Showing posts with label Bentley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bentley. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday's Tip: Genealogy, Free or Fee, Part 5: Ask the Historian

A lot of genealogical treasures are not online. But local historians may be able to help you solve a mystery or two, at little or no cost (often, just the cost of copies and postage).

Case in point: My husband's Bentley ancestors lived in upstate NY. I need to connect his 3d great-grandfather, William Tyler Bentley (1795-1873), with a specific town and then trace further back.

I believe I have him in the 1830 census in Sandy Creek, Oswego county, NY. But is this the right guy? I searched for Sandy Creek and the website above popped up. Take a look at what the wonderful local historian, Charlene Cole, has at her fingertips:
I called her, she checked her records, and then she emailed me some documents from her surname files, contributed by a long-time researcher who was also tracking down the same Bentley family. By getting in touch with this other Bentley researcher, we were able to put more pieces of the puzzle together.

So Tuesday's Tip is: Try a web search for the town or county where an ancestor lived, and you may be lucky enough to locate the local historian who knows where the treasures are buried. Even if you don't locate the actual information you need, you will likely get a clue on how to proceed or the name of others who are in search of the same surname.

For more "Genealogy, Free or Fee" posts, please click here.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Gen Do-Over 2015: Finding Dr. Bartlett Larimer's Will from 1892

Dr. Bartlett Larimer (1833-1892) -- hubby's 2nd great-grand uncle -- had a thriving medical practice and had a major influence on the lives of his extended family, inspiring 2 nephews to become dentists and 2 nephews to become doctors. He died in January of 1892 and his will, made about a week before he died, was probated soon afterward.

As part of the Genealogy Do-Over, I was able to find the contents of Dr. Larimer's will among the newly-posted probate records on Ancestry!

The will begins: "In the name of the Benevolent Father of All." The good doctor's beneficiaries included his children, relatives of his late wife, Sarah E. Miller Larimer (1843-1881), and several children of his siblings, plus family friends (?).
  • To his oldest son, Edson F. Larimer, 80 acres of land in Millersburg county, IN where the doctor was living when he made his will.
  • To his second son, Bartlett Larimer Jr., 80 acres in Millersburg plus 40 acres in Perry township, Noble County, IN.
  • To his third son, John S. Larimer, 35 acres of land in Perry township, plus more land in a different section of Perry township.
  • To his niece, Margaret Anna Haglind (daughter of his sister Eleanor Larimer), 20 acres in Eden township, Lagrange county, IN, and $200.
  • To his nephew, William Tyler Bentley Larimer (son of his brother Brice S. Larimer), a note held by the doctor for the sum of $350 plus interest. In other words, the note was forgiven by the will.
  • To his nieces Emma O. Freeland and Margaret Jane McClure (daughters of Brice S. Larimer), $200 each.
  • To his mother-in-law Elizabeth Miller and his sister-in-law Hester Miller Coy, interest on $2,000 on mortgage notes held by the doctor against William Haller and Lorenzo D. Haller. Also forgiveness of a note held against Hester by her brother-in-law for $40 and interest.
  • To friends (?) Luella Widner, wife of Charles Widner, $200 and Leoter? Blanche Hard, wife of Hale Hard, $200.
Son Edson Franklin Larimer was the executor, and the witnesses were Charles F. Widner and Brice Larimer, who were also beneficiaries.

The will may also be a clue to what I've long suspected, that three of Dr. Larimer's children didn't live long enough to be named as beneficiaries: Ulysses Larimer, born about 1865 (of course), Alice Larimer, born about 1866, and William Larimer, born in 1868. RIP to these 1st cousins, 3x removed, of my hubby

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: The Larimers Buried in Brown Cemetery, Elkhart, Indiana

Buried in Brown Cemetery, Elkhart, Indiana
Two years ago, the kind folks at Elkhart County Genealogical Society sent me documents and photos to help in researching hubby's Larimer family. Although I was specifically interested in Brice S. Larimer and his wife, Lucy E. Bentley, the wonderful lady who photographed the burial places sent me every Larimer headstone she could find in Brown Cemetery, Elkhart, with the comment that they were probably related to my Larimers in one way or another.

