the wife of George O Pierce? 
    1. Request sent to Onondaga Public Library in Syracuse, NY for NYS Vital Records Index lookup for both marriage record and death record. 
    2. Received following citations: 
      1. Marriage: George O. PIERCE, m. 9 May, 1885, Venice, #5177 
      2. Emailed Venice Town clerk for instructions on how to order copy and costs on 3/30/2017. 
    3. Death: Hattie Pierce, d. 1 March, 1897, Canadice, #9088 
  8. Who were the neighbors of the Richardsons in Lot 70 of Livonia? 
  9. When did John Richardson move to Ontario County? 
  10. When did the family of Sarah Richardson and Asa Davis discover and convert to Mormonism? 
  11. When did John Richardson and his wife Betsey Phillips die? 
  12. Where were Jonathan (II) Richardson and Rhoda Thompson during the 1830 census? 
  13. How many children did Jonathan (II) Richardson and Rhoda Thompson have? 
  14. Is William Harrison Richardson (b. 1814) son of Joseph Richardson and Abigail Fisk the same William Henry Harrison Richardson that died in Lisbon, Juneau Co, Wisconsin in 1874? (Where were his male children born?) 
  15. Did William Ryder Powell and Mary Martin actually marry? Did they divorce? Is William Ryder Powell the father of Mary Martin’s son John Powell? 
  16. Was William Ryder Powell prosecuted for horse stealing in Livingston or Allegany County, New York? 
    1. Probably in the Supreme Court of either county. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Updated presentation list

The presentation list connected to this blog has been updated! It now includes the two presentations that I gave at the Southern California Genealogy Society's Jamboree in June 2015.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

General DNA Resources for Genealogy

Links Mentioned in DNA Presentation, given 3 June 2014 for the Computer Club of Austin: - International Society of Genetic Genealogy - 3rd party online tool - 3rd party online tool (not free) - 3rd party online tool - Listing of 3rd party DNA tools

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Creating your DNA-haplogroup "family tree"

The more people on your family tree that have their DNA tested, the more you are able to round out your family's haplogroup DNA "family tree."

For example:

1. Me:
Mitocondrial: U2e1a

2nd Generation
2. Dad
Y-DNA: R1b1b2a1 (23andme) or R-M269/R1b1a2* (FamilyTreeDNA)
Mitocondrial: H

3. Mom
Mitocondrial: U2e1a

3rd Generation
4. Dad's Dad [Charles]
Y-DNA: (see #2)
Mitocondrial: Unknown

5. Dad's Mom [Eloise]
Mitocondrial: H

6. Mom's Dad [William]
Y-DNA: currently unknown
Mitocondrial: Unknown

7. Mom's Mom
Mitocondrial: U2e1a

4th Generation:
8. Dad's Dad's Father [Frank Seraf]
Y-DNA: see #2
Mitocondrial: Unknown (his sister had only sons; his mother's sister had only one son)

9. Dad's Dad's Mother [Hazel]
Mitocondrial: Unknown (no daughters, only one son living)

10. Dad's Mom's Dad [Byron]
Y-DNA: Unknown (no living male descendants; his brother did have male descendants that I think are living)
Mitocondrial: Unknown (no sisters; his mother had no sisters with descendants)

11. Dad's Mom's Mom [Mina]
Mitocondrial: H

12. Mom's Dad's Dad [Warren L]
Y-DNA: currently unknown [Warren L did have male siblings whose sons could be tested]
Mitocondrial: Unknown

13. Mom's Dad's Mom [Mary Jane]
Mitocondrial: Unknown (no living direct female relatives to test)

14. Mom's Mom's Dad [Frank]
Y-DNA: R1b1b2a1a2f* (23andme) or R1b1a2a1a1b4/R-P312 (through conversion for FamilyTree DNA equivalent)
Mitocondrial: Unknown

15. Mom's Mom's Mom [Mary]
Mitocondrial: U2e1a

I wanted to show that I got the haplogroup of #14 through testing of second cousin via 23andme, even though I had no one in my immediate family that could have done that test.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pardon the mess....

Doing some blog changes and cleanup. Please pardon the mess if you find broken links, as they will be fixed shortly.

Thank you for your patience. (And have a photo of a running cow for your viewing pleasure.)

Sara G.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lack of blogging!

Sorry for lack of blogging lately. I've been working on a number of presentations and presentation proposals lately, and about to go to the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) next week.

