Monday, July 30, 2012

David Wright may be Mary’s Mr. “Right”

I’ve just returned from an exciting, demanding, and stimulating week in the Tom Jones “Advanced Research Methods” course at GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh.) With fresh ideas, I looked again for the father of Mary, second wife of Moses Nichols of New Windsor, New York. I wrote about narrowing my search to a very likely David Wright, also of New Windsor and failing to find clues in deeds or probate.

Names other than Wright are associated with Moses and Mary Nichols. Most prominent is Daniel Moores, an administrator, executor and guardian.[1] Samuel B. Moores is a co-executor.[2] Online family trees show Daniel and Samuel B. as sons of James and Sarah (Brewster) Moores. No one matching Mary appears. Also, Mary’s youngest son, Moses Higby Nichols, married one of Daniel’s daughters, Susannah Moores.[3] No 1790 head of household has the name Moores when Mary might be about ten.[4] That is not likely Mary’s maiden name.

Robert Fulton is another co-executor.[5] He is not mentioned in other documents. Two Fulton families lived in New Windsor in 1790, however, so it is still a possibility.

Reviewing the Orange County, New York, estate index for the surname Wright shows the earliest date in 1819. A local volunteer sent digital images of two index pages but I don’t know if there are entries on the previous page. New Windsor was part of Ulster County before it was included in Orange County. The FamilySearch Wiki was strongly recommended last week, so I went to it for information. The date wasn’t in the Orange County entry, so I tried New Windsor. In New York the town is sometimes of primary importance. Even there I didn’t find the date. I did find a link to a database at

Digging for Nichols data I searched a book at the WRHS library under the title New Windsor Presbyterian Church Record of Marriages, Orange County, New York. The catalog notes it contains marriages, 1774-1827 and baptisms, 1774-1796. Actually there is one marriage in 1827, but all other records are through 1796, before the Nichols families arrived. I hadn’t checked it since I began searching for Mary’s birth family. now has digital images of its thirty-three pages with an index. The only background is the database title: “New Windsor Presbyterian Church record.” The Family History Library catalog reveals that it is a typescript at the New York State Library in Albany. The book itself says nothing about the origin of the records.

Mary and Moses Nichols married about 1812 and she was born in New York. It is likely she was a resident of New Windsor. The only woman in the household of Moses Nichols in the 1820 census was age twenty-six and under forty-five, meaning she was born 1794 or earlier.[6] These church records could record her baptism. A search for surname Wright had one match, the Feb. 1779 baptism of Benjamin, son of Benjamin Wright. The preceding record was for a Jan. 1779 baptism of a child of John Right. Another spelling might be what I need, but the 1780 records on the next page were easy to access. That is the year an online family tree claims Mary was born.[7] Following a record for 28 May 1780 is a record for the same day for Mary, daughter of David Right.[8] The family tree claims she was born in January, but this could still be a baptism four months later. At least it is now clear that the David Wright of New Windsor did have a daughter Mary of an age to be the wife of Moses Nichols. That is a big step forward!

The index to this typescript might be the output of OCR. A search for the name “Right” only returns the one in 1779, not the one in 1780. A search for given name “Mary” also does NOT find the 1780 record. A page-by-page review is clearly needed.

