Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Monday, May 31, 2010

May Ruminations

Top genealogy site awards

Before My Time found itself amid some very esteemed company this month when it was included on a list of's Top 100 Genealogy Sites. A click on the ribbon above will take you to the list, where you'll find many of the excellent blogs that I read regularly. And I've had a great time the past couple of weeks visiting the ones I was unfamiliar with. The variety of topics and approaches is without limit. If you're interested in genealogy and family history, you're sure to find sites you'll want to visit and revisit. (Don't overlook the MyHeritage Blog itself!)

In the course of looking up some stuff for my Surname: Russell post, I discovered While poking around the freely accessible portion of the site, I found something that blew my genealogical socks off. There appears to be a branch in my family tree which is hung heavily with dukes and earls and such, along with historical characters of mythical proportions--William the Conqueror, King Henry II and Eleonore d'Aquitaine, Charlemagne--and many more kings and queens of various and sundry countries that I've never heard of. (As you surely know by now, I'm not a history buff. Sort of.). Although I've been ruminating royally all month, I find it's more than I want to get into here. I'll be posting some thoughts on this subject June 5th. Please come back to read them, especially if you've discovered royalty in the branches of your own family tree, but even if you haven't. I have questions and will be eager to hear your thoughts.

At ShawGenealogy, Jen's excellent series of posts on The Genealogical Proof Standard was one of the excellent entries in this month's Carnival of Genealogy. The topic was "How-To Series" and I rank it among the best-ever COGs. So much to learn, so many outstanding geneabloggers to learn from!

Jen's how-to series was good grounding for Evidence Management Explained by The Ancestry Insider. Although I fall solidly (probably with a thud!) into the "hobbyist" camp when it comes to genealogy, I do wish to be barking up the right family tree, so to speak. And, as I've been gathering evidence for more than twenty years in hopes of ending up with a preponderance, but not being quite organized enough to pull it all together into a proof, I'd love being able to produce spreadsheet reports from my Legacy database like the ones in that post. Until that's possible, Insider's explanation gives me a more organized way to think things through. I found the comments interesting also.


May Accomplishments
  • I read two books. Not just any two, mind you, but history books! And found them interesting!
  • Daily posts, three months in a row! Zowie!
  • Posted some unrelated memorial cards at Find-A-Grave.
  • Created my first book using Blurb and the content of my first (non-genealogy) blog. I couldn't be happier with the end product. The quality of materials and workmanship way outshines the humble content which, surrounded by all that glow, looks a lot better than it is! The Blurb software was reasonably easy to work with after reading the instructions, but I was glad I chose a 'starter' project to learn on. I have a much better foundation now for planning a more elaborate project about family history.
And in the other column . . .
  • I was disappointed to find nary a soul named Buss in the microfilms I'd ordered based on what I thought might be the correct place name, nor did my cousin Mary find any in the microfilms she'd ordered from a nearby parish. We're now reviewing her results from prior searching in another area where she found lots of Busses, many with first names similar to the ones in our tree, and with dates in a similar timeframe. But none of them quite fit!
  • Again this month I neglected to add newfound names to my Legacy database. (Charlemagne, indeed...)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to . . .

. . . Ripon, Wisconsin. You're not getting tired of hearing about The Anti-Rent War on Blenheim Hill, are you? Because it seems there's just no end to the amusement springing from it. Today's revelation doesn't seem to apply to my Efners in any more than a peripheral way, but I found it interesting, nonetheless, to learn something about Oscar E. Loper, with whom they were surely acquainted.

In yesterday's post, we learned that it was Oscar who first visited Ripon township in Wisconsin to check out the land that was being opened up to settlers in the 1840s. Hard to imagine that Wisconsin was wilderness so short a time ago, but there it is. Oscar, as you'll recall, returned to South Gilboa, New York and "organized a colony of its members" for a move to Wisconsin [Bouton Papers, Efner file].

It was Amos Loper who was mentioned several times in Mayham's book, and I was curious to know how Oscar was related to him, so I went to my first-choice source for second-hand information, WorldConnect at RootsWeb. Oscar, I learned, was Amos' son. Oscar had moved to a place in Wisconsin called Ceresco, according to the notes in the Wehling family tree. I'd never heard of Ceresco and wondered if it was near Lyndon, where Ezekiel Efner settled, or perhaps near Ripon, where Ezekiel's sister Catherine Whiting settled.

So next I googled "Loper Ceresco Wisconsin." The first thing I read was this:
The first claim on the north side of the river was made by Mr. O. E. Loper while it was still Indian lands and not open to legal settlement. After the Indian title was extinguished by the government at the treaty of Poygan, the lands were rapidly taken up and now they are cleared and improved. A small cranberry marsh was cultivated on the western margin of the town. Mr. Loper, who was first to settle north of the river, had been a member of the Fourier community at Ceresco. [Lawson, p. 332]
That confused me a little... was this the right O. E. Loper? I was looking for the one from Schoharie County, New York. And what's a Fourier community? So I searched for Fourier in the same book, and found this:
Mr. Lester Rounds had come from Ceresco, where he had been secretary of the community of Fourites under the name of the Wisconsin Phalanx of the Fourier association... ." [Lawson, p. 331]
Phalanx? Fourites? Hmm, back to Google... and what I found next was so unexpected that I thought the whole story blogworthy:
François Marie Charles Fourier (April 7, 1772 – October 10, 1837) was a French utopian socialist and philosopher who... envisioned a society organized in units called “phalanxes” composed of male and female representatives of 810 personality types, in which natural interaction would automatically result in peace and harmony. In these communities the status of manual labor would be elevated by making work enjoyable and satisfying. Fourier also advocated the emancipation of women and coined the word féminisme in 1837.
Read more about Fourier at New World Encyclopedia.

Having come of age in the late 1960s, on occasion I had toyed with the idea of joining a commune myself. I've always had a fondness for unconventional ideas, I admit. I did read quite a bit about it at the time. I'm surprised I don't remember any mention of Fourier, and if there was any reference to commune experiments in the previous century, it made no lasting impression on me. Nevertheless, I did let the commune idea pass. It seems I'm a staunch adherent of the A Fool And His Money Are Soon Parted school of philosophy and couldn't quite release my grip on the purse-strings.

Neither do I recall, by the way, ever hearing of Fourier in relation to the term feminism when it was on everyone's lips (including mine) in the 1970s. So for me, this discovery casts a pretty interesting light on the 1840s!

But, what about Ceresco? The commune was begun in 1844 and enjoyed some successful years until 1850 when it disbanded and became first the village of Ceresco and later part of Ripon. I found the following three websites particularly interesting and informative:
Oscar Loper, according to the Wehling family tree at WorldConnect, arrived at Ceresco in 1845, and his father came with the rest of the family in 1847. Alonzo, Oscar's brother, arrived in 1846 (State of Wisconsin Blue Book). All went to Ceresco, and some remained at Ripon afterwards, long enough to be buried at "Loper Cemetery, next to Loper School, on Loper Hill."

I find it hard to imagine that a Blenheim Hill anti-renter would fight for the right to own his own property, and then turn right around and go all the way to Wisconsin to join a commune. For that reason, I suspect the Lopers were among those who joined the Ceresco community as a financial investment rather than a lifestyle choice.

