Tuesday, January 28, 2014

52 Ancestors Week #4: Phebe Horton

I kind of feel that I am speed dating with my ancestors each week as I randomly select a name from my jar and then I have one week to write something related to the topic that also gets selected.  In some cases I will know a lot about them but so far I have had to do some rather fast digging to gather information to be able to write something about that person. This week I selected Phebe Horton; the topic of focus is what is his/her immigration story or the lack of one.  Needless to say -- this week was no different.  For the most part Phebe Horton has just been a name in my tree and I've known some basic general information about how she fits so this week was a challenge.  I feel like I might be writing more fiction than not this week as I haven't been able to prove a lot of my findings with specific documents so that I have a higher degree of proof then just a hunch.  So if anyone out there can clear up any of my theory PLEASE do so!!!

Fact or Fiction?  My working theory:

I believe Phebe Horton is one of my 4th great grandmothers in my father's paternal line.   She was born between 1800-1803 in New York.  She was married to Stephen McFarland and they resided in Duchess County, New York.

My theory has her as the daughter of William J Horton and Hannah Ackley.  Her siblings were James, Joseph, Esther, Daniel and David.

In terms of her immigration story my theory has the "Horton" family coming to America between 1630 and 1640.  Her ancestor that came and settled in America was Barnabus Horton originally from Mowsley, England.  Barnabus was one of the initial twelve pilgirms to settle Southold, Suffolk, New York.  There is even a lighthouse named after the family that sits on Barnabus' land.

Barnabus had a son Joseph that married Jane Budd, daughter of John Budd who was one of the founding fathers of Southold and Rye, NY.  Joseph and Jane lived in Southold for part of their life but later moved to Rye with her father.  Joseph had at least two sons - John and Joesph.  My current line of research is in the notion to prove that John Horton married Rachel Hoit.  They had three sons; John, Caleb and James.  I believe John married Elizabeth Lee.  They had a son William who married Sarah Wright.  They in turn had a son William which I believe to be Phebe's father. 

That is a lot of speculation --I know that there are definite facts that I can prove with documentation but there are things in the dots that can't be connected with solid evidence.  It is amazing to me that it is almost easier to prove things that happened in the 1600's than things that happened during the 1700 and early 1800's. 

So my search will continue, my curiosity has been peaked but now it is time to shift to yet another leaf in the tree. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

52 Ancestors #3: Teresa Mary Wagner

This week's chosen ancestor is Teresa Mary Wagner.  The prompt/topic is occupations.

Teresa Mary Wagner is my 2nd great grandmother in my father's maternal line.  Teresa was born to John Sebastian Wagner and Mary Teresa McGinnis on May 20, 1861 in Canada.  Her father emigrated from Baden-Wuerttemberg Germany and her mother emigrated from County Meade, Ireland.  Her mother died when she was only two years old and her father soon remarried to Elizabeth Cummin.  At some point after her mother died the family moved to the United States.  In the 1880 US Federal Census, it has her and her family living in Henderson, North Carolina.  She was almost 19 years old and it states that she was "at home" and her father was listed as a farmer.

Teresa did not stay in the US as she married Thomas King Robertson, son of Thomas King Robertson and Elizabeth Blake on June 13, 1890 in Wellington, Ontario Canada.  Thomas King Robertson was an emigrant from Scotland.  Thomas and Teresa had eight children, with two of them being twins.  In the census records and the birth records of their children it states that Thomas was a private gardener, but it appears that Teresa did not work out side of the home.  This makes Teresa's occupation a housewife and mother.  This was very common during this time period in Canada.

From what I can tell, based on the little and quick research I was able to do this week pertaining to the social history of housewives in Canada, during this time period many upper and middle class families had domestic servants to assist with the household chores/responsibilities. The inside of the home was the domain of the wife - she took care of it and made sure that it ran smoothly.  Those with money were able to hire help to assist with the many things that needed to be done.  From the three census that are released with information about Thomas and Teresa's family it does not appear that they had hired help.  Teresa would have been left to care for her children and the household all on her own.  There was a perception that women that worked were considered "unfortunates."  Widows, divorcees, deserted and separated women, single women and wives of the unemployed were the women in the workforce.  The women's role was homemaker and consumer.  Men were urged to give women a degree of financial independence; many were given an allowance for household expenses.

I haven't been able to prove this with records yet but I have been told that at some point Teresa's husband Thomas left the family and returned to Scotland where he later died.  In the 1921 Census, Thomas is no longer residing with the family.  Teresa is still not "working" and has two of her children living with her.  She is residing next door to one of her daughters.  It appears that Teresa may of never worked outside of the home but if she raised eight children she clearly worked in all senses of the word.

Teresa died in November of 1948 and is buried in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada in the Victoria Lawn Cemetery.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

52 Ancestors #2: August Leisten

I have decided that I am going to use my Ancestry Blogging Jar to help me in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  From my jar for week 2, I have selected August Leisten for my ancestor and the prompt chosen is "pick a vital and discuss what you know."  So here it goes....

August Leisten is my third great grandfather on my Dad's maternal line. 

He was born on July 14, 1838 in Mecklenburg-Schwerin and he died on November 12, 1922 in Penfield, NY.  I am going to write about what I know about his death; mostly because that is what I have the most information on.

Based on August's obituary I know that he died on a Sunday morning at the house of his daughter, Wilhelmina Leisten Oestriech.  She was living in Roseland which is part of Penfield. He would have been 84 years old.

His notice of death from the Fairport Hearld on November 15, 1922 reads...

August Leisten died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Henry Oestriech, Sunday morning.  He was born in Germany and came to this country at the age of 17.  Most of the time he has lived in this place.  He was the last of eight brothers and sisters.  He leaves to mourn his loss three sons, Charles of Brighton, Louie, of this place, and Fred of Rochester; and three daughters, Mrs. Henry Oestriech, of this place, Mrs. George Kuhls, of Henrietta, and Mrs. John Peglow, of Rochester; thirty-five grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.

I have found his burial record in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Death and Burial Records 1850-1940.- Church in Webster, NY.  From this record I know that he was buried on November 14, 1922 in Smith Cemetery.  His burial service was done by Pastor Hoffman and the text read at the burial was 1 Peter 1:24-25.  

The bible verses read -
 As the Scriptures say, "People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field.  The grass withers and the flower fades.  But the word of the Lord remains forever."
August was buried with his wife Louise who died in 1917. They had been married for 49 years.  This is a picture of their tombstone.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

52 Ancestors: #1 - Peter Derks

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

I have decided to accept the challenge thrown out there for 2014 by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small.  She had a great idea to have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  I am hoping that accepting this challenge will get me back in my blogging mode.  So here goes my first week.

My first ancestor is Peter Derks.  He was my great grandfather.

Peter Derks was born in Groede, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands on January 13, 1881.  He was the son of Abraham Dierx and Jozina Johanna Bulting.  I was told he was one of 21 children (3 sets of twins) but I have yet to be able to prove that -- I do know of 10 siblings most of which stayed in Holland.

When Peter was 24 he married Sarah Vergouwe, daughter of Pieter Vergouwe and Catharina van Bortel.  They were married on January 26, 1904 in Zuidzande, Oostburg, Zeeland, Netherlands.  Soon after they were married they had their first child; Abram.

On June 13, 1905 Peter, his wife and 8 month old son arrived in America coming through Ellis Island.  They left Rotterdam; Peter with $14.00 and Sarah with $10.00.  They were headed to Penfield, NY to stay with Sarah's uncle, J. van Bortel.  This uncle also paid for their fare for their trip.

Once they arrived in America they found their way to their destination and lived in the City of Rochester. Peter worked for many years as a private gardener.  Between 1920 and 1925 they moved to Williamson, NY where Peter took up farming.  Peter and Sarah had 10 children, one of them being my grandfather Arthur Derks.

Peter died in 1960 and is buried in a cemetery on Lake Road in Williamson, New York.   From writing this I realize I know the basics about my great grandfather but I need to fill in and find a lot of missing pieces to his story.