[1] Orange County, New York, Letters of Administration E: 212, Moses Nichols entry, (1822), Surrogate Court Clerk's Office, Goshen (Daniel Moores a co-administrator). Also, Orange County, New York, Wills H: 302-04, Mary Nichols will, (1827), Surrogate Court Clerk's Office, Goshen (Daniel a co-executor). And, Orange County, New York, Letters of Guardianship B: 99, Aaron W. Nichols entry, (1829), Surrogate Court Clerk's Office, Goshen (Daniel guardian of the oldest son of Moses and Mary Nichols.)
[2] Orange Co., N.Y., Wills, H: 302-04 (Samuel B. Moores another co-executor of will of Mary Nichols.)
[3] Linda Moores, “MOORES and more . . .” Ancestry World Tree Project, ( : accessed 28 July 29, 2012).
[4] 1790 U.S. census, search at in New York, town of New Windsor for all names.
[5] Orange Co., N.Y., Wills H: 302-04.
[6] 1820 U.S. census, Orange County, New York, population schedule, Town of New Windsor, p. 479 (penned), p. 194 (stamped), line 18, Moses Nichols; digital image, ( : accessed 17 August 2009); citing NARA microfilm M33, roll 64.
[7] “Soher Iversen Gammon Beal Carson Spalding Bevan,” WorldConnect Project, RootsWeb ( : accessed 25 August 2009).
[8] “New Windsor Presbyterian Church record,” digital images, ( : accessed 29 July 2012), 24.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Burials in Battle Grove Cemetery

Battle Grove Cemetery is a large cemetery in the outskirts of Cynthiana, county seat of Harrison County, Kentucky. On 28 August 2008 we visited the cemetery and photographed some of the gravestones. Shown here are those of my great-grandparents and their mothers. Click on the photos to see larger versions.

Samuel McClintock died young in Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky (previous post). His widow, Elizabeth (Waits) McClintock returned to Harrison County with her young son John James. She married again in 1833 to Edmund Martin. Elizabeth lived a long life not dying until 19 June 1887. She was buried in Battle Grove Cemetery. Her son John James McClintock (1826-1892) and his wife Nancy Isabelle (Scott) McClintock (1843-1921) are buried nearby and all three share a monument with Elizabeth's information on one side and the name McClintock on the other. Headstones are also present for John and Nancy.
Elizabeth (Waits) McClintock Martin (1802-1887)
McClintock side of monument and headstone row

 Nancy Scott's father Thomas also died young leaving a widow with two small children. She remarried, but had no other children. Elizabeth (McShane) Scott Whaley was also widowed by her husband Caleb Whaley. She was remembered by her great-grandchildren as "Granny" Whaley who made each of them a quilt. She died 16 October 1907 and was also buried in Battle Grove Cemetery, sharing a marker with Caleb Whaley. Both Thomas Scott (1810-1844) and Samuel McClintock (ca. 1794-1827) were buried in older cemeteries.
Elizabeth (McShane) Scott Whaley (1823-1907)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Who Was Miss Tarr? (SNGF)

Randy Seaver (blog Genea-Musings) suggests we look into our most recent unknown ancestor (MRUA) for tonight’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF).

For a long time the most recent missing identities were the parents of Deborah (Williamson) Bell (1818 – 1865). The will of father-candidate Charles Williamson providing for his daughter Deborah Bell was welcome documentation of that strongly suspected relationship.

Ancestor Samuel McClintock (Ahnentafel #16, my 2nd great-grandfather) was born around 1794, possibly in Virginia. He was a gunsmith in Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, where he died 14 July 1827. The actual date is from family lore, but the time period is established in his probate and an order book entry. The name of his father is more family lore supported in a county history. Both his father and a brother are said to have been named James McClintock, a name in the list of buyers at the estate sale. The father was from (Northern) Ireland, settling in Bourbon County in the 1790s. A Pennsylvania McClintock family settled in the same place and time, but appears to be unrelated, at least not closely related. While I do not have much information on this #32, his name appears in county records and is claimed by a daughter’s family as well. Mary McClintock was married to George M. Davis, another gunsmith and partner of Samuel McClintock. George also died young in 1833 during the cholera epidemic. Mary Davis lived in Paris to 1885.
Names in the estate sale of Samuel McClintock include George Davis, James McClintock and the widow Elizabeth 

My aunt researched this family many years ago but I have little documentation from her notes. She wrote that the wife of James McClintock, who would be Ahnentafel #33, was a Miss Tarr. I have done little research on James McClintock and none on his wife. This is clearly an area ready for some work. One note of interest is a Bourbon County road, Tarr Road. We saw it a few years ago while looking for a different location. It could be a clue on the surname. I’d like to find it is connected to this family.