I wish there existed a list of all who joined Ceresco. It would be interesting to know if there were others from Blenheim Hill.

My third great-grandfather, Ezekiel T. Efner, went to Wisconsin in 1848. I have no reason to believe that he ever lived at Ceresco or Ripon--I've seen only Cascade and Lyndon mentioned with regard to him. And by the time Charles and Catherine Efner Whiting arrived at Ripon in 1854, the Ceresco commune was history. Still, this fascinating bit of history was a part of the culture at the time. I wonder what they thought of it.

What do you think of it?

Lawson, Publius V. History, Winnebago County, Wisconsin Its Cities, Towns, Resources, People. Chicago: C.F. Cooper and Co, 1908.

For further reading: The Spirit of the Age

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Bouton Papers on the Migration to Wisconsin

My third great-grandfather, Ezekiel Taylor Efner, was born in New York in 1801 and christened at the Middleburgh Dutch Reformed Church. He lived in Schoharie County until 1848 when he moved his family to Wisconsin [Davis, p. 22], where he was enumerated at Lyndon in the 1850 census. His sister Catherine and her husband, Charles Whiting, moved to Wisconsin in 1854, settling at Ripon [Lawson, p. 1192].

When I read in The Anti-Rent War on Blenheim Hill that a number of Schoharie County residents relocated to Wisconsin during that same time period, I wanted to know more. I was fortunate to find a page about it in the Efner file of the Bouton Papers:
In 1915 Hector P. Taylor of Jefferson, N. Y. who was visiting at Ripon, Wisconsin, met Alonzo A. Loper from whom he received the following:

About 80 years ago one Oscar Loper of South Gilboa, N. Y. came as a land prospector and struck the then new country of what afterward became Ripon township, Fon du Lac County, Wisconsin, and found land to be for sale in one-fourth and one-half sections at the regular fixed price of $1.25 per acre. Seeing great possibilities in this section he went back to South Gilboa, N. Y., and organized a colony of its members. The party represented such names as Loper, Whiting, Brown, Sage, Pierce, Fink, McArthur, Wood, Effner.

About the year 1886, by special count there was found to be 70 persons living in the town of Ripon who had come from Blenheim Hill, Gilboa, Jefferson and vicinity, including Henry Mattice and family, Martha McArthur, etc. During this period of time the land has passed through the hands of the third generation, and many times out of the family. The land today finds quick sale at $150 per acre.

Mr. Taylor's sister, Fanny Taylor of Jefferson, N. Y., was the wife of Winfield S. Mattice of Ripon.
Most of these surnames were familiar to me after reading Mayham's book, and a few are also found in the Efner family tree.

Mayham, Albert Champlin. The Anti-Rent War on Blenheim Hill: An Episode of the 40's : a History of the Struggle between Landlord and Tenant Growing Out of the Patroon System in the Eastern Part of New York. Jefferson, N.Y.: F.L. Frazee, 1906.

Davis, Lewis Jay. Our Kinsmen: A Family History. Portland, Oregon: [The Metropolitan press], 1936.

Lawson, Publius V. History, Winnebago County, Wisconsin Its Cities, Towns, Resources, People. Chicago: C.F. Cooper and Co, 1908.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Recruiting Workers for Aircraft Manufacturing - 1944

Run time: 8:58

Names of people and places mentioned in this film:
  • Lowell Thomas (narrator)
  • George Bost
  • Pittsburgh
  • Beaver, Pennsylvania
  • Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
  • Beatrice Jennings
  • Woodridge, New Jersey
  • Paterson, New Jersey
  • Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Lamb, who had daughters 11, 13, and 15 years old ca. 1944
  • Jane James, 22, whose husband was in a Nazi prison after being captured in N. Africa
Were these real people or characters created for the ads? Either way, they're Google-searchable now!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Surname: Friderici

The Friderici surname comes to me via my grandma Evelyn Hauer Kerr. Her third great-grandfather was:
  • Carl Franz Anton Friderici of Herzfeld, Westfalen, Germany. He would have been born before or about 1725. He first married Anna Gertrud Schulte on 2 May 1746, and with her had two children. She died 24 January 1749 at Herzfeld. On 29 July of that that year, he married Anna Maria Elise Mesches (or Meschede), and with her he had five more children. Carl and Elise were my fifth great-grandparents.
  • Maria Clara Friderici, who was born at Herzfeld 21 December 1755. She married Joan Herman Meÿer on 17 November 1778 at Herzfeld. Joan and Maria were my fourth great-grandparents.
He who kept the record books in Herzfeld was a man of few words:

Marriage record of Carl Friderici and Gertrud Schulte ~ 2 May 1746

Death record of Gertrud Schulte Friderici ~ 24 January 1749

Marriage record of Carl Friderici and Elizabeth Mesches ~ 29 July 1749

Christening record of Maria Clara Friderici ~ 21 December 1755
(click to enlarge)

Christening records of other children born to Carl and Elizabeth Friderici show her maiden name as Meschede.

Katholische Kirche Herzfeld (Herzfeld, Kr. Beckum, Westfalen, Germany). Birth, marriage & death registers. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. FHL microfilm 871723 & 871724. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Surname: Ontrup

The Ontrup surname comes to me via my grandma Evelyn Hauer. Her fourth great-grandmother was:
  • Elisabeth Ontrup, born about 1728. She married Joan Henricus Hagedorn on 18 June 1765 at Wadersloh, Westfalen, Prussia. I know of only two children born to this couple. Elisabeth died 18 December 1798 in Wadersloh. She and Joan were my sixth great-grandparents.

Wadersloh Katholische Kirche (Kreis Beckum) (Wadersloh, Westfalen, Germany). Taufen, Heiraten, Tote, Konfirmanden, Verzeichnis. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. FHL microfilm 860792-860796 and 871719-722. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Surname: Erdman

Marriage record of Lubert Brede and Gertrud Erdman

The Erdman surname comes to me via my grandma, Evelyn Kerr. Her fourth great-grandmother was:
  • Gertrud Meyer Erdman, who married Lubbert Brede on 12 February 1760 at Wadersloh, Westfalen, Prussia. She died 3 September 1784 in Wadersloh. Gertrud and Lubbert were my sixth great-grandparents.

Wadersloh Katholische Kirche (Kreis Beckum) (Wadersloh, Westfalen, Germany). Taufen, Heiraten, Tote, Konfirmanden, Verzeichnis. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. FHL microfilm 860792-860796 and 871719-722. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Surname: Brede

The Brede surname is part of the heritage of Evelyn Hauer. Her fourth great-grandfather was:
  • Lubbert Brede, who married Gertrud Meier Erdman on 12 February 1760 at Wadersloh, Westfalen, Prussia. Together they had seven known children. Lubbert died 27 March 1775 at Wadersloh. He and Gertrud were my sixth great-grandparents.
  • Anna Gertrudis Brede, born 3 March 1763 at Wadersloh. She married Gerhardus Henricus Hagedorn on 29 May 1798. They were my fifth great-grandparents.

