Sunday, August 23, 2020

Sheriff Sold New Windsor Land of David Wright in 1836

 Probably He is NOT my Mary's Mr. Right

Jean M. Hoffman

Who was the father of Mary, the second wife of Moses Nichols (1775-1822) of Newark, New Jersey and New Windsor, Orange County, New York? They were married about 1812 and she died in 1827. Follow the Wright label to see earlier articles on her possible father. As previously noted, online trees give her maiden name as Mary Ann Wright with exact dates of birth, marriage and death. None of them lead back to the origin of that data but I do not find other sources for her birth and marriage dates. The exact nature of the data suggests an origin like a family bible. Also the trees give her oldest son Aaron the middle name of Wright. I haven't found his middle name, but the initial is documented as W.i Naming patterns for this family are consistent with his middle name being her maiden name.

For some time I have tried to determine if David Wright of New Windsor was her father. He had a daughter named Mary who was baptized 28 May 1780 while the Mary Ann (Wright) Nichols of the online trees was born 29 January 1780. It seemed a possible relationship. No probate record for David Wright of New Windsor appears in Orange County, New York for the time period. I found no deed with a Wright as the seller transferring ownership of his land that might have shed light on his heirs.

Land Records Can Reveal Relationships

A course in land and property records at GRIPii in July put me on the right track for finding a deed selling David Wright's land. I created a table for the land transactions of the Wrights in New Windsor, focusing not on one person but on one original land purchase in 1774. The table began as filled in below where DB is Deed Book.


During the class I asked about land ownership maps for New Windsor. Different sites were suggested and at the Library of Congress website I found a map for Orange County published in 1851.iii The parcels are not drawn but owners' names are arranged on the map (below). Town records associate David and John Wright with the Washington Square and Silver Stream portions of New Windsor. I did an overlay of my plat of the Wright landiv and found only one place, just north of the Washington Square area that it seemed to fit (regardless of the relative scale that I had not taken into account.)


An owner in the area of the overlay (red lines) reads: “Heirs of T. Hyatt.” The land table above shows the portion of the land owned by John Wright was sold after his death to Thomas Hyatt in 1840 and resold by Hyatt heirs in 1850, the map still showing the heirs as owners. Below the Hyatt name is “J. Patton” in what could be the land of David Wright. That was now a name to find in the grantee index of Orange County deeds. There are many entries there for a James Patton buying land. One in the 1830s is from the sheriff. The next one is from an Isabella Wright of Newburgh.v A sheriff's deed looked very promising.

The deedvi reveals that Orange County Sheriff, Charles Niven, acted on a writ of fieri facias from the New York Supreme Court of Judicaturevii at the suit of Townsend Wright plaintiff against David Wright, David Wright son of Nathaniel Wright, Henry Wright, Eriston Wright, Robert Wright, and David Vance devisees terre-tenants, and Robert Wright tenant of David Wright, deceased, defendants.viii The deed tells no more about the identities of the parties to the suit. The lands owned by David Wright in 1828 were the object of the writ but the action came in 1836 when the sheriff held a sale in Newburgh at which James Patton had the highest bid. When the parties did not redeem the lands as was apparently possible under the law, the sheriff signed the deed in 1837 though it was not recorded until 1838. The later quit claim deed from Isabella Wright is for the same land of David Wright, but sheds no light on her identity.ix Plats of the land in these deeds are identical to those of the earlier deeds. The blank in the land table now should contain these entries:


Who Are these Parties to the Suit?

Nathaniel Wright was a resident of Warwick, another Town of Orange County.x He is purported to be a son of David Wright.xi Plaintiff Townsend Wright was possibly a son of Nathaniel and resident of Warwick.xii Two names stand out among the many defendants.

Eriston Wright is undoubtedly the Aristen Wright of a DAR application for the patriot David Wright through his son Benjamin.xiii Likely this Benjamin Wright was in New Windsor in 1810.xiv He died in Newburgh in Orange County before 14 January 1819 when his widow Jane received letters of administration.xv In 1820 she was head of a household with four children.xvi Aristen was one of them according to the application.

A descendant of Moses Vance and Mary Wright, a New Windsor couple, had by 2018 concluded that this Mary was most likely David Wright's daughter Mary.xvii The couple had a son Benjamin Vance whose death record reportedly names his parents. Only the index is online for the death record so I have not seen it yet.xviii Online trees name the oldest son as David Vance and the mother's death before 1825.xix In possible support of the Vance connection though not quite the same, the DAR application names a daughter of David Wright as Hannah, wife of David Vance. No daughter Mary was named.

What Do the Names Mean?

To learn the nature of the suit and relationships of the parties the court records at the New York State Archives need to be consulted.xx However, it seems likely that defendants “Eriston” Wright and David Vance were both grandsons of David Wright of New Windsor, sons of two of his children who predeceased him. If that is the case, unless he had two daughters named Mary, David Wright of New Windsor is NOT the father of Mary, second wife of Moses Nichols of New Windsor.

Learning more about these New York courts, finding, and understanding the court records or related data is a next step needed along with checking county circuit court records.


Referenced websites were viewed 23 August 2020.

i. For example: Orange County, New York, Letters of Guardianship B: 99, Aaron W. Nichols entry, (1829), Surrogate Court Clerk's Office, Goshen; and 1850 U.S. census, Hillsdale County, Michigan, population schedule, Jefferson Township, page 373 (stamped), 745 (penned), dwelling/family 4, Aaron W. Nichols household; digital image, Ancestry (; from NARA M432, roll 351.

ii. Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), “Get Your Hands Dirty: A Workshop in Land and Property Records,” Kimberly Powell, Coordinator, 2020,

iii. J. C. Sidney, Cartographer, Map of Orange County New York: from actual surveys (Philadelphia: Newell S. Brown, Publisher, 1851); digital image, Library of Congress (

iv. Jean M. Hoffman, “Researching New York at WRHS: The Case of John Wright (ca. 1753–1838) of New Windsor, New York, WRHS Genealogy Bulletin 35, no. 3 (Fall 2016): 1, see plat.

v. "United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975," FamilySearch (, digital film 007157750, image 248, Orange County Grantee Index 1, I-Z, 1703-1869.

vi. "United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975," FamilySearch (, digital film 007159915, image 112,Orange County Deeds 62: 164–65, Sheriff Charles Niven to James Patton, 1837 (land of David Wright).

vii. New York State Supreme Court of Judicature (Geneva) Writs of Execution,” New York State Archives (, for definitions: “Writs of fieri facias command a sheriff to levy the amount of judgment from the judgment debtor.”

viii. Henry Campbell Black, A Dictionary of Law (St. Paul, Minn. : West, 1891), 1164, “terre-tenant” meaning, in a technical sense, one who is seised of the land but not actually occupying it.

ix. "United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975," FamilySearch (, digital film 007159915, images 188-189, Orange County Deeds 62: 317–19, quit claim deed, