Tuesday, January 29, 2019

52 Ancestors in 2019: #4 -- Charles W. Drake

Charles W. Drake

This week I'm highlighting my three times great grandfather.   I would love to be able to meet and spend some time chatting with him to get his perspective on the many details that have been presented as the stories of his life.   I have so many questions that I would love to hear his answers and fill out the details.

Charles W. Drake was born on March 25, 1843, in Standford, Dutchess, New York.  Based on my research, he was the fourth of six children born to Morris Drake and Sarah Clark.

Some of the first questions I would ask him are:

  • Who were his great-grandparents?
  • Where are his parents buried?
  • What do you know about your family's history?  When did they come to America?
  • Was Edmund Drake really his brother and what are the specifics about his brother's life?
  • What was his childhood like?
  • Was he close with his siblings?
  • What were their holiday traditions? Favorite foods?
  • What was going to school like?
  • Did he keep in touch with his siblings as adults?
Charles Drake married Annagusta West in 1861.   They lived in Duchess County until the 1880-1890s.  They had a family of seven children; six daughters and one son.   When they left Dutchess County moved to Wayne County, New York where Charles' brother John Drake lived.  

Some additional questions I'd ask:

  • How did you meet your wife?
  • When was your actual wedding?
  • Where did you get married?
  • What was life like when your kids were little?
  • What was your perspective of Anna's family?
  • Where were you in 1875 when Anna and your family were living with her brother?
  • Why did you not choose to fight in the Civil War?
  • Why did you move to Wayne County?  
  • What was life like after you moved, how was it different?
  • How did you get here?
  • Why did your daughter Minnie move to Illinois?
  • What can you tell me about each of your children and your wife?
  • Tell me about the pictures that were taken of your family -- what are the stories of each, when were they taken and what was the circumstances?
  • Who did your daughter, Clara, marry? When and where was the wedding?
  • Who were your wife's mother's parents?  Who were the Grahams?
  • Where is your wife's mother buried?
  • What happened between your daughter Sarah and her husband George, where did he go and why did he leave?
  • What is your perspective on the bonfire that accidentally killed Julia?  What happened as result?
  • Why did Anna leave in 1896 and when did she come back?
  • Why were you living in the city with Agnes for a period of time?
  • Did Agnes marry someone before she married Joe Hasselwander?
  • What was Anna's involvement in the WCTU?
  • Would you have considered yourself a drinker?   I'd want to explore how much he drank as he died from cirrhosis - did it impact the family? 
  • What do you know about Anna's siblings?  Why did her brother move to Illinois as a young teen?
What is the story?

Charles died on November 11, 1922, at his home in Marion, NY.   He is buried in the Marion Cemetery.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

52 Ancestors in 2019: #3 - Mary Welbeloved

Mary Welbeloved

For week three of the #52ancestors, I selected to write about my 6 times great grandmother, Mary Welbeloved, as my family member with an unusual name.   As I was looking over my family tree pondering who to write about her name stood out as one that is unusual and unique compared to some of the others.   

I don't have a great deal of information about Mary and am struggling to find that little nugget that will open the door to let more details flow in.   

First of all, in terms of the surname Welbeloved.  I have learned this week that it is from medieval origin meaning "dearly loved by all."  It is believed to date back to the early 14th century.   One of the first recorded individuals with this surname is Richard Wellbyloved appearing in 1327 in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire during the reign of King Edward III.   Surnames became necessary when the government introduced personal taxation.   

The greatest percentage of Welbeloveds appear to have originated or lived near London and its surrounding counties, especially in Middlesex and Surry.  There was a John Welbeloved of Feltham who married Johanna Farr of Ashford in 1529.   Hugh Welbeloved, a yoeman, married Anne Hyne, both of Feltham married in London in 1596.    

My six times great grandmother, Mary Welbeloved, was also married in Feltham which is in Middlesex, England.   She married John West on May 18, 1780.    Records indicate they most likely raised their family in this area as each of their children have baptism records listing this location.  All of her children were baptized at St Dunstan with St Catherines in Feltham, Middlesex, England between 1781 and 1791.

In terms of how I am related to Mary -- Mary Welbeloved was the mother of Joseph West who was the father of Edward West who immigrated to America, he was the father of Annagusta West who born in NYC and moved to Wayne County NY, who was the mother of Sarah Drake who was born in Amenia, NY but also moved to Wayne County, who was the mother of Fred Haskins, who was the father of Vincent Haskins, who was the father of Mark Haskins, father of me!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

52 Ancestors in 2019: #2 - Clara Drake

Clara B. Drake

This week's topic for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is Challenge.  In thinking about the characters/family members in the book I am writing entitled "Between the Dash" I have decided to select Clara B. Drake for this week's blog post.   Clara B. Drake is the daughter of Charles Drake and Annagusta West, my three-times great grandparents.  This makes Clara my third great aunt and she has proven to be a challenge in being able to pull together all of the details of her life.

Clara was born on May 12, 1878, in Dutchess County, NY.   She was the seventh child born to Charles and Anna - having one older brother and five older sisters.  She would later have one younger sister, Agnes, born in 1880.   Her early childhood was spent in Dutchess County, living there until she was at least nine years old.

By the age of 12, Clara and her family had moved to Sodus, NY in Wayne County.  She was attending school in the District No 2 (Maxwell/Sentell) school which was located on the corner of Maxwell Road and Lake Road, just west of Sodus Point.  Myron H Proseus was her teacher.   He was the nephew of her Uncle John Drake and Aunt Mary Proseus Drake, who also lived in Sodus.   Clara had 39 students that attended school with her.  This included her sisters Jennie and Agnes.  On March 10th of 1890, the local paper reported that Clara scored the highest examination score on the Fifth Reader.  It is evidence that she must have been a very good student and quite intelligent.

In 1893, at the age of 15, she was still attending school with the same teacher.  Her sister Jennie took off to Rochester without telling her parents.   Her mother went and retrieved her with enough drama to have it find its way into the town happenings section of the local paper. The family moves from the country into the village of Sodus renting a house of Mill Street owned by William Sergeant one of the most wealthy farmers in the community.  Clara lives at home with her parents for a few more years before she moves to Rochester to find work. During that time her sister Agnes is arrested on a charge of vagrancy and her father, Charles Drake, puts a notice in the local paper that states her mother, Annagusta Drake, has left him and forbids anyone to help her.  It makes one wonder what exactly was going on at the home on Mill Street.  

In the 1900 census, she is listed as living in a boarding house in Rochester working as a telephone operator. This is where the challenge begins, in 1900 I know Clara is in Rochester and is single.   I then can't find her again until the 1915 NY Census has her in Buffalo listed as Mrs Clara White living with Dr Clifford (C.B.) Rowell and working as a servant.    Somewhere between 1900 and 1915 she moves to Buffalo, becomes Mrs White, leaves Mr White and moves in with Dr Clifford Rowell.   She remains residing with C.B. Rowell until her death in 1942.    She is listed as having various occupations during the years she is living with Dr Rowell -- from being his servant, nurse and housekeeper.   She attends social events with him and he attends family gatherings.  Dr Rowell was prominent in the harness horse racing circuit.   It even appears that he named one of his racehorses Clara.  I'm not exactly sure of the true nature of this relationship.   I also do not know when she got married, to whom she married or why she was no longer with her husband.   Did he die?   I can't find a record.  I can't find a record of their marriage.   His information is not listed in the family bible.  He is not in any family portraits.   I believe his name might be Edward B. White but can't find evidence to prove it.  The only thing I can find is a 1905 state census record listing an Edward B. White married to a Clara B White living in Buffalo.   That is the only record that seems to exist and I don't know if it is my Clara White.  My gut says it is but then poof ..... nothing!  The trail and records are cold.

Family lore states that she was married for a short time but was unable to fulfil her marital duties due to a medical condition so they divorced soon after they got married.  The story does not include his name.  Clara B White died on January 30, 1942, she is buried in the Marion Cemetery in the Drake family plot.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

52 Ancestors in 2019: #1 - Margaret West

Margaret West is My "First" Focus for 2019

So - I completely missed 2018!   Didn't write one blog post, but as part of 2019, I'm not dwelling on my past fails and working to find joy in the journey.   Joy: (noun) - a feeling of great pleasure and happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying.  Working on my genealogy brings me joy.   Finally, finishing the book I have been working on, literally for years, will bring me exceptional joy.   Yet, I'm pretty sure as a genealogist the journey is more than half the fun; so maybe subconsciously I'm not finishing for a reason?   Over the past two years, I have done vast amounts of research related to my book and its time to move this journey along.  As an action step to living MyIntent word (JOY) in 2019, I am going to use my blog as a way to flush out those details to assist with the finishing of my book on Annagusta West.   Maybe with any luck, I will finish it in 2019?!

Somewhere along the way, maybe in 2017, I was re-introduced to Margaret West.  She became more than just a name in the family tree.   She was the younger sister of Annagusta West.   Margaret was born on November 26, 1847, to Edward West and Mary Ann Graham in the tenements of NYC.  She was their fourth born child.  The story had always stopped there; Margaret had been a brick wall in my genealogy research but if you dig hard enough and keep at it occasionally you are given gifts.  Strangely enough, I truly do believe that Anna sends me some every now and again.   This gift came by the way of a newspaper posting from February 7, 1929, in The Newark Courier in which there was a notice to all possible heirs of Edward West, Anna's brother.   This notice listed the name Spaulding, which was a name I wasn't familiar with.   I explored this lead and found that Margaret West married James Spaulding in the 1860s.  The brick wall came tumbling down but it got left in a big pile of rubble so I am making her my first focus for this new year.  I'm cleaning up the pieces to make sense of her story and to see how she fits in with her sister.

Margaret West had her first child, Patrick Spaulding in March of 1861.  She was just thirteen years old and James was twenty-five - OMG!  There are no words.   Patrick was born just one month after her parents had Margaret and her siblings baptized at the Church of the Epiphany in NYC.  It was also just three months before her mother died from consumption.   The more I learn about the West family I fear that there was a great deal of dysfunction going on in the home leading up to the years before their mother's death.   James and Margaret would have eight other children before she died while giving birth to their tenth child - Margaret, who also died a few months after being born.    Margaret West Spaulding was only 36 years old when she died.  She is buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY

James and Margaret's Children:

  1. Patrick Spaulding: B. Mar 1861 D. 17 Jun 1943 - he lived at least 43 years in Long Island State Hospital, which was an insane asylum. I believe he was committed after stealing from family members.  I'm trying to find his patient records.
  2. John F. Spaulding: B. 10 Nov 1863 D. 12 Nov 1892 - he died serving as a Brooklyn Fireman with Engine No. 4 working the Harbeck Store Fire.
  3. Daniel Spaulding: B. Feb 1865 D. 19 May 1903 - he worked as a driver, unsure if he married.
  4. Mary Spaulding: B. 1868 D. unknown - she became Sister Dolores Spaulding - living at Holy Cross Convent - Convent of Sisters of Charity in Harrison, NJ.   If anyone knows how to find genealogy records on past nuns please advise.
  5. Elizabeth Spaulding: B. Feb 1869 D. unknown
  6. Annie L Spaulding: B. Jan 1873 D. 19 Oct 1946 - married John J Foster - they are buried with Margaret.  It appears they never had children.
  7. Catherine M. Spaulding: B. Oct 1875 D. 11 Mar 1931 - never married, is buried with her mother.
  8. James Spaulding: B. 1877 D. unknown
  9. Francis Edmund Spaulding B. 13 Jan 1880 D. 04 May 1935 - married Emily Traynor, had two children; Frank E. and James T.   He is buried in St. John's Cemetery.    He took over the family undertaker business.
  10. Margaret Spaulding: B. Oct 1883 D. 02 Dec 1883 - it is presumed that her mother died from complications from giving birth to her.  She died soon after.