Showing posts with label Morgan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Morgan. Show all posts

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.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Surname Saturday: Bentley and Morgan, from New York

One mystery was solved today when the mail brought death file info for Lucinda H. Bentley Shank, my Tombstone Tuesday for this week.

Lucinda's younger sister, Lucy E. Bentley Larimer, is hubby's great-great-grandma. 

This death document confirms that Lucinda's parents were William T. Bentley of New York and Olivia Morgan Bentley of New York. Lucy's document says her mother was "Oliver" [sic] Morgan.

I'm so glad I didn't accept the name shown on family trees contributed by Ancestry users, who said "S.L. Hixon" was Lucy and Lucinda's mother. As if I needed another reason to look at the documentation for myself, this case shows how important it is to DIG DEEPER before coming to a conclusion!

Next challenge: Where in all of New York State were Lucy and Lucinda born? Where did they and their parents and siblings live?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Lucinda H. Bentley Shank

Gone but not forgotten is the inscription on the tombstone of Lucinda H. Bentley Shank and her husband, Jonas C. Shank. They're buried in Eldridge Cemetery, Elkhart county, Indiana.

Lucinda is hubby's 2d great-grand aunt, the older sister of Lucy E. Bentley, who married great-great granddad Brice S. Larimer.

Just three weeks ago, my query posted on Ancestry's Bentley message board put me in contact with a Bentley researcher who had traced more of the Bentley children, finding Lucinda and Lucy in Elkhart county and learning that the rest of their siblings had journeyed to California in search of fertile farmland and a bit of pioneering adventure.

At his suggestion, I sent for Lucinda's death record. Meanwhile, I also contacted the wonderfully knowledgeable and helpful folks at the Elkhart County Genealogical Society, who sent me the above photo (along with at least a dozen other photos of Larimer family tombstones from Elkhart County). 

According to Lucy Bentley Larimer's death doc, William Tyler Bentley and Oliver [sic] Morgan are her parents. Now we want to confirm by reading the names on Lucinda's death cert.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: The Ten-Minute Genealogist

I'm busy, you're busy, we're all busy. But we really can get things done bit by bit.

Here's what I learned I can accomplish in just 10 minutes:

  • Write and post a message to a surname message board. Above, the message I posted on Friday about a long-standing brick wall ancestor named William Tyler Bentley, hubby's 3d great-grandpa. He almost certainly married Olive Morgan, but it would be nice to have documentation. Less than 24 hours later, a Bentley descendant contacted me! Now we're working together to trace this elusive guy's family. William Tyler Bentley was the father of Lucy E. Bentley, who married Brice S. Larimer. And thanks to the Elkhart County Genealogical Society, I now have much more info about the Larimers (plus a tantalizing lead on Mr. Bentley).
  • Click to follow a hint or two on an Ancestry tree. There are still dozens of unexamined hints on the trees I've posted on Ancestry. When I have a spare minute, I log on and check a few out. Most I click to "ignore" but some are very promising. OK, it's easy to get carried away: Today I was checking the hints on the mother-in-law of the uncle of the wife of a cousin, once removed. Had to stop myself from clicking on those!
  • Blog as cousin bait. I want to make it easy for cousins to find me. The more I blog, the higher the possibility that one of my posts will show up in a search done by someone who's related or knows about my family in some way. It works: One of my 2d cousins found me a few years ago via this blog (hi, Lois!) and another 2d cousin found me via my Ancestry tree just weeks ago (hi, Philly Cuz!).
  • Google a particular ancestor. I'm always finding new things that weren't online or weren't digitized just a year or two ago. It really pays to go through my ancestor list one by one and check out the top "web" results, "image" results, and "news" results, not to mention Google Books and HeritageQuest. In 10 minutes, I can do a quick search on one ancestor. 
  • Read other genealogy blogs. I follow about 60-odd geneablogs, and try to read at least a few every day. You all are having lots of genea-adventures and have taught me so many good tips about family history research! Thank you.