The image is the title slide from my most recent presentation: "Historic Preservation: What do old buildings mean to genealogists?" I gave this last night at the Williamson County (Texas) Genealogical Society's monthly meeting. We had approximately 50 attendees, a great number for a July in Texas!

I got really good feedback and reviews and I hope to make this a permanent member of the presentation rotation!

(c) Sara Gredler

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Richardson Family - General Overview

I'm working on identifying all the descendants of a particular Richardson family that ended up in the Ontario Co, New York area between 1803 and 1810.

Sarah Elizabeth Richardson c.1850? (b. 1832, m. 1866 Elston Hunt)
I'm related to the Richardson family twice over via Sarah Elizabeth (Richardson) Hunt (seen above, before she married), my great-great-great grandmother: her parents were first cousins.

I want to correspond with as many Richardson relatives as possible to try and break down some walls (perhaps not brick, but fairly sturdy). A general outline of the first few generations follows.

1. [--?--] Richardson, who supposedly was killed by Indians during the Revolutionary War, and lived in Vermont.

2. His son, Jonathan (I) Richardson, b. abt 1742 (?), d. bef 1829 in Livonia, Livingston Co, NY. Unknown wife. He moved to Livonia when it was still part of Ontario Co, NY (probably by 1805) and was enumerated there on the census in 1810. He had at least four children:

3a. Jonathan (II) Richardson, b. 26 Nov 1762, m. Rhoda Thompson 24 Apr 1792 in Swanzy, New Hampshire, d. 5 April 1850, Independence, Allegany Co, NY. They had at least 11 children (11 have been positively identified):

    3a1. Sarah Richardson (1793-1857) m. Asa Davis (1787-1872). They became Mormon and moved west. Sarah died in Ohio, Asa in Iowa. (15 children identified!)
    3a2. Rhoda Richardson (1793/4-1869) m. Rowland Powell (abt 1790-1865). They lived and died in Livonia, NY. (Supposedly had 8 children, 5 of whom are identified)
   3a3. Clarissa Richardson (1795-1866) m. Calvin Powell (bro. to Rowland) (1792-1871). They moved from New York to Ohio to Illinois and then to Oregon. (13 children, 12 of whom are identified)
   3a4. Unknown female (b.1795-1800)
   3a5. Jonathan (III) Richardson (1799-1880) m. Miranda/Mianda Moore (1800-1886). They moved to Allegany Co, New York. (Supposedly had 12 children, 10 of whom are identified)
   3a6. Unknown female (b. 1801), possibly named Laura
   3a7. Unknown male (b. 1800-1805), possibly named Alpheus
   3a8. Anna Richardson (1807-1876) [TWIN], m1. Russell Bartholomew (1799-1801) (1 child), m2. Otis Harrington (1802/1804-bet 1880 and 1900) (4 children). Moved from New York to Ohio and then to Michigan with Otis Harrington.
   3a9. Uriah Richardson (1807-1883) [TWIN], m. Orra Burnman (1809-1884). Moved to Ohio and then to Michigan. (10 children identified)
   3a10. Daniel Richardson (1809-1891), m. Cynthia Backus (1812/3-1890). Moved to Michigan. (Four children, three of whom are identified)
   3a11. Philander Richardson (1810/1-1875) [TWIN] m1. Elizabeth [possibly Sanger] (1815-bef 1855), m2. Elizabeth [Unknown] (1800-bef 1865), m3. Achsah Amsden (1837-1912) [as her 1st husband; they were 1st cousins, once removed; she m.2 Seth Rider, bro to her brothers-in-law William Rider and Stephen Rider (see below)]. Lived and died in Livonia. (One child, by Achsah.)
   3a12. Philandra Richardson (1811-?) [TWIN] m1. William Rider (1804/5-bef Jul 1860), m2. Seth Ashley. Moved to Ohio and then to Michigan with 2nd husband. (Six children identified)
   3a13. Unknown female (1813-1872), possibly named Harriet.
   3a14. Unknown female (b.1810-1820, unknown death)
   3a15. Unknown male (b.1810-1820, unknown death)
   3a16. Louisa Richardson (1815-?), m1. Stephen Rider (1812/3-?), m2. Reuben Barnea. Moved to Ohio and then to Michigan. (Five children identified)
   3a17. Marinda Richardson (1818-1897) m. Benjamin Dann (1807-1898). Moved to Michigan with her husband. (Three children identified.)