It took two years to track down the connections, but yes, she was entirely correct, of course. I've now accounted for almost every person whose headstone is in those dozens of photos, and I'm grateful to have the names/dates shown. I'll be writing her another thank you note to say how much I appreciated her wisdom in anticipating that I would eventually figure out how these Larimers were related to each other and to my hubby.

Above, the photo of the final resting place of Cora Emma Leslie and Edson Franklin Larimer. Buried in the midst of many other Larimer relatives, Edson was hubby's 1st cousin, 3x removed, the son of Bartlett Larimer and Sarah Miller.

Although buried in Elkhart, Edson actually died in Dawson county, Montana. Because Edson's daughter Velma Ruth Larimer married Ralph James Thomas in Dawson county, Montana, I imagine that Edson was visiting Velma at the time of his death. But until I could track down Velma and her marriage cert from Dawson county, proving that Velma was Edson & Cora's daughter, I couldn't just assume a connection.

Genealogy is really a long-term hobby, isn't it? 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Bessie Hostetler Kelsey, Who Married 109 Yrs Ago Today

When Bessie Hostetler was married in Millersburg, IN at high noon on May 31, 1906 to Homer John Kelsey, the Hostetler and Shank families had reason to rejoice.

Bessie was one of four daughters of J. Cephas Hostetler and "Emma" Emily Mary Shank. Emma Shank, Bessie's Mom, was the granddaughter of Lucinda Helen Bentley, who married Jonas Shank.

Beautiful Bessie -- hubby's 2nd cousin, 2x removed -- gave birth to a son at the beginning of April, 1907. Sadly, she died one week later, during an operation in a Fort Wayne hospital, leaving behind a bereaved husband and a newborn baby boy.

I wasn't aware of this tragedy until I read the1914 obit of Emma Shank Hostetler, Bessie's mother (see right). It mentioned how Emma and her husband, J. Cephas Hostetler, took care of their grandson after Bessie's unexpected death.

The Shank family intertwined with hubby's family in other ways. Cornelia Jane Shank, a daughter of Lucinda Helen Bentley, married David Oscar Short in Indiana in 1872. The Short family is related to hubby's Larimer family in cousin fashion.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: George Larimer's elopement "like a thunder clap from a blue sky"

On July 4, 1899, George Ainsworth Larimer boarded an interurban train in Goshen, Indiana, bound for Chicago. Seemingly by accident, Cora May Lutz was on the same interurban train--in the same car--bound for an aunt's house in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Here's how the Goshen Midweek News describes what happened next (in the Nov. 15, 1899 issue):

"The fall of great cities has been planned in very short time, so it is presumed Mr. Larimer and Miss Lutz accidentally became aware of each other's presence on the car and by the time they reached Dunlaps, negotiations had been closed for an elopement..."

By the end of the day, they had secured a marriage license in St. Joseph, Michigan, been married, and were on their way home. The newspaper continues:

"They were away from home only a short time, and on returning, the members of the groom's family suspected what had occurred, telling him it was generally known and in the papers. He assumed an indignant air and denied the allegation and was greatly relieved on finding the family had employed that matter of investigating his suspected matrimonial affairs...Accordingly the marriage was this morning announced and it came like a thunder clap from a blue sky." 

George A. Larimer (1873-1922) was hubby's 1st cousin, 2x removed, the son of William Tyler Bentley Larimer and Elizabeth J. Stauffer. Cora May Lutz Larimer outlived him (1875-1945).

This clipping is part of my newspaper research into the relationships among the members of the Larimer, Work, Short, and Bentley families. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Cousin Atta Elizabeth Larimer Marries Miles Powell Bradford, 1902


I've been having success using newspaper archives to learn about ancestors' lives--but I was also reminded today that searching for full names can turn up valuable articles from free news sources.

Atta Elizabeth Larimer was 26 when she married 29-year-old Miles Powell Bradford on Thursday, May 8, 1902 in Chicago. Atta was my hubby's 1st cousin 2x removed, the older daughter of William Tyler Bentley Larimer and Elizabeth J. Stauffer.

Both bride and groom lived in Goshen, Indiana, so why marry in Chicago? That question had bothered me since I found out about the marriage via an Ancestry hint, before I accessed paid newspaper archives for Goshen.

From the above excerpt (Goshen Daily Democrat, May 8, 1902), it appears one reason to travel to Chicago was to be married by the Reverend B.B. Royer who had previously been a clergyman in Goshen. Because the announcement appeared the same day as the marriage, it was evidently not an elopement--in fact, another newspaper article within a day or two reports on Atta and Miles returning home from their wedding trip to Chicago.

By 1930, Atta and Miles were the parents of three (Lucy Elizabeth, William Abraham, and Joseph Miles Bradford). Miles told the census he was the proprietor of a retail grocery store. After his wife Atta died in 1936, Miles was kept company at the grocery store and at home by his younger son, Joseph Miles Bradford--a conclusion reached after reading the 1940 census and seeing them living together and working together.

Joseph Miles Bradford was in the Army for WWII from April 9, 1942, to February 1, 1946. Did he get a chance to come home for his father's funeral in 1944?

I don't know about the funeral, but I do know that a search for his full name, in quotes, turned up the newspaper obit (for free) of his widow, Lois Evelyn Scott, and a lot of info about his life after the war. Joseph and Lois ran Bradford's Grocery in Goshen for decades, picking up with Joseph's father Miles left off.

Most important, I learned that Joseph and Lois met and married in Hattisburg, Mississippi, while he was in the Army Corps of Engineers during the war. They had three children, whose names I now know, courtesy of that free obit.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday's Obituary: James Freeland, Deputy Sheriff (and Life-Long Democrat)

James Freeland (1838-1920) married hubby's great-grand aunt Emma O. Larimer (1848-1923) in Millersburg, Indiana, in December, 1869. They moved next door to Emma's aunt Lucinda Helen Bentley Shank (1825-1903) who was married to a carpenter, Jonas C. Shank (1815-1907). (Jonas Shank was newsworthy as the aged man who took a long walk in my previous blog post.)

Great-grand uncle James had a varied career, serving as deputy sheriff in Goshen, Indiana and then as manager of a furniture company. He was also street commissioner for a time. He began to suffer from "nervous disorders and general decline" and he and his family moved to New York City in 1903, and I found them in 1905 in the NY census. Why exactly did they move? Not known.

James died in 1920, and his obit in the Indiana hometown newspaper says: "All his life Mr. Freeland had been a democrat." Maybe it's not a coincidence that the obit was published in the Goshen Daily Democrat (on September 15, 1920)?

Although I'd love to see Great-grand aunt Emma Larimer Freeland's obit from February 23, 1923, as published in Indiana's Middlebury Independent, Newspaper Archive.com says I can't see it right now because of "a delay with our data backup provider, Amazon Web Services Glacier team." Grrrr.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Amanuensis Monday: "Aged Man's Long Walk"

I just love finding newspaper snippets that paint a picture of an ancestor's personality or daily life.

Case in point: Jonas C. Shank (1815-1907) who married hubby's second great grand aunt Lucinda Helen Bentley (1825-1903) in 1845. Tomorrow is the 108th anniversary of Jonas's passing and I was looking for his obit when I ran across this paragraph in the Goshen Democrat of February 7, 1903.

"Aged Man's Long Walk" is the headline. Seems great-grand uncle Jonas lived in Lagrange county and was visiting his daughter Jane (Jennie) Shank Short (who married Oscar David Short). He walked home--covering nine miles in 90 minutes. "Mr. Shank is hale and hearty and has comparatively few gray hairs for a man of his age." Winter in Indiana can be chilly, to say the least, so this feat is all the more impressive. In fact, it was so impressive that this snippet was picked up and summarized in the Fort Wayne Sentinel!

Let me say again how much I appreciate being able to access Newspaper Archive via my membership in the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center. Many of hubby's ancestors lived in Indiana and environs, areas represented in the archive's newspaper collection.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

52 Ancestors #40: Why did the Freelands Leave Indiana for the South Bronx?

Hubby's 2d great-grand aunt, Emma O. Larimer (1848-1923), the daughter of Brice S. Larimer and Lucy E. Bentley, was born and raised a Hoosier. In 1869, Emma married James Freeland (1838-1920), also of Indiana, and together they had three children: Lucy (b. 1870), Earle (b. 1877), and James (b. 1891). In 1880, James was a street commissioner in Goshen. Earlier, he was a deputy sheriff (according to his obit) and also involved in manufacturing.

In 1900, the Freeland family was still settled comfortably in Goshen, Indiana, where they had lived for years. James's occupation was listed as "salesman" and two of the three children also were working.

In 1905, however, the New York City census listed the entire family as living at 582 East 165th Street in the South Bronx, a residential neighborhood that was fairly middle class and less than one mile from a major shopping crossroads on 149th Street.

Why did they leave Goshen and go to the Big Apple, where the cost of living was undoubtedly much higher? So far as I can tell, they had no family in New York. Nor did James work in an occupation that required his residence in New York.

But looking ahead at James's 1920 obit (from the Middlebury Independent, Indiana) contains one clue to the move: He was suffering from "a long history of nervous disorders and general decline." The family pulled up stakes and left for New York in 1903, according to the obit, leaving behind siblings and other relatives on both sides of the families. In 1920, James died at 82 and was quickly buried in New York, to be reburied with the rest of the family later. Was the family seeking medical treatment for James? Or did they want a fresh start somewhere else when they left Goshen in 1903 to live in the crowded Big Apple?

Contemporary records show that the Freelands remained in New York City from 1903 on. According to the 1910 Census, Lucy, the older daughter, was a stenographer in an insurance office. Earle was an electrician in a "power house" [sic]. James Lynn, the younger son, was a stock clerk in a drug firm (or store?). Their parents weren't working; presumably, Emma took care of James.

By mid-1920, James and the family had moved to upper Manhattan. Two of the three children -- all grown -- were "retail merchandisers" in a stationery store. James died in September of that year and his wife, Emma, died in 1923 (see obit from the Middlebury Independent, Indiana).

Lucy remained single, later living with her brothers in Manhattan. Earle was also single and kept the stationery store going. James Lynn married Rena and had a son, James Jr. and two daughters, Rhoda and Norma.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

52 Ancestors #36: Margaret McClure "Stricken with Grippe . . . Until Life Became Extinct"

Hubby's great-grandma, Margaret Jane Larimer McClure (1859-1913), the daughter of Brice S. Larimer and Lucy E. Bentley, outlived her husband by more than 30 years.

Born in Elkhart, Indiana, Margaret married William Madison McClure in October, 1876. After great-grandpa Willy died in 1887, Maggie moved to Wabash, Indiana, with three of her four children (Lola, Lucy, and Hugh Benjamin).

The photo above shows Maggie with her daughter Lucy (Lucille) and Lucy's husband, John Everett De Velde.

As a member of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, I can conveniently search databases like Newspaper Archive from home. So I plugged Maggie's name into the search box for Wabash, IN, and found her obit in the Wabash Daily Plain Dealer of May 15, 1913--the day she died.

According to the obit, Maggie was "stricken with grippe" a few days before her death, "which later developed into a complication of diseases and caused her to grow gradually weaker until life became extinct." Rest in peace.

Monday, September 8, 2014

52 Ancestors #35: Did Abbie Eliza Bentley Cross the (State) Line to a Gretna Green?

Hubby's 2d great-grand aunt Abbie Eliza Bentley (1832-1893) was born in upstate New York [town unknown] and married Leonard Lucien Curtis (1823-1905) in Cass County, Michigan, in 1848.

Why was Abbie Bentley married in Cass County, when she lived in Elkhart? Cass County (bounded by the red dashed lines) was just over the state line from Abbie's home in Elkhart, as the map shows.

Abbie's pioneer parents, William Tyler Bentley and Olivia Morgan Bentley, left New York for Elkhart, Indiana in 1835, when Abbie was just 3. In 1838, Olivia died, and in 1848, widower William took off for California to join the land rush.

Perhaps Abbie crossed into Cass County because it was a Gretna Green--a place where marriages could take place without lengthy waiting periods, or because her father was already in California and couldn't give his consent to a marriage in Indiana?

The 1850 Census shows Abbie living in Elkhart, with her blacksmith husband Leonard Curtis and their oldest daughter, Henrietta, very near Abbie's older sister Elizabeth and her carpenter husband, Emanuel Light.

By 1851, Abbie and Elizabeth and other siblings (and their spouses) were loading wagons for the long trek west to join their father in California. Sisters Lucy and Lucinda stayed behind in Elkhart.

Abbie died in 1893 in Santa Cruz, CA, having been married to Leonard Curtis for 45 years.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

NGS 2014: Prothonotary, Census Tips, and Case Studies


With the elusive McClureSteiner, and Rinehart Pennsylvania ancestors in mind, I attended three final sessions at NGS last Saturday.

  • What's a prothonotary? Now I know, thanks to Elissa Powell, and I have a better idea of what kinds of courthouse records to seek out in Pennsylvania. For the 1741 marriage of Robert Larimer and Mary Gallagher, however, Elissa suggests looking for church records (if I'm lucky enough to find something that early).
  • Census tips from Jason Harrison offered a LOT of ideas to try. Here are only a few: (1) Check Ancestry, Heritage Quest, and Family Search, because there may be different transcriptions and different scans of the same pages in each place. (2) Search in a specific town and specific ED, when I know that info. (3) Try the Soundex search in Ancestry. (4) Try * and ? for wildcard searches. (5) Try nicknames, not just name variations. For instance, Nancy might be Agnes, Nan, or Nannie (I had this exact example). (6) Try initials instead of a first name/middle name. (7) Search for other family members or known neighbors, then look at who's living in the same area. 
  • Case studies cited by Tom Jones reinforced how someone else's experience can teach me a new technique or a different way to reframe the question. It's the same with genealogy blogs, not just written case studies in magazines. I've learned so much by reading what bloggers did to break through their brick walls.

Also, I bought the session CD for Henry Hoff's "Research Strategies for Upstate New York." Friends in the audience raved about his suggestions, which I want to try when researching the Bentley and Morgan families from Oswego. His session ran at the same time as Elissa's prothonotary session, unfortunately for me.

For lunch, a small group of us walked to the Jefferson Hotel. I enjoyed a salad topped with a pretty and yummy crispy poached egg. The hotel has its own methodology, but you can get an idea of how to make this unusual egg dish by checking out this site. And like everyone else in Richmond, we had our photos taken with the alligator in the courtyard.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Surname Saturday: Rineharts and Steiners and Larimers, Oh My!

These surnames from hubby's family tree will be my main focus during sessions at the NGS conference:
  • Rinehart - Joseph W. Rinehart (hubby's 2d great-grand) was born in Pennsylvania in 1806, died in Nevada, Ohio in 1888. When did the Rinehart family get to America? Who were Joseph's parents? Sessions on Pennsylvania and possible German connections might help!
  • Steiner - Jacob S. Steiner (another g-grand of hubby's) was born in Pennsylvania in 1802, died in Crawford County, Ohio, before 1860 (he's not in that census). Where/when did Steiners come from? Who were his parents? Elizabeth Rinehart married Edward George Steiner in 1851 in Crawford County, OH (see above).
  • Larimer and O'Gallagher - Robert Larimer (hubby's 5th great-grand) was shipwrecked enroute from Northern Ireland to America. Was he part of a family of Scotch-Irish immigrants? What is the family connection between the Larimers, the Shorts, and the Works? They held an annual reunion for several years in Elkhart, Indiana, and intermarried. Robert Larimer married Mary Gallagher (or O'Gallagher) in Pennsylvania. Where were the O'Gallaghers from and when did they arrive?
  • Smith - Brice Smith (hubby's 4th great-grand) was born in Cumberland Cty, PA, in 1756 and died in Fairfield Cty, OH, in 1828. He was the first Brice we know of in the family, but not the last. Supposedly his father Robert Smith was born in Limerick, and Robert married Janet "Jean" in 1751 in Limerick. What's their story--why and when did they come to America? Sessions on Irish genealogy may help me research the Smith family.
  • Bentley and Morgan - Still looking for the origins of William Tyler Bentley, born about 1795 in upstate New York, and his wife Olivia Morgan, also from upstate NY. Were they originally from England? Session on UK research might help.
  • McClure and McFall - Still trying to find siblings for Benjamin McClure, son of John McClure and Ann McFall, who married in Rockbridge cty, VA, in 1801. Sessions on Scotch-Irish immigration will help me trace these families from Pennsylvania to Virginia and especially beyond.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #16: Olivia Morgan, Pioneer Mom

Olivia (or Olive) Morgan (1799?-1838) was born somewhere in New York state and married William Tyler Bentley (1795-1873) there, about 1820. Olivia and William are my hubby's 3d great-grandparents.

I was able to learn Olivia's name because it's shown on her daughter Lucinda's transcribed death cert, at right, and on her daughter Lucy's transcribed death cert.

Before their pioneering move to Elkhart county, Indiana, Olivia and William had seven children in New York:
  • Elizabeth E. Bentley (1821-98) - married Emanuel Light
  • Elisha Morgan Bentley (1824-84) - married Charlotte Raymond
  • Lucinda Helen Bentley (1825-1903) - married Jonas Shank
  • Lucy E. Bentley (1826-1900) - Hubby's great-great-grandma, married Brice S. Larimer
  • Simon Bentley (1828-1894) - didn't marry
  • Jane L. Bentley (1831-?) - went to California, no info after age 20
  • Abbie Eliza Bentley (1832-1893) - married Leonard Lucien Curtis
The Bentleys may have had one more child in 1835, after arriving in the wilderness of Elkhart, but I can't find a trace of that baby, who is mentioned on p. 1071 of The History of Elkhart County (below).

After pioneer mom Olivia died, her husband moved to California in 1848, followed by five of their seven children in 1851.

Only Lucinda and Lucy remained in Indiana, marrying and raising their own families.

I'm in touch with several Bentley researchers, and a Morgan researcher. We're continuing to try to learn more about Indiana pioneer mom Olivia Morgan, California land rush pioneer William Tyler Bentley, and their parents/children.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #13: The Bentley Family, Oswego to Elkhart


My challenge is to discover the origins of the Bentley family in Oswego county, New York.

William Tyler Bentley (1795?-1873) and his equally elusive wife, Olivia Morgan Bentley (1790s?-1838), are hubby's 3d great-grandparents. They were born in New York state, married there, and had seven children there. They might be the family shown in the 1830 Sandy Creek, NY census records under William T. Bentley's name.

In 1835, the Bentley family moved from Oswego to Elkhart, Indiana, where William bought a farm. With William and Olivia were their seven children:

Elizabeth E. Bentley (1821-1898)
Elisha Morgan Bentley (1824-1884)
Lucinda Helen Bentley (1825-1903), see left
Lucy E. Bentley (1826-1900)
Simon Bentley (1828-1894)
Jane L. Bentley (1831 - ??)
Abbie Eliza Bentley (1832-1893)


In 1848, ten years after Olivia died, widower William took off for California, perhaps for the Gold Rush. Three years later, five of his seven children followed him to California.

Elizabeth Bentley married Emanuel Light; Elisha Morgan Bentley married Charlotte Raymond; Lucinda Bentley married Jonas Shank; Lucy Bentley married Brice Larimer (they were hubby's 2d great-gradparents); Simon Bentley married but was widowed by 1880 and drowned in 1894; Jane Bentley--well, she probably went to California; and Abbie Bentley definitely went to California, with her husband, Leonard L. Curtis.

PS: A small mystery: In the Goshen Democrat of May 4, 1898, the above obit appeared for William Tyler Bentley, who did indeed die at South Tule River, California. And he was the father of Lucy E. Bentley Larimer. But he died in 1873. So who died in 1898??

Thursday, February 20, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #9: Brice S. Larimer, Elkhart Pioneer

Brice S. Larimer (1819-1906), hubby's great-great-granddaddy, was a pioneer settler in Elkhart county, Indiana and the son of a pioneer couple of Fairfield county, Ohio (Robert Larimer and Rachel Smith Larimer). Most probably, Brice's full middle name is Smith, in honor of his mother's maiden name.

His father brought Brice and siblings to Elkhart in 1835. As the oldest of nine, Brice helped his father with the farm and family after Rachel died at age 38, in 1838.

In 1847, Brice married Lucy E. Bentley (which is why I've been hunting her elusive ancestors, William Tyler Bentley and Olivia Morgan Bentley). They had four children: Atta, Emma, William, and Margaret (hubby's great-grandma, who married William Madison McClure). Wonder what happened to Atta? Maybe she died young, because I've found nothing about her.*

Brice had a series of careers, including family farming, Lake Shore agent, and notary public.

He was not the first Brice in the family. Brice Smith (1756-1828) was Brice Larimer's grandfather, the father of Rachel Smith. And the family has had other Brices since then, keeping the name alive for generations.

* The Larimer family book says Atta died young, sad to say.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: It Takes a Village to Trace a Tree

All of the family trees I'm working on have been "leafed out" with help from other people. Especially this year, I've learned that it truly takes a village to trace a tree. 

For example, Major James Elmer Larimer (hubby's first cousin, 4x removed), wrote to his mother, Asenath Cornwell Larimer, when he was fighting for the Union during the Civil War. At left, a page from one of his many letters--thanks to the gentleman who found me via this blog and who is now part of my village.

Here's how I make it easy for my village to exchange information:

1. My family trees on Ancestry are public (not living people, of course). That's how Philly Cuz found me and how the latest contact from a Wood cousin took place. 

2. I post about people and places on surname and locality message boards. If anybody out there is looking for Schwartz from Ungvar or Farkas from Botpalad or Bentley from Indiana (or California), they'll find my queries on message boards like Ancestry and GenForum. That's how I connected with Bentley researchers, for example.

3. I contact local genealogy clubs and historical societies. Just as one example, the fabulous folks at Elkhart County Genealogical Society provided numerous gravestone photos and probate court records for my research into the Larimer family.

4. I correspond with people who have posted on Find-a-Grave. Sometimes they have more photos they haven't had a chance to post--and among those photos are my ancestors. A very kind volunteer supplied exact directions to hubby's great-great-grand uncle's gravestone so we could visit this summer. Of course, I return the favor by posting photos of dozens of gravestones on F-a-G whenever I visit a cemetery.

5. I blog about my genealogy challenges and achievements. Thanks to this genealogy blog, I've been found by so many cousins! (You know who you are...) The blog also helps me explain to my newfound family what I know (or think I know) about a particular person or branch of the tree. In more than one case, my wonderful blog readers have been instrumental in identifying a person's uniform or place or period.