Wadersloh Katholische Kirche (Kreis Beckum) (Wadersloh, Westfalen, Germany). Taufen, Heiraten, Tote, Konfirmanden, Verzeichnis. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. FHL microfilm 860792-860796 and 871719-722. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Bouton Papers on the Anti-Rent War

Last week I wrote about The Anti-Rent War on Blenheim Hill. Although no Efner was mentioned in the book, I thought that event might have had an impact on my ancestors and might have precipitated my third-great-grandpa Ezekiel T. Efner's move from New York to Wisconsin.

This week I've had the opportunity to read several pages of the Euguene Bouton Papers (Efner file), and my suspicions were confirmed. The Efner family, although not mentioned by name in Mayham's book, was surely affected by, if not actively involved in, the Anti-Rent War. Today's post is about the relationships that lead me to think so.

I made the chart above primarily to help illustrate how a number of surnames mentioned in Mayham's book are connected to Efner family members. The chart is neither comprehensive nor documented; it is simply a way to visualize what I'm going to point out.

(If I told you how long it took me to make the chart, I'm pretty sure you'd have a good case for getting me institutionalized. I began the project thinking I would use it to learn how to use FreeMind mind-mapping software--I happen to have version 0.8 but had never tried using it. After a frustrating hour or so, I was ready to admit I'm not that smart, so I bailed out and put my comfortable old Paint Shop Pro skills to work instead. After that, it took... oh yeah, I wasn't going to tell you that, was I?)

According to Bouton, there exists an old Efner Bible which, at the time of his research, was in the possession of Helen B. Easton of Peoria, Illinois. (Where, oh, where is this Bible now? I would happily cross a few state lines to get a look at it! Reader, if you can help me out, please click on this Contact link and let me know how to reach you.)

In the Bible, there are listed eleven children of Valentine Efner and his wife, Elizabeth Martin, my fourth great-grandparents, who are represented at the top center of the chart above. I've surrounded them with only five of their children (aqua ovals) for the purpose of this discussion. Each of the five ovals is overlapped with a brown rectangle showing the name of that person's spouse.

At the center, I've listed all the children of Margaret Efner and her husband, Dr. John Cornell. With the exception of Dr. Cornell's sister Elizabeth and Eugene Bouton, all remaining names are spouses of the Cornell children.

The Cornell surname appears 17 times in The Anti-Rent War on Blenheim Hill. The first mention is of Henry, but later references to "Dr. Cornell" refer to Margaret Efner's husband. On page 50, Dr. John Cornell is named specifically as one of the three men wanted by the sheriff for being the most active among the anti-renters. On page 59, there's a reference to "two of his little children, John and Bettie," and a bit of dialogue in which Mrs. Cornell speaks to another son, addressing him as "Sime." (That chapter begins on page 58, and you might as well start there, because Margaret has quite an entertaining part in this scene!)

In the Efner file, Bouton wrote, "Dr. Cornell's children are named in the old Wood School District as Ezekiel, Valentine, Simon, Margaret, John Tuttle, and Betsey." I've shamelessly added the others to my chart from WorldConnect with no intention of verifying the research; it serves my purpose here well enough as it stands. Take it for what it is--a small part of this discussion.

Bouton says this about Dr. Cornell (and my comments follow below the line):
He was a well known and highly respected physician and leading citizen in the northern part of Gilboa, which was taken from Blenheim in 1848. He was active in the Anti-Rent movement in the 1840's. He lived on the road leading from Cornell Hollow to the Blenheim Hill Methodist Church. At Sage place 1858 [*see note below] a camp meeting was held in the grove on the west side of the road opposite the Cornell home on the east. A lumber wagon with boards around the sides of the box for seats conveyed a company from Jefferson village to the meeting.
After the adoption at an Anti-Rent meeting of a resolution calling for "such laws as will enable the tenants to purchase the land of the Patroons at a fair consideration," Dr. Cornell announced, "I want to make a motion that will carry here tonight. I move that at our next meeting we get together in the afternoon and have a pole raising. I want to see a flag floating here bearing the words, 'Down with the Rent.'"

[*The phrase "At Sage place 1858" appears to be a type-over. Underneath, it appears to have said "At Sage place" without the year. I can't begin to guess the who or why of this change, and I'm confused because 1858 was well after the Anti-Rent War, which seems to be the subject immediately before and after the two sentences introduced by this phrase. Therefore I'm not sure whether the sentences actually are about a camp meeting in 1858, or alternatively about one of the meetings of the anti-renters which occurred during the timeframe covered in Mayham's book. The last three lines above (i.e., what Dr. Cornell is quoted as saying) appear verbatim in Mayham's book, but they were said to have been spoken in a meeting at the Brimstone church, not at the Sage place. The Sage surname, by the way, appears in Mayham's book a dozen times; they were anti-renters.]
Dr. Cornell's sister Elizabeth married Milo Wood in 1824, according to Bouton. Milo's name appears twice in Mayham's book.

The Mayham surname appears in the book 22 times, including the authorship references. According to the Bouton Papers, Dr. Cornell's daughter Ellen was first married to Isaac Mayham, a brother of Stephen L. Mayham (who is named in the book along with another brother, John). Ellen's second husband, Elijah Danforth, had been married first to Hannah Maria Bouton, an older half-sister of Eugene Bouton. The Bouton Papers also say that my grandfather Ezekiel lived on the Charles Mayham farm, although no timeframe is given.

Dr. Cornell's son Ezekiel would have reached marrying age during the later years of the Anti-Rent War. He married Rosetta Fidelia Decker. I haven't been able to discover whether she was related to Christopher Decker or two other Deckers who were anti-renters, but I'd be surprised if she wasn't.

Dr. Cornell's daughter Elizabeth (Bettie in Mayham's book, Betsey in Bouton's Efner file) was married, years after the Anti-Rent War, to Isaac Peaslee, one of the cradled babies I met on the first page of Chapter I in Mayham's book!

By hokey nettie! Now that I know who all these people are, I want to read that book again!


The Bouton Papers are a compilation of genealogical research material related to some 100 families who lived in the Town of Jefferson, Schoharie County, New York, from its settlement in 1794 to the mid-1900s. Click to read more about Eugene Bouton and His Papers.

Mayham, Albert Champlin. The Anti-Rent War on Blenheim Hill: An Episode of the 40's : a History of the Struggle between Landlord and Tenant Growing Out of the Patroon System in the Eastern Part of New York. Jefferson, N.Y.: F.L. Frazee, 1906.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Eugene Bouton and His Papers

The Eugene Bouton Papers are a great source of information for people with roots in Jefferson, Schoharie County, New York. My Efner and Martin ancestors are among those families researched by Dr. Bouton.

Because I question some of the details from Dr. Bouton's Martin file, I became curious about the man. Who was he? What was his interest in these families? Where did he get his information? And how could I get my hands on a copy of his Efner file?