Friday, May 25, 2012

More Problems with Nancy

I've written about Nancy (Boyd) Eckles who was named in the will of her father as Egnis (Agnes) but was otherwise known as Nancy, a potential nickname for Agnes. She was the first wife of Charles Eckles (ca. 1788-1867), the wagon maker of Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky.

Evidence of his second wife is a funeral invitation transcribed as “Mrs. Ann Eckles; Dec. 16, 1843; Georgetown, Ky. From the residence of husband on Main-Cross street” and annotated that she was the second wife of Charles Eckles.[i] As his first wife appears to have died by January of 1830, it is likely he remarried prior to 1838. The Scott County marriage records prior to that time were destroyed in a courthouse fire.

Confusing is a death notice in the Kentucky Presbyterian newspaper The Protestant and Herald of 22 February 1844. It reads: “DIED, In Georgetown, on the – ult., Mrs. Nancy Eccles, wife of Mr. Charles Eccles…”[ii] With only one Charles Eckles/Eccles resident in Georgetown, this must refer to the wife whose funeral was two months earlier. That time lag in such a regional paper is understandable. The confusion is her given name. Can it have been a confusion with the name of his first wife (or even his mother)? Or could this be another case of nicknames? Nancy and Ann are well-recognized variants on the same name, so it is entirely possible.

With so many women potentially named Nancy Eckles in Charles’s life, it will be interesting to see what more research reveals.

[i] Marie Dickore, compiler, Copies of Names on Invitations to Funerals and Burials In Scott County and Fayette County, Kentucky, 1821 - 1898 (Cincinnati, Ohio:, 1942), 8.
[ii] DIED (Mrs. Nancy Eccles), The Protestant and Herald, Kentucky, 22 February 1844; - Historic Newspapers Online, digital images ( : accessed 28 March 2011)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

1940 Photos of a First House

With the 1940 U.S. census now only 13 days away, I'm thinking more about that time. It was an important year in my family as the first time my parents owned their own home. I believe these pictures of my parents and sister were most likely just before the census was taken on April 1st. I know when I see them in that census I can envision them as they were here. This is where we lived when I was born some years later and until I was three. Be sure to click on the image to see it larger.
Designer Credits:
52 Inspirations {2012} by Sue Cummings Week 3
plus dotted paper and butterfly from Week 1
fonts: Blue Highway D Type, Minya Nouvelle

Monday, March 19, 2012

1940 Census: Just Two Weeks

Family photo showing 1940s styles
In just two weeks the 1940 U.S. census will be released on Monday, April 2, 2012. It seems the excitement is building and the general news media are starting to take note of the big event.

Celebration! The library (Research Center) at WRHS (Western Reserve Historical Society) will be open for the launch of the 1940 U.S. census on Monday, April 2. We'll celebrate and start our research together that day. If you're in the Cleveland area, please come on in.

Societies and groups are gearing up to get volunteers to sign up for indexing under their sponsorship. In Ohio's Cuyahoga County the sponsoring group is NEOCAG which stands for the Northeast Ohio Computer-Aided Genealogy Society. My husband will be indexing the census with them. I've registered under APG, the Association of Professional Genealogists. We've tried out the simulated 1940 census indexing test run. It looks pretty easy. You only need to work on one page of the census at a time. The more of us indexing the faster we'll have a fully searchable 1940 census.

Learn more about indexing at the Getting Started page of the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project. The indexing project is sponsored by (who will host the digital images for NARA), and Society sponsors are NGS, FGS and APG.