3b. Joseph Richardson (bet. 1765 and 1784, d. 1813) m. Abigail Fisk (1775-1851). He died in the War of 1812, she died in Mendon, Monroe Co, NY. (8 children, one born after the death of his father.)

   3b1. Joseph Richardson (1796-1868) m. Aurilla Rowley (1796-1878). [Abigail Fisk may not be his mother, it is still under investigation.] They moved to Michigan. (11 children, 8 of whom are identified.)
   3b2. Chester Richardson (1800-1884) m. Clarissa Hincher (1811-1871). They lived in Genesee and Monroe Counties, NY. (9 children, 8 of whom are identified)
   3b3. Rufus Richardson (1801-1873) m. Elizabeth Richardson (1807-1860). [Parents of Sarah Elizabeth, above, they were first cousins. See John Richardson (3c) below]. They lived in Livonia and Mendon, New York. (Four children identified.)
   3b4. Lydia Richardson (1803-1892) m. Eleazer Brooks Amsden (1797-1876). They lived in Mendon, Monroe Co, NY. (10 children, 9 of whom are identified. Parents of Achsah Amsden (see 3a11.))
   3b5. Daniel Richardson (1805-Unknown). Living as of the 1820 census, no record after that.
   3b6. Philinda Richardson (1807-1876) m. Noah Nash (1805/6-1852). Moved to Michigan. (7 children, 5 of whom are identified.)
   3b7. Elsie Richardson (1810-1886) m1. Asa Burton (1802/4-1871), m2. Marvin Burton (1804/5-Unknown). Lived in Mendon, Monroe Co, NY. (9 children identified, all from first marriage.)
   3b8. William Harrison Richardson (William Henry Harrison Richardson) (1814-Unknown). According to family history, moved to Wisconsin. Perhaps is the William Henry Harrison Richardson that married Emily Boynton and lived in Juneau Co, Wisconsin.

3c. John Richardson (bet. 1776 and 1794 - after 1830) m. Betsy Phillips (between 1776 and 1794 - ?). Lived in Canadice, Ontario Co, New York. 4 children, 3 of whom are identified.

    3c1. Unknown male (bet. 1794 and 1804 - ?)
    3c2. William Richardson (1805/7-1877) m. Eunice Winch (1805-1892). Lived in Canadice, Ontario Co, NY.  (11 children, 9 identified.)
    3c3. Elizabeth Richardson (see 3b3.)
    3c4. John Richardson (bet. 1805 and 1810, died as a young man). According to family history, "In school boy play he was pushed against the ever present stump and died from injuries received."

3d. Daniel Richardson (1781-1820) m. Philena Stebbins (1782/3-1850). [She m2. John Backus, father of Cynthia Backus (see 3a10).] They lived in Cornwall, Addison Co, Vermont before moving to Livonia, New York. (7 children identified.)

    3d1. Philinda Richardson (1805-1851) m. Horace Stone (1800-1873). [He m2. Lucetta Ebenriter (1824/5-1870).] They lived in Livonia and Mount Morris, both in Livingston Co, NY. (8 children identified.)
    3d2. Daniel J Richardson (1806-1857) m. Thankful G Camp (1810-1850). They lived in Mount Morris, Livingston Co, NY and in Ontario, Canada [then Canada West]. (2 children, 1 identified).
    3d3. Lydia Richardson (1808-?), appears to have never married.
    3d4. Washington E Richardson (1811-1884), m. Harriet Parker (1815-1885). They lived in Wyoming Co, New York. (2 children identified.)
    3d5. Diadama/Diadamia Richardson (1814/5-bef 1855) m1. Lewis Payne (bet. 1800 and 1810 - bef 1848), m2. Adonijah Fellows (1804-1864) [as his 2nd wife, first wife Polly Fitzgerald (bef 1810-bef 1848)]. Both families lived in Livonia, NY. She had at least three children with Payne and one with Fellows.
    3d6. Joseph B Richardson (1818-1877) m. Jennette Phelps (1819-bef 1900). They lived in Mount Morris, Livingston Co, NY. (At least 6 children.)
    3d7. William Waring Richardson (1820/1-1898) [possibly born after the death of his father] m1. Julia P [--?--] (1830-1860), m2. Sarah A (Walker) Osborne (1833-?) as her 2nd husband. He and his families lived in Livonia (first wife), Canada West (first and second wives), Illinois (no wife), and Indiana (no wife). (3 children identified.)

So in 4 incomplete generations I have lots of descendants already. I haven't quite given up on finding where Jonathan (I) came from, but he is proving somewhat elusive. I hope if i keep putting items out about these Richardsons, someone will find me via Google (or Bing, whatever takes your fancy)! (Not that I don't appreciate those that have already contacted me. I am so excited that I have recently been contacted by descendants of each of these four brothers.)

Monday, May 27, 2013

More Martins - Livingston Co, NY

The obituary of Thomas Martin of Lima, NY, seen at left, states that his brother was "Malachi Martin, late of this town [Livonia]."

I've been tracing Malachi Martin's family because his daughter Mary married into my Powell family, and as the mother of John Powell (see last week's post "Finding John Powell - 1 possibility down").

The Martin families are Irish Catholics. Thomas Martin, according to his obituary, came to the United States in 1834. I can narrow down Malachi's immigration date to abt 1848, based on church histories in the local county history.

This is a completely different group for me to research. The Irish immigrants on my mother's side are from Northern Ireland and are Presbyterian. Probably they will end up going back to Scotland, if I can figure out their townlands in Ireland. (That's a whole other kettle of fish.)

It has been super interesting to follow these families of Thomases, Williams, Marys, Anns, and Margarets. The Martin family appears to have come from the far northwest of County Tipperary in Ireland. I've been able to find some records for them in Tipperary before coming to America via the irish Family History Foundation website (, though the records there are all extracts, unfortunately.

The town the family is from is at the extreme northwest of County Tipperary. However, when most people think of Tipperary they think of Cashel (well, at least I do.) I love these photos that I took when I was in Ireland. One is of the Rock of Cashel and one is the view from the Rock of Cashel.

I'm having a bit more luck once the family moved to America as there are Roman Catholic church records for the family in Livingston Co, New York. This is my first time working with Roman Catholic records; I can't think of one family that have been RC in my direct line except one, and that one has not been confirmed by records.

Here is an example: the burial record for Mary (Martin) Powell Tone, daughter of Malachi Martin:

19 August 1908: "Mrs Michael Tone was buried in Livonia this morning. She died on the 15th aged about 84 years."

There are a large number of related families in these church records - I've already noticed the ones I know are related to the Malachi Martin family. The Thomas Martin family lived in Lima, and that town's church records are, of course, on another roll of film....

[Citations available upon request.]

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Finding John Powell - 1 possibility down

One of my current projects is identifying all the descendants of Jonathan Richardson, the man I call "the progenitor" of my Richardson family in western New York. He came to Ontario Co, NY between 1803 and 1810 with (probably) four sons.

One of those sons, Jonathan (II) Richardson, had a daughter named Rhoda. Rhoda Richardson married Rowland Powell and had at least five children. The second-to-last known child and last son was named William Ryder Powell, and he seems to have a bit of a bad guy. (More on him as a person to come later.)

William Ryder Powell married (or at least had a somewhat long term relationship with) a woman named Mary Martin. Mary Martin was born in Ireland about May 1826, probably in the small parish of Youghalarra in County Tipperary where her known brothers and sisters were baptized. Her parents were Malachi/Malachy Martin and Margaret O'Brien (Brien). I have not been able to find when Mary Martin emigrated to the United States.

Their first child, Mary Adelia Powell, was born in Livonia, Livingston Co, New York, probably around May of 1848 (though her obituary gives her birth date as 22 May 1846, all of the previous records give year of birth around 1848 rather than 1846). This also gives the latest emigration date for Mary Martin as approximately nine months before May 1848 (or 1846) - around July of 1847 or 1845.

The only census that has William Ryder and Mary (Martin) Powell enumerated together is the one from 1850; Mary appears alone with three children in the 1855 New York State census: Mary A, aged 6; William I, aged 4; and Luceria A, aged 2, as well as a cousin, Margaret Hogan. The 1855 census also states that Mary (Martin) Powell had lived in Livonia, New York, for 12 years and that she was an alien. (William Ryder Powell was a natural-born American.) That gives a latest emigration date for Mary Martin as 1842-1843.

In 1860 Mary (Martin) Powell has two children with her in her household: 7-year-old Lucera and 2-year-old John. William appears to have died and Mary Adelia is living in another household working as a domestic. I have not been able to find John in the 1865 New York State census. In 1870 he is living with his mother, Mary, in Livonia, and by 1875 Mary (Martin) Powell has married a man named Michael Tone and John is living in their household, listed as a step-son to Michael Tone. John is enumerated as working on the Erie railroad.