I was able to learn quite a bit about Dr. Bouton online, and in this post, I will hook you up with links which answer these questions and more. Let's start out with a short biography published when he was forty years old:
Eugene Bouton, A.M., Ph.D , was born at Jefferson, Schoharie Co., N. Y., Dec. 6, 1850. His primary and intermediate education was received in the public schools of Jefferson, and his preparation for college was obtained chiefly at Cazenovia Seminary, Cazenovia, N. Y., where he secured numerous prizes for proficiency in his several studies. After a course at Yale College, in which he excelled especially in composition and oratory, he was graduated in 1875, being the class poet, and having received during the course, several honors of a similar character.

After teaching for two years at the Norwich Academy, Norwich, N. Y., and then for three years at Sherburne, N. Y., as principal of the union school, he was elected Professor of the English Language and Literature in the Albany Academy at Albany, N. Y, which position he retained for three and a half years. In the spring of 1881 he was elected Professor of History and English Literature in the College of Charleston at Charleston, S. C, but decided to remain at Albany. After studying poetry under Prof. H A. Beers, he received the degree of M.A. from Yale College, in 1881. During the summer of 1881 he traveled in Great Britain and France, for the pupose of obtaining information concerning his favorite studies, and in 1882 he received the degree of Ph.D. from Syracuse University, on an examination in English Literature.

On the first of January, 1884, he was appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction a member of the Institute Faculty of the State of New York, and served thereon two years, until he was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, in January, 1886, and shortly afterwards Principal of the State Normal and Training School at New Paltz, Ulster Co., N. Y.

During the autumn of 1884, he published, in connection with Prof. James Johonnot, a work on elementary physiology and hygiene, entitled "How We Live ; or the Human Body, and How to take Care of It." D. Appleton & Co., New York. He has also published various papers on educational and other topics.

June 29, 1887, he married Elizabeth Rumrill Gladwin, b. Sherburne, N. Y., Oct. 9,1865, daughter of Albert R. Gladwin, Esq., of Sherburne, Chenango Co., N. Y.

Boughton, James, and Willis A. Boughton. Bouton--Boughton Family; Descendants of John Boution, a Native of France, Who Embarked from Gravesend, Eng., and Landed at Boston in December, 1635, and Settled at Norwalk, Ct. Albany: J. Munsell's Sons, 1890.

In July 1947, Dr. Bouton received a letter from Yale University informing him that, at the age of 96, he was Yale's oldest living graduate. Two newspaper clippings with additional biographical information were published at that time; transcriptions are online at Schoharie County NYGenWeb. He died after a brief illness on March 31, 1951, at the age of 100 [The New York Times, Sunday, 1 April 1951, p. 93].

Next you'll want to read the text of Dr. Boughton's brochure which he sent out in the mid-1900s to spread word of his project to collect information about the families living in the Town of Jefferson, Schoharie County, New York from its settlement in 1794 through the mid-1900s.

The Schoharie County NYGenWeb Site also has a very helpful page about the Bouton Papers and how to obtain files from the collection.

The actual Bouton Papers are housed at the New York State Library. However, the index to the Bouton Papers is reproduced at Schoharie County NYGenWeb, where some of the files have been transcribed and are available online (active links provided).

I obtained my Efner file pages by mail from the Old Stone Fort Library at Schoharie, New York. This library's excellent website enables detailed planning of a research trip I'd love to take!

Update: I'd like to thank reader Terry Bradshaw for contacting me with this information: "The bio of Bouton you quote contains an error. His college prep was done at the Stamford Seminary in Stamford, New York."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Surname: Hagedorn

Hagedorn - Ontrup marriage record
(click to enlarge any image in this post)

The Hagedorn surname comes to me via my grandma, Evelyn Hauer. Her fourth great-grandfather was:
  • Joan Henricus Hagedorn, whose wife was Elisabeth Ontrup (the widow of Erdman?). They were married 18 June 1765 in Wadersloh, Westfalen, Prussia. Joan died 22 January 1779 in Wadersloh. Joan and Elisabeth were my sixth great-grandparents.
  • Gerhardus Henricus Hagedorn, born 20 October 1766 in Wadersloh. He married Anna Gertrudis Brede on 29 May 1798. Together they had eight known children. Gerhardus Henricus and Anna Gertrudis were my fifth great-grandparents.
  • Clara Elisabeth Hagedorn, christened 22 July 1798 in Wadersloh. Clara was my fourth great-grandmother.
  • Maria Gertrud Hagedorn, born 13 December 1820 at Wadersloh and christened the next day. She married Johann Hermann Meyer-Schulte on 11 August 1840 at Beckum, Westfalen. She outlived Hermann, who died in May 1855. Maria Gertrud and Hermann were my third great-grandparents.

Hagedorn - Brede marriage record

Clara Elisabeth Hagedorn christening record

Maria Gertrud Hagedorn christening record
(The notation later added below this record indicates
Maria married Schulte of Herzfeld in Beckum.
The dates in this notation jibe with the marriage
record as it appears in the Beckum churchbook.)

Wadersloh Katholische Kirche (Kreis Beckum) (Wadersloh, Westfalen, Germany). Taufen, Heiraten, Tote, Konfirmanden, Verzeichnis. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. FHL microfilm 860792-860796 and 871719-722. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Surname: Krenz, Krentz, Krintz, Krantz

The names of two Krenz ancestors are highlighted
in this
detail from the Evangelical marriage banns
Martin Krenz and Anna Mariane Strech.

My paternal grandfather was John Samuel Krentz. His great-grandfather was:
  • Johann Krenz of Ostrowke, named in the marriage record of his son Martin. He was probably born before 1772. He was my third great-grandfather.
  • Johann Martin Krenz of Podanin, born about 1792. He married Anna Marianne Streich at Podanin on 22 January 1823. To my knowledge, they did not emigrate. Martin and Anna Marianne were my great-great-grandparents.
  • Johann Michael Krenz, born 26 October 1837 at Podanin, Posen, Prussia, and christened there on November 5. His first marriage, to Anna Louise Butow (Büto, Bueto), was recorded at Chodziez, Posen, Prussia on 21 January 1862. Together they had eight children, three of whom died in infancy. Upon arrival in the United States, this family stayed first at Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, but soon settled permanently in Reynolds, White County, Indiana. Anna Louise died there 8 October 1874. Michael next married Christine Friederike Dorothea (Dora) Brandt at Reynolds on 24 April 1875. Dora had a daughter of her own (also called Dora), and together Michael and Dora had eight more children, one of whom died in infancy. Michael died 7 January 1924 at Reynolds, and was buried at the Lutheran cemetery. Michael and Dora were my great-grandparents.
  • Johann Samuel Krenz, born 19 May 1891 in Reynolds and christened there May 31 at the German Lutheran church. He married Margreta (Gertie) Buss on 11 February 1914 at Moorhead, Minnesota. They made their home in Ransom County, North Dakota, where they had nine children, seven of whom lived to adulthood. John died 27 August 1978 and was buried in the little cemetery at Anselm.
Evangelische Kirche Kolmar (KrSt. Kolmar). Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1809-1874 (Protestant parish register transcripts of baptisms, marriages and deaths for Kolmar, Posen, Germany; now Chodzież, Poznań, Poland). Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969, 1981. FHL INTL Films 807991-807993.

Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja Chodzież (Chodzież). Kopie księg metrykalnych, 1819-1874 (Transcripts of Roman Catholic parish register of births, marriages and deaths for Kolmar, Posen, Germany; now Chodzież (Chodzież), Poznań, Poland. Salt Lake City, Utah: Mikrofilmowało The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969, 1981. FHL INTL Film 807956.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

119 Years Ago Today

My paternal grandpa, John Samuel Krentz, was born on 19 May 1891 in Reynolds, White County, Indiana. His parents were Johann Michael Krenz and Christine Friederike Dorothea Brandt. John was the last of the eight children his parents had together. In addition, he had eight half-siblings on his father's side and one more on his mother's side, making him the youngest of seventeen children. However, three half-siblings and one full brother died in infancy long before John was born.

click to enlarge

John was christened at the German Lutheran church in Reynolds on 31 May 1891, and he attended the German Lutheran school there as a child. He was confirmed on 16 April 1905, but his mother was not there to attend the confirmation; she had died in August 1903, when John was just twelve.

Confirmation Certificate of John Samuel Krentz
(currently the best copy available--I hope to replace
it with a high-resolution scan as soon as possible)

When he was still in his teens, John left Indiana to join some of his full siblings who had moved to North Dakota. It was there that he eventually made a home for himself, married and raised a family, and spent the remainder of his life.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Surname: Manthey

The Manthey surname comes to me via my grandpa John S. Krentz. His great-grandmother was:
  • Anna Manthey of Podanin, Posen, Prussia. She was married to Matthias Streich. They were my third great-grandparents.
Anna and Matthias are named in the marriage record of their daughter, Anna Marianne Streich, and Martin Krentz.

Anna Manthey's name is highlighted in this
detail from the Catholic marriage record of
Martin Krenz and Anna Mariane Streich.
(From this record, incidentally, it appears
that Martin's
first name was Johann.)

Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja Chodzież (Chodzież). Kopie księg metrykalnych, 1819-1874 (Transcripts of Roman Catholic parish register of births, marriages and deaths for Kolmar, Posen, Germany; now Chodzież (Chodzież), Poznań, Poland. Salt Lake City, Utah: Mikrofilmowało The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969, 1981. FHL INTL Film 807956.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Surname: Streich (also Strech)

The Streich surname is part of the heritage of my paternal grandfather, John Samuel Krentz. His great-grandfather was:
  • Matthias Streich of Podanin, Posen, Prussia, a farmer. His wife was Anna Manthey. They were Catholic. Matthias and Anna were my third great-grandparents.
  • Anna Marianne Streich, born about 1804. She married Martin Krenz, a Protestant, at Podanin on 22 January 1823. They were married in the Catholic church, but banns were also published in the Evangelical church on 15 December 1822. Together they had six known children born in Podanin, two of whom are known to have died young. Martin and Anna Marianne were my great-great-grandparents.
There's no evidence that either of these couples emigrated.

The Streich names are highlighted in this
detail from the Evangelical marriage banns
Martin Krenz and Anna Mariane Strech.

Evangelische Kirche Kolmar (KrSt. Kolmar). Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1809-1874 (Protestant parish register transcripts of baptisms, marriages and deaths for Kolmar, Posen, Germany; now Chodzież, Poznań, Poland). Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969, 1981. FHL INTL Films 807991-807993.

The Streich names are highlighted in this
detail from the Catholic marriage record of

Martin Krenz and Anna Mariane Streich.
Streichowna is a feminine version of Streich.
(From this record, incidentally, it appears
that Martin's
first name was Johann.)

Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja Chodzież (Chodzież). Kopie księg metrykalnych, 1819-1874 (Transcripts of Roman Catholic parish register of births, marriages and deaths for Kolmar, Posen, Germany; now Chodzież (Chodzież), Poznań, Poland. Salt Lake City, Utah: Mikrofilmowało The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969, 1981. FHL INTL Film 807956.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Chronology by Evelyn Hauer Kerr

A couple weeks ago, I promised you another post from Evelyn Kerr's 1943 datebook. At the back of the book, she wrote a little chronology of places she had lived, and she included some major life events that she associated with those homes. Below each image, I'll transcribe the entries and add my comments in brackets. I'm tweaking some of the punctuation for the sake of clarity.

Evelyn Elvina Hauer Kerr - below 14 houses I've lived in:

1. I was born Apr 1, 1894 - at Detroit, Mich. on Mt. Elliott - 2 doors North of Mack - on E. side of street. [Now there's an interesting micro-detail I didn't know!]

2. 1897 - around June moved to Rivard St. 6 doors off Alexandrine St. [Evelyn's father, Felix Hauer, died in May of that year.]

3. 1902 - Jan 2 - Moved to 116 Townsend. [Evelyn was off by a year on this one. Her widowed mother, Elizabeth Schulte Hauer, was married 31 December 1902 to George Corneilson, who owned the house at 116 Townsend. It would have been January of 1903 when they moved there.]

4. 1922 - July 19 - Moved to Room over Odeon Theater - with Mrs. Scheele - on Concord (445). [I suspect Evelyn meant to write 1912 here, rather than 1922. She would have turned 18 in 1912, and I have no doubt she was employed.]

5. 1916 - was married June 12th - went to live with R.P.'s mother at 525 Crawford.

6. 1916 - Dec 15 - Moved to 111 Dragoon - lost first baby here. [I knew Evelyn had lost two babies, but had nothing on paper about this first child. I think the unnamed baby must have been stillborn.]

7. 1917 - About Sept 15th moved to 1079 E. Jefferson - Mary June born here March 21, 1918. Died March 23, 1918. Moved to 1077 E. Jeff (upstairs) about 1st of May. Bonnie born here Sept 20, 1919. [I've wondered about this. I've seen both addresses--1079 and 1077--and thought one of them must have been an error.]

8. 1920 - Aug 1 - Moved to 1228 Montclair.

9. 1922 - Aug 15 - Moved to 555 Algonquin. Mary born here Oct 22, 1922. Bonnie married here on Aug 3, 1937.

10. Mar 15, 1939 - Moved to 4265 Harvard Rd.

11. 1942 - Oct 2 moved to 11551 Roxbury. Mary married Jan 5, 1946.

12. 1947 - Nov 15 - Moved to Caro, Mich. 1896 Deckerville Rd.

13. 1951 - Oct 5 - 7831 Lakeshore Rd, Lexington, Mich.

Although I've numbered 13 entries in this list, there actually were 14 addresses, as Evelyn noted in her title. Entry no. 7 includes both 1079 and 1077 E. Jefferson.