Name Game: Eckles

I am still obsessed with research on my Eckles family. While thinking about explaining bits of it to another I remembered that I've come up with a Chinese restaurant menu for spelling variations. Check it out!
A name might begin with the more common E, but a first letter of A is often written. The next segment in my family is ck but cc is very common too. A lone k or even c might appear. When it is spelled with a ch it may be of German origin rather than Scots-Irish. Segment three is usually either le or el, but could be ol. Last the name usually ends in an s but is sometimes omitted. So I see this as a case of pick one from each column to arrive at a possible spelling. With the exception of ending in s, or not, the variations would be covered by Soundex if you do both A and E initial letters. The codes would be E242 or A242 with a final s or E240 and A240 without. This certainly would be a good case for Soundex.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Finding 1940 Census Locations

We started recording 1940 U.S. census enumeration districts (EDs) for our closest relatives using Stephen P. Morse's very helpful website. Dick's parents and paternal grandmother lived in Cleveland, a city for which the EDs have been indexed. To find their ED we used Obtaining EDs for the 1940 Census in One Step (Large Cities) and with their cross streets quickly got the number. My great aunt in Lakewood, a nearby suburb, was equally easy. My parents lived in North Olmsted, a small town/suburb, that only had two EDs. The written descriptions show the town was divided by the main east-west road so all I needed to know was whether they were north or south of it.

We couldn't find his maternal grandmother as easily. She was widowed in January of 1939. We knew that she moved, but not when or where, or if more than once. Luckily the Cuyahoga County deeds are all available online. A search for her name in the appropriate time frame turned up a deed from November 1939. At that time she bought the house where Dick remembers her living. It is highly likely that she moved in before April 1st of 1940. We had to add several street names, looking at a map, before we could narrow down her ED, but we think we are ready for all our closest relatives in this area.

Now, it is just a little over 32 days!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

1940 U.S. Census - Just Over a Month

1940 advertisement illustration
The 1940 U.S. Census will open to the public on Monday, April 2nd. For the first time it will be provided digitally online at the beginning. My husband and I won't be there, but our families will. Finding them will require a little work because there is no index...yet. I've given a talk to the Computer Assisted Genealogy Group - Cleveland Area (CAGG-CA) on the census and current finding aids. Wally Huskonen has been giving talks and on Saturday, March 3, 2012, he is presenting a workshop for the Genealogical Institute at the Western Reserve Historical Society. Reservations and a fee are required. Please check the website and registration form. I've also signed up with this blog as a 1940 census blog ambassador. I'll be posting more in the days before the 1940 census comes online.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Two Degrees of Separation - SNGF

Today Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun in his Genea-Musings blog has a fun feature asking us to report on our family link's to the past. The requirement is:

Using your ancestral lines, how far back in time can you go with two degrees of separation?  That means "you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor."  When was that second ancestor born?

My life overlapped that of one of my great grandparents on my mother's side. Effie (Irion) Bell (1860-1948) did not die until I was four. I don't clearly remember her, but my older sister knew her well. Effie grew up near all four of her grandparents and knew them well. The lives of her two maternal great grandmothers overlapped her own. They were Jemima (Hutchings/Hutchinson) Irion (1779-1868) and Mary Ann "Polly" (Cooper) Trotter (1776-1867). It is likely she knew them both at least a little. In this line my two degrees of separation link me to women born in 1776 and 1779, back to the time of the American Revolution.

Effie (Irion) Bell
I am particularly interested in this line because of a third degree of separation. I vaguely knew my great grandmother, Effie (Irion) Bell. My sister knew her well and heard the family stories from her.  Effie grew up close to her grandmother, Mary (Trotter) Irion (1811-1900). Mary was a great storyteller and along with her sister Phoebe (Trotter) Willey (1818-1906) passed on the stories they learned from their paternal grandmother. "Mad Anne" Bailey was a locally famous woman of the frontier around present day Charleston, West Virginia. Anne (Hennis) Trotter Bailey (ca. 1742-1825), an English immigrant, lived with her son's family in Gallia County, Ohio, in her later days and was close to her granddaughters passing down her stories to them. I've long felt that the connection truly goes back to her through the lives and stories of her descendants. See the sidebar for a link to my page on her.