Sunday, March 23, 2014

52 Ancestors #9: Catherine Proctor

Catherine Proctor -- Are you my 6th great grandmother?

For week #9  I selected Catherine Proctor - whom I'm in the process of trying to prove is one of my 6th great grandmothers in my father's paternal line.  The prompt I selected was to place your ancestor in an historical event/time period.

Catherine Proctor is one of my brick walls -- I can't find any documents to actually prove her relationship to me.  What I believe is she is the mother of Edmund P. Drake, my 5th great grandfather.  Edmund was born in New York around 1774.  He died in Dutchess County, New York on November 16, 1842 and is buried in the Smithfield Burying Ground in Amenia, NY.   He married Sally Ann Watson and had at least one child named Morris Drake.   He married Sarah Harriet, and they had a son Charles Drake born on March 25, 1843 and died on November 11, 1922.  Charles is my 3rd great grandfather.

I have found various documents that lead me to believe that my theory might be correct but none of it is direct evidence from a primary source document.  One of my sources is entitled the Bogardus Papers; Frank A Traver Papers -John E Drake .  This set of documents provide some of the lineage of the Drake family.  It states that John Drake and Catherine Proctor had a son Samuel, born on July 16, 1778.  I believe that this is the brother to Edmund P. Drake. Samuel had a son that he named Edmund P. Drake.   Another source indicates that Samuel Drake was also the father of Jane C Drake Knickerbocker. In her estate one of her heirs/distributees was named Edmund P. Drake.  It is believed that John and Catherine also had a son Henry who had a grandson named Edmund Proctor Drake Merritt, and another of their believed sons, Josias, named one of his daughters Catherine P. Drake.  That means that there were four Drake men, all who resided near the hamlet of Smithfield in the northeastern corner of Amenia, Dutchess County, New York who have either female descendants named Catherine or male descendants named Edmund or have a middle name of Proctor.  All though there is no physical documents that I can produce to prove this there sure are a lot of coincidences that lead me to believe that she is indeed my 6th great grandmother.

As far as Catherine being placed in an historical event or time period, she was in the heart of the American Revolutionary War.  It is believed that her husband John fought with the 6th Regiment of the Dutchess County Militia as well as being one of the individuals that signed The Pledge in Amenia during July of 1775.  Her husband could have been gone for months at a time when they were called into action to fight for our Country's freedom.  She would have been left at home to care for her young children and the family farm.  Many women didn't stay at home when their husbands left for war, they actually followed them taking on many of the traditional women's chores at camp. 

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