And, as always, I take these details not as indisputable fact, but rather as an attempt by Evelyn to exercise her memory, or perhaps to preserve her memories even as they tried to slip from her grasp. I will say, though, that this list jibes pretty well with the Rosmer P. Kerr Family Homes slideshow I put together in 2007.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Anti-Rent War, 1839-1846

In colonial times a large proportion of the farming land of New York came into the ownership of a few great proprietors. On these lands the leasehold system grew up, a product partly of the feudal ideas of the great land-owners, partly of the poverty of the farmers as a class. The lands, when first settled by tenants, were in general entirely unimproved, and the farmers who cleared them felt, with evident justice, that it was they who had created the flourishing country which had taken the place of the early wilderness. The poverty and misfortune of individual tenants, and the growing wealth and independence of the landlords as a class, tended to create dissatisfaction, especially when the proprietors, about 1840, attempted a more rigorous enforcement of their contract rights. United resistance on the part of tenants followed. Anti-rent associations were formed, and finally disorder and lawlessness, strife in the courts, at the polls, and in the legislature ensued. Portions of the state were declared in insurrection and the militia called out...
The other day I was trying to find my Efner ancestors in Google Books. It was not the first time, and as usual, the pickin's were slim no matter how I spelled the name. Thinking a change of approach might be useful, I decided to Google the town of Blenheim, one of the Schoharie County towns in which the family of my third great-grandfather, Ezekiel Taylor Efner, had lived. The search turned up this curious little 89-page volume:

Mayham, Albert Champlin. The Anti-Rent War on Blenheim Hill: An Episode of the 40's : a History of the Struggle between Landlord and Tenant Growing Out of the Patroon System in the Eastern Part of New York. Jefferson, N.Y.: F.L. Frazee, 1906.

"Hmm, an Episode," I mumbled. There's something just a little titillating about that. You wouldn't want to miss an episode, say, of The Hardy Boys, would you? Or Nancy Drew? In an episode, stuff happens. Different stuff. Out-of-the-ordinary stuff. Exciting stuff! And then I thought, what the heck is a patroon system, anyhow? So I virtually took the virtual book off the virtual shelf to have a look.

First, I did a Search within the book to see whether any Efner was mentioned, but none was, nor any Ezekiel either. So, the episode was not going to be personalized for me. Nevertheless, and despite my innate dislike of reading and loathing of history as a subject, I scrolled down to the first page of text. (Did it help that the author's surname subliminally suggested mayhem? Maybe! And just between you and me, there've been plenty of times when I myself have wanted to go to war over the rent.)
This Indenture blah-blah-blah the yearly rent forever of fifteen bushels and an half of good sweet Merchantable Winter Wheat on the first day of January...
Right away, I found the contract annoying, and the explanation that followed in the Preface told a bit about the history of this type of land system, which annoyed me even more. Well, as you can see, even before the first page of the first chapter, I'd already picked which side I was on. And by the second paragraph of said page, I was on a first-name basis with a dozen of the local tenant farmers. I even knew which ones were rocking new babies in little homemade red cradles.

"I tell you boys there is going to be trouble over in Albany county and it is already well under way. Sheriff Archer sent a deputy out from Albany day before yesterday to serve a writ on a man named Hungerford in one of those cases that young Steve VanRensselaer is bringing against his tenants. Hungerford showed fight and told the undersheriff to get right back to Albany and not try to serve any more papers. The fact is the people all through there have made up their minds that none of those writs shall be served and there is one thing about it, if the sheriff trys to send any one around to serve those papers that man is going to get hurt. The under-sheriff did serve several writs and then stayed over night at the Rensselaerville tavern. The landlord was a little uneasy and locked the barn up tight but yesterday morning the sheriff's horse was found with his mane and tail sheared off, the harness was all taken apart, and the wheels on the wagon changed. The under-sheriff took the hint and started back to Albany right after breakfast. I tell you the men are mad around there. They swear they will tar and feather the next constable that comes in sight."
You know, there's something about dialogue that turns history into story. By chapter two, I was hooked. I had to go refill my coffee mug, because obviously I would be here for awhile.

An itinerant revivalist arrived on Blenheim Hill towards the end of October and found a welcome in the home of Thomas Peaslee. Aunt Eunice, dear old lady, spread a bountiful feast for the man of God, in spite of her fifty-seven years. She had been feeding preachers all her life and not a circuit rider in the country but knew her good cookery. The dominie had fasted all the way from the Helderbergs in anticipation of a seat at the Peaslee board and when he reached it he invoked the blessing of Jehovah with fervent lips. Those men of the cloth in the days of VanBuren were men of large capacity in more ways than one and the way they could eat would astonish a modern housewife. On this particular occasion Aunt Eunice witnessed the depletion of her viands with keen satisfaction, for it not only testified to her domestic skill but she felt also that out of the same mouth which now seemed to communicate with some bottomless receptacle, would proceed, measure for measure, words of Gospel fire, when the minister finally stationed himself in the pulpit of the Brimstone meeting house, after his hunger had once been appeased.
Seriously, good thing I didn't have a mouthful of coffee when I read that! There would have been virtual coffee-splats all over this post!

Well, I'm not going to read you the whole thing. You can do that yourself in an hour or two. But I do want to point out one more paragraph, found at the bottom of p. 43:
Wheat had already commenced to fail on Blenheim Hill, and now the loss of the potato crop proved a serious blow to the farmers and the burden of rent day was brought home to them as never before. A short hay crop with snow in September made the outlook still more dubious. There was talk of "going west" and an exodus began which lasted for a decade and took from the Backbone some of its best blood. The route lay first to Cattaraugus county and finally extended to Wisconsin.
My branch of the Efner family had lived in this part of Schoharie County for many years. Ezekiel Efner was enumerated in the town of Jefferson in the 1840 census. By 1850, he had removed to Wisconsin, where his family was enumerated in the town of Lyndon. I've always wondered why. Maybe The Anti-Rent War on Blenheim Hill is a little more personalized than it first appeared.

In any case, I found it informative, entertaining, and well worth reading. I've left The Anti-Rent War on Blenheim Hill on the table for you at My Ancestors in Books, along with a few other titles pertaining to Schoharie County history.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Surname: Forester

The Forester surname appears in Rosmer Kerr's pedigree chart. If the information at is correct, his ninth great-grandmother is:
  • Ann Forester, born in 1555, probably in Northamptonshire, England. She was married to William Francis Russell, probably in her early 20s. If correct, Ann and William are my eleventh great-grandparents.
I currently have no documentation to support this information. Reader, if you do, I'd be happy to hear from you. You'll find a link to my Contact page above, just below the header.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Wee Photo Album Too!

This tiny album belonged to my grandma, Evelyn Kerr.

It was in the basement at my dad's house,
in a wooden cupboard that used to belong to the Kerrs.

It was inside a pocket of the kind of photo holder that belongs in a wallet.

The photo holder was in a plastic bag.

It's so like my grandma to nest things inside other things!