Thank you to my village!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Surname Saturday and Getting Down to the DNA

The newly enhanced Ancestry DNA results are a much closer match for hubby's family tree origins than the old version. Above, the new map of his origins. Below, the summary of his origins, which make sense in the context of the updated Heritage Pie I created for him earlier this year.

Great Britain (England, No. Ireland, Scotland) was the original home of these families from hubby's tree:
  • Bentley 
  • Denning 
  • Larimer
  • McClure
  • Shehen 
  • Slatter 
  • Taber 
  • Wood
Western Europe was the original home of these families from hubby's tree:
  • Demarest
  • Nitchie
  • Shank
  • Steiner


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Genealogy Tip Jar: Gen Societies and Historical Societies on Facebook

Today's Geneabloggers Genealogy Tip Jar topic is: Genealogical and Historical Societies (#gentipjar). So here's a 21st century twist: Finding those resources on Facebook. Often it's as easy as searching in Facebook using the location and adding the word "genealogy" or "historical society." But there's an easier way, as I'll mention below.

My Facebook genealogy alter ego, Benjamin McClure, uses the family tree shown above as his cover photo. Benji has "liked" or joined the pages of a number of local genealogical societies on FB, including:
  • Adams County, Ohio Genealogy Researchers
  • Crawford County Ohio History & Genealogy 
  • British Isles Genealogy
  • Ohio Historical Society
  • Genealogical Society of Ireland
  • Indiana Genealogical Society
  • Elkhart Genealogical Society
  • Genealogy Club of Newtown, CT
Why Facebook? Because the people who post on these pages are very knowledgeable about their areas and willing to help each other with ideas, local info, even photos. In some cases, you have to request an invite; in others, you simply "like."

On the Adams County FB page, I requested an invite, and once approved, I posted a query about Benji's in-laws. Another participant on that site soon sent me a file listing early marriages in that county--including several members of the McClure family and the Denning family. What a find!

NOW for the biggest tip of all: Thanks to my Facebook participation, I learned of a fabulous resource assembled by researcher extraordinaire Katherine R. Willson, whose site is Social Media Genealogy. She has developed an extensive listing of links to genealogical and historical societies' Facebook pages for all 50 states--and she's willing to share! This valuable list is downloadable as a free pdf from her special page here

I found 4 pages of Ohio societies to explore on Facebook, and 3 pages of Connecticut societies on Facebook. Thank you, Katherine!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Surname Saturday: Heritage Pie Updated

Last October, I modified the idea of creating a heritage pie chart of great-great-grandparents and posted my pies with hubby's great-grandparents and my grandparents.

Today I have enough information to post a chart with the birth place of all 16 of hubby's great-great-grands (above). Except for 4 people, all of hubby's great-grandparents were born in the US (mainly Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Ohio). However, not all of the great-great-great-grands were US-born.

Here's what I know or suspect about where the families of each of hubby's great-great-grandparents were from originally:

IrelandJohn Shehen and wife Mary (maiden UNK)--have evidence
England: John Slatter Sr. and wife Sarah (maiden UNK)--have evidence of English birth, but this family might have long-ago Irish roots
England: Ancestors of Isaiah Wood Sr.--have evidence
England: Ancestors of Harriet Taber--have evidence
England: Ancestors of Sarah Denning--need evidence
England: Ancestors of Lucy E. Bentley--need evidence
Huguenots (possibly France): Ancestors of Henry E. Demarest--need evidence
Huguenots (possibly France): Ancestors of Catherine Nitchie--need evidence
Scots-Irish: Ancestors of Benjamin McClure--have evidence
No. Ireland: Ancestors of Brice S. Larimer--have evidence
Germany: Ancestors of Jacob S. Steiner--have a clue (a letter from a descendant)
Switzerland: Ancestors of Joseph W. Rinehart--have a clue (a family story)
???: Ancestors of Elizabeth (maiden UNK) Steiner
???: Ancestors of Margaret Shank, who married Joseph W. Rinehart