And where is John after that? In the 1900 census, Mary (Martin) Powell Tone's enumeration states that she has had four children and that three are still living. That appears to imply that John Powell is still living.

The web becomes further tangled as the history of William Ryder Powell is examined. According to his obituary, William Ryder Powell was not the nicest of people. He was shot to death (supposedly in self-defence) in 1904 in California. The obituary also states, "He was arrested, tried and convicted [for horse stealing], and our informant is quite sure that his sentence to Auburn prison was for a term of five years. After he got out of prison, which was something like thirty-five or forty years ago, he drifted to California...."  This gives some dates for William Ryder's incarceration at Auburn: released between 1864 and 1869, with a five year sentence, gives his incarceration beginning dates of between 1859 and 1864. However, records for this period at Auburn do not survive. It is, of course, possible, that these dates are off, and maybe as many of five years on either side.

The probate completed in 1904 and 1905 by his daughter, Mary Adelia (Powell) Sheldon, states that her father purchased land in California and was unmarried when he did so, and gives his only surviving heirs as two daughters: Mary Adelia (Powell) Sheldon and Lucera (Powell) Crane (I'll come back to this one, too).

So what happened to John Powell? Was he really William Ryder Powell's son? Where is he in subsequent censuses after 1875?

I thought I had found a candidate - a John H Powell married a woman named Kitty Dempsey in Rochester, NY in 1886. He worked on the railroad, was approximately the right age, and his mother was born in Ireland. I was lucky in that I had already ordered a roll of microfilm from the FHL of Rochester and vicinity church records for another purpose!

On 26 April 1886 John H Powell married Catherine "Kitty" Dempsey at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rochester, New York. John H Powell was the son of Samuel Powell and Elizabeth Kennedy. Catherine was the daughter of Bernard Dempsey and Catherine Costello.

And there went that hypothesis popped.

So what happened to John Powell? I'm still looking.

I'm also still looking for Lucera (Powell) Crane/Ware too: she signs her name as Lucera Crane in the probate documents, her death certificate gives her name as Lucera Ware, and I can't find anything on her under either name. Supposedly, according to online family trees, she married a man named John Ware and they had two children (before 1904 when she signs her name as Lucera Crane), but I am still trying to follow that up.

[If sources are desired, please comment or send an email. I would be happy to oblige.]

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bartholomew Genealogy Dance!

So I have been working on trying to prove the name of my Anna (Richardson) Bartholomew Harrington's first husband for over a year - this is in Ohio in 1830.  I had a candidate by census records - Don C. Bartholomew was the only Bartholomew in Mentor Twp, Geauga Co, Ohio in 1830. Anna Bartholomew married her second husband in Mentor Twp in 1832.

Then found a book of newspaper extracts that proved that not only did Don Bartholomew survive his wife (not right for my Anna's second husband), but he also died after Anna had remarried her second husband.  Ok, so not him.

Back to the census drawing board. I came up with another candidate: Russell Bartholomew.  (He was in the 1830 census and not in the 1840 census, and appeared to be the right age.)  Issue - he wasn't in Mentor Twp. To a map! He lived in Concord Twp, which is right next to Mentor Twp in Geauga Co, Ohio.  Less of a issue.  Larger problem: He is a young, newly married man in the 1830 census! His wife remarried in 1832! I posit that they had a child, named David. But none of David's records name his parents. The book of newspaper extracts had an entry for Russell Bartholomew giving his death in January 1831.  This is all leading to Russell looking like a good candidate.

Looking at the 1830 census, I then went to the neighbors.  Russell and his young wife were living next to an older man named Jedediah Bartholomew.  Perhaps Russell's father?  Went looking for family trees online to see if anyone had done anything on the family. Well, a little bit - I found trees but they only had two children.  Then it is time to Google.

I found a post from 2006 on an Ancestry message board about New Jersey Rev. War veterans that mentioned a Bartholomew book from 1885 - "Record of the Bartholomew Family."

And there is Russell, marrying Anna Richardson and having one son, David. And Russell's father is Jedediah.

Of course, there are no sources or citations in this family history. So I still have work to do. Russell and Anna's marriage is not in indexes for Geauga Co, Ohio. It may be that they married in New York before coming to Ohio. (Of course, early New York vital records are fairly scarce.) 

So while I still have work to do, I know have at least one source (however secondary and/or derivative) that confirms my hypothesis that Anna Richardson married, first, Russell Bartholomew, and had one son, David Bartholomew (Civil War veteran). She then married, second, as his third wife, Otis Harrington, and had four more children.

Genealogy happy dance!

Title page of the Record of the Bartholomew Family, published 1885.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

History in a series of cannons, cont....

Cannon on the Vicksburg side of the Mississippi River, March 2013.

Latest in the series of cannons, this one just over the Mississippi River in Vicksburg near the Visitor's Center.  I got to see none of the cool parts of Vicksburg; we took a few photos of the bridge, which we were not allowed onto, and then back across the river to the next bridge.

Old Vicksburg Bridge, March 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Database Updates...

Updated my website at Rootsweb and my WorldConnect database this evening based on email from a cousin. Apparently I had some wrong dates (not surprising). Hopefully I got all the sites that my data lives on.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

DNA tests - Making sense of percentages

My parents and I have all done DNA testing, at both FamilyTreeDNA and 23andme.

The image below shows my mom's "Ancestry Composition" from 23andme.  Ok, so obviously, mostly European. Got that. But what exactly do these percentages represent? I was trying to make this more clear in my mind as to what the 0.1% signified.

So I started thinking. Mom has a number of percentages that are at 0.1%. In order to make that equal 1 person, I would have to have 1000 ancestors represented in this evaluation.  Then I went looking for how many generations it takes (remember, your number of ancestors in each generation doubles) to get to 1000 ancestors.  The answer? 9.  (I used this website.)

By the time you get to the 9th generation back from you (that is your 7th great-grandparents), you have 1023 unique ancestors. However, it is unlikely that there are no intermarriages and duplicated individuals.  So generally, the 9th generation back gets us 1000 ancestors. That website gives a general birth year of 1680 for this generation. (A previous post at this blog counted the ancestors that I have identified by generation; I have 83 of the 512 in this generation identified.)

So taking mom's percentages, based on 23andme's speculative percentages, out of 1000 ancestors I get the following numbers of people in her ancestry:

466 British and Irish
117 French and German
45 Scandinavian
312 Northern European
42 Iberian
9 Southern European
1 Ashkenazi
5 European
1 Sub-Saharan African
1 East Asian/Native American
1 Unknown

Cool, right? That is a little more...understandable. Concrete. Essentially mom is half Irish/Scottish/English/Welsh. Most of her known ancestors in this group are Irish/Scottish. And she definitely has duplicate ancestors - her paternal grandparents were first cousins (surnames McFEATERS and McCACHREN).

Dad's results:
305 British and Irish
127 French and German
124 Scandinavian
360 Northern European
9 Sardinian
5 Italian
25 Southern European
33 Eastern European
9 European
1 South Asian
1 East Asian/Native American

My results:
409 British and Irish
84 French and German
17 Scandinavian
418 Northern European
11 Iberian
4 Italian
32 Southern European
5 Eastern European
16 European
2 South Asian
1 Unknown

I've got some of these results that I am scratching my head about, but being able to take Dad's results, Mom's results, and my results and compare them, I can see patterns.  Got the Italian from Dad (not surprising, with his Gredler family being in Tirol in Austria, near the Italian border), Iberian from Mom (NO CLUE about this group), and missed some of the markers. I didn't get either one of their East Asian/Native American marker, and I didn't get Mom's Ashkenazi or her sub-Saharan African marker.

Another excitement is that one of the matches at 23andme is someone that I talked genealogy with probably 10 years ago. We know we are cousins and have researched together previously on the McFEATERS and CAMPBELL families in Pennsylvania. So now I have my first paper AND genetic cousin match!!! So exciting!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Genealogy Pet Peeve

Today's post is brought to you via frustration.  My pet peeve in genealogy is when you find someone that has compiled a tree online (or in a book) and the information gives you a date and a place, but no citation.  Well, citations would be nice, but I should easily be able to find the records, so I go looking for the information in the place the event supposedly took place.



Like it is not difficult enough to have record losses and non-existant records, now I am chasing records that may exist but I am not sure of the location?! Oiy vey.

(c) Sara Gredler, 2013.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Presentation Announcement

I will be presenting as part of a panel on organizing your family history at the January 2013 Williamson County (Texas) Genealogical Society meeting (  A good time will be had by all!

Social time and snacks begin at 7pm; presentation begins at 7:30. The panel includes discussion of paper organization, digital files, and dealing with/preserving heirloom items.  Should be interesting.

(c) Sara Gredler, 2013.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Genealogy Happy Dance!

A new database of browse-able images on FamilySearch ( New York Land Records! YAY!