In another pocket of the photo holder was a little folded vinyl case.
I opened it, and found this:

And in a third pocket of the photo holder,
I found another photo holder! It holds four pictures.
When folded, it measures about 2" wide by 2.5" high.
The pictures at left are on the inside,
and those on the right are on the outside.
The embossed aluminum Jesus is the same size as St. Anthony, above.
The two portaits are of my grandpa Rosmer.
And that last snapshot?
Love in bloom!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Surname: Russell

The Russell surname comes to me via my grandpa, Rosmer Kerr. His twelfth great-grandfather appears to have been:
  • James Russell, who died in 1509. His wife was Alice Wyse. By rough estimate, they were probably born sometime between 1460-1480. James and Alice may prove to be my fourteenth great-grandparents.
  • John Russell, 1st earl of Bedford. His wife was Ann Sapcote, daughter of Sir Guy Sapcote. They were probably born about 1500, give or take a bit. If this lineage proves correct, John and Ann would be my thirteenth great-grandparents.
  • Francis Russell of Chenies, Buckinghamshire, England, born 1527. He died 28 July 1585 at Bedford House, Middlesex. His wife was Margaret Saint John. Francis and Margaret may prove to be my twelfth great-grandparents.
  • William Francis Russell, born 1553 in England (Ipswich, Essex County? or Chenies, Buckinghamshire?). His wife was Ann Forester. If correct, William and Ann are my eleventh great-grandparents.
  • Ann Russell (aka Mary Ann Russell), of Northamptonshire, England. Born 18 April 1574 (in Hampshire, Northampton?), she married John Roote at Badby in 1600. John and Ann are my tenth great-grandparents.
I have no primary documentation pertaining to the Russell family. Ann Russell is mentioned in Root Genealogical Records by James Pierce Root. Her lineage as it appears here is from

Reader, if you have found documentation for this Russell family or John Roote's family in Badby, England, I would like very much to hear from you. You'll find a Contact link near the top of this page, just below the header.

Root, James Pierce. Root Genealogical Records. 1600-1870. Comprising the General History of the Root and Roots Families in America. New York: R.C. Root, Anthony & Co, 1870.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Surname: Root

The Root surname is part of Rosmer P. Kerr's heritage. His eighth great-grandfather was:
  • John Roote of Badby, Northamptonshire, England. In the year 1600, he married Ann Russell. John and Ann were my tenth great-grandparents.
  • Thomas Roote [1], baptized 16 January 1605 at Badby. He emigrated to New England by 1637, when he was listed as a soldier in the Pequot war. With his wife, whose name is not known, he had seven children. He died at the age of 89 in 1694 (17 June by one source, 17 July by another). Thomas [1] was my ninth great-grandfather.
  • Thomas Roote [2], born about 1644 in Hartford, Connecticut. On 3 July 1666 he married Abigail Alvord, with whom he had five children. After her death in 1699, he seems to have moved to Boston and then to Lynn, Massachusetts, where he married the widow Mary Cox, daughter of Philip and Alice Kirkland, on 4 December 1701. He died by January 1730. Thomas [2] and Abigail were my eighth great-grandparents.
  • Deacon Thomas Root [3], born 11 April 1667 in Northampton, Massachusetts. On 4 March 1691 he married Thankful Strong. Together they had eleven children. By 1709, this family had moved to Coventry, Connecticut, where Thomas became the first town clerk and the first deacon. He died at Coventry on 13 November 1756. Thomas and Thankful were my seventh great-grandparents.
  • Experience Root, the seventh child of Deacon Thomas Root, born 18 January 1703 at Northampton. She was married to Samuel Parker, Jr., at Coventry on 24 March 1726.
Another English generation can be found online at several websites, albeit lacking documentation and possibly all springing from a single source of speculation. I won't provide links--they're found easily enough in a Google search if desired. However, I'm adding the details here as possible avenues for additional research:
  • Thomas Roote, born about 1555/6 in Badby, where he married Ann Burrell about 1574/5 at the Church of the Virgin Mary. (Some sites give the place name as Bagby, Northampton, which I believe is incorrect. Bagby is in Yorkshire; Badby is in Northamptonshire.) Thomas is said to have died 5 April 1609 at Northampton, and was buried in the churchyard (at Badby, I presume). If correct, Thomas and Ann would be my eleventh great-grandparents.
  • John Roote, said to have been born or baptized 24 June 1576 at Badby. His marriage to Ann Russell is said to have taken place at the Church of the Virgin Mary, Badby, on 27 July 1600. John and Ann are the same couple named above, at the beginning of this post.

Root, James Pierce. Root Genealogical Records. 1600-1870. Comprising the General History of the Root and Roots Families in America. New York: R.C. Root, Anthony & Co, 1870.

Messier, Betty Brook, and Janet Sutherland Aronson. The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut. Coventry, Conn. (1712 Main St., Coventry 06238): 275th Anniversary Committee, 1987.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Surname: Woodward

The Woodward surname comes to me via my grandpa Rosmer Kerr. His seventh great-grandfather is said to be:
  • Henry Woodward, who came from England in 1635. His wife was Elizabeth Mather. He was killed in an accident at the corn mill in Northampton, Massachusetts, on 7 April 1685. Henry and Elizabeth were my ninth great-grandparents.
  • Freedom Woodward, born in July 1642 at Dorchester, Massachusetts. She married Jedediah Strong on 18 November 1662. She died at Northampton 17 May 1681, a week after the birth of her thirteenth child. Freedom and Jedediah were my eighth great-grandparents.
Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society (Dorchester, Mass.), and Ebenezer Clapp. History of the Town of Dorchester, Massachusetts. Boston: Ebenezer Clapp, Jr., 1859. From this book, the following notes were taken:
Henry Woodward came over in the ship James, Capt. Taylor, in the summer of 1635. He was a physician. He removed to Northampton about 1658, and was accidentally killed there by a mill wheel. (p. 141)

"At a meeting of the Selectmen, 12: 4: 1657, Thos. Bird brought a note from Henry Woodward, Constable, and demanded twenty shillings for a wolf that his son Samuel Greenway killed within our bounds the 5: 1: 57, which we do order that they shall be paid the next town rate." It was a common thing to pay for several wolves killed in one year. Anthony Fisher, Jr., received pay for three in 1665. (p. 186)

On the 14th of November [1659], the selectmen of Dorchester "impowered William Clarke and Henry Woodward to serch and stake out a Farme of a 1000 acres of land granted vnto the town of Dorchester for the vse of a scoole by the gerierall Court held at Boston the 18th of October, 1659." (p. 434) [Reader, something happened to delay this process, not once but several times over the years. It would be almost sixty years before the land was finally selected!]

The 18th of June, of this year [1661], Mr. Eleazer Mather, son of the pastor of this church, was ordained minister of Northampton; and Dea. Edward Clap, Mr. Peletiah Glover and Thomas Tileston were chosen as messengers from the church to attend the ordination—a journey of nearly as much importance as would now be one to New Orleans, and much more dangerous. Several persons removed from this town [Dorchester] to Northampton, and formed the church there ; among them, William Clarke and Sarah his wife, Henry Woodward and Elizabeth his wife, and Henry Cunliffe and his wife Susanna. (p. 192)
Savage, James, John Farmer, and O. P. Dexter. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1860-1862. From Volume IV, p. 644:
Woodward, Henry, Dorchester 1639, came, says Clapp, in his careful Hist. of Dorchester, p. 141, in the James, Capt. Taylor, in the summer of 1635, with Richard Mather, and he calls him a physician. He had there, Experience; Freedom, bapt. 1642; Thankful; and John; rem. 1659 to Northampton, with those ch. and the mo. Eliz. there was one of the founders of the first ch. and had been an early mem. at D. He was k. by accid. at the grist-mill. 7 Apr. 1685 ; and next mo. the wid. made her will, tho. she d. not bef. 13 Aug. 1690. Of her s. she says "has been a dutif. and well carriaged s. to me all my life." Experience m. 21 Nov. 1661, Medad Pomeroy; Freedom m. 18 Nov. 1662, Jedediah Strong; and Thankful m. 18 Dec. 1662, John Taylor; all of Northampton.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

My mom was a dude!

click to enlarge

Did you ever try to take a decent photo of 70-year-old jodhpurs? There's just no way to make those old pants look good!

My dad's basement flooded last spring, and we had to take a lot of stuff out to the patio to sort through. One of the items was a canvas drawstring sack from Dad's Coast Guard days. Along with some uniform items, much to my surprise, was this pair of jodhpurs that belonged to my mom when she was in her teens. I took the whole damp lot back to the basement and ran them through the washer and dryer, then laid claim to the jodhpurs.

Mom spoke many times of a vacation she'd had at a dude ranch. She must have had a great time, because she really enjoyed her memories of that experience. I was sure the jodhpurs were from that period of time in her life. The other day I found a little snapshot of her wearing them. It was taken in front of the house on Roxbury, where the Kerr family lived from 1942-1946.

Postcard: "Race" Jack and Jill Ranch
(click to enlarge)

My mom saved some postcards from the Jack and Jill Ranch, which opened in 1937 and still exists today, now expanded and called the Double JJ Ranch and Golf Resort. I'll let you read about some of her memories in her own words.

The following was written in 1993 by Mary KERR Krentz:

It was in the summer of 1940 that I took my first vacation alone. I went across the state to Jack and Jill Ranch near Holland, Michigan. It was a "dude" ranch for people 17 to 35 years old.

Postcard: Archery, Jack and Jill Ranch, Montague, Mich.

There were many activities planned throughout the day and evening--scavenger hunts, and square dances; I learned to use a bow and arrow, and how to handle a rifle at the rifle range.

Postcard: Archery, Jack and Jill Ranch, Montague, Mich.

We went on a hayride, and went horseback riding every morning. One morning ten of us left at 5:00 a.m. with our guide and rode for miles up hill and down and through a beautiful forest where the trees met overhead. There was a thick carpet of leaves on the forest floor and a holy stillness in the air with only the far away sound of birds twittering back and forth to each other. We lingered there for a few moments before going on.

my mom on horseback
(That was definitely before my time!)

On the far side of the forest we dismounted and our guide cooked breakfast for us there in the wilderness. He gave each of us a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, then built a fire and cooked bacon and pancakes and steaming cups of coffee. Nothing ever tasted so good after riding for two hours through the countryside.

Postcard: Canoeing, Jack and Jill Ranch, Montague, Mich.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

It's Saturday. Clean like a Dutch housekeeper.

One afternoon thirty-some years ago, when I first started work at the job that would ultimately become my career, I was summoned to a co-worker's desk. He thought it would be funny to show me some sketches of sexy lingerie in a Frederick's of Hollywood catalog. Why, I don't know. Maybe he was still thrown off-balance by having women in the same job he was doing, although I was by no means the first one to share his workplace. Maybe he was a pervert--he did seem overly amused when he rubbed his fingers on the sketched brassieres modeled by headless, legless torsos in the catalog. Or maybe he was just a moron.

In any case, thinking to call him out for his inappropriate behavior, I said, "Why would you call me over here for that? Aren't you married?" (Okay, so I was thinking on my feet and that's the best I could do, as I was taken quite by surprise.)

"Yes," he said, "my wife is Dutch... those Dutch women are good housekeepers!"

At that point, my Inner Feminist was ready to let loose and kick him a good one in the... shin, or whatever. I didn't want to get fired for assaulting a moron though, even one who was also a male chauvinist oinker, so I just went back to my desk and did my best to ignore him forever after.

Fast-forward to this morning, when I set out to learn a bit about the history of Schoharie County, New York, where my Efner ancestors lived during the first half of the 1800s. The population there was largely Dutch and German. I had to laugh when I read the following passage in History of Schoharie County, and Border Wars of New York--it was the last thing I expected to see in a history book:
I had occasion, in the fore part of this book, to speak of the cleanliness of the pioneer settlers, and now advert to that of their descendants—and in justice must observe, that few, if any districts can show a greater proportionate number of very tidy housekeepers, than may now be seen in the Schoharie valley.

Twice in a year, at least, Dr. Franklin's description of a house cleaning is realized, not only in the primitive Schoharie, but in the Mohawk river settlements. Every article of furniture, from the garret to the cellar, is then removed, that the place it occupied may be scrubbed. Lime is profusely used on such occasions, especially in the Spring, and it would be difficult to detect the track of a fly on a window, wall, or floor, after the operation. The description given by Brooks, in his travels in Europe, of the neatness of the people in some of the Dutch and German countries through which he traveled, is applicable, in many instances, to the people of Schoharie: for as he says—"It is scrub, scrub, scrub from morning till night—from pillar to postwhere there is dirt, and where there is none." The Schoharie women usually cleanse their floors daily, sometime semi-daily, by a process they call filing, which is done with a piece of sacking retained in the hands instead of being secured to a mop-stick.

I just know there's gotta be an ironic punchline around here somewhere.


Simms, Jeptha Root. History of Schoharie County, and Border Wars of New York: Containing Also a Sketch of the Causes Which Led to the American Revolution; and Interesting Memoranda of the Mohawk Valley... Illustrated with More Than Thirty Engravings. Albany: Munsell & Tanner, printers, 1845 (pp. 603-604).

Friday, May 07, 2010

Surname: Young

The Young surname comes to me via my grandpa Rosmer Kerr. His fourth great-grandmother is said to be:
  • Marrayetia Young, wife of Joshua Taylor. I haven't researched this line beyond what's available online. It may or may not be correct. If correct, Marrayetia and Joshua were my sixth great-grandparents.
I post this information here in hopes of learning more. Reader, please share documentation with me if you have it, or advise me where to look for it.

Also, please click on the efner and taylor labels below for more information about related lines.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Wee Photo Album

This little photo album belonged to my mom, Mary Kerr Krentz. It's just 2" high.

"Dime store snap of Patti at 11 mos. It's not very good. I sent the best ones to Russ."
This is the only photo with any identification on it. I think the identification was
written by my mom's friend Gerry,whose picture is included later in the book.

This is my mom's father, Rosmer P. Kerr, probably in his teens.

On the left is my mom with a friend, circa 1943.
On the right, my dad and mom at the upper left corner,
on a visit to my dad's family in North Dakota.
The date is probably 1946-1948, before I was born.

At left, if I'm not mistaken, is my genie-cousin on my dad's side,
Mary Beth. (If I am mistaken, I'm sure she'll tell me!)
The desperado on the right is me. I look like such a twinkie!
And, although it pains me to borrow lyrics from
a girl with no underpants, I'm not that innocent!
This was probably my kindergarten picture.

At left, Russ and Gerry, my mom's friends.
My mom is the maid (or matron?) of honor.
I don't recognize the best man. Facing page:
I've no idea who the young lady on the right is.

I don't know who this young lady is, either.
As for the modern-day quarter, it's just there to
remind you how tiny this album is!

You'll be seeing one of these pictures again Sunday, in observance of Mother's Day. I'll be sharing some memories that always brought a smile to my mom's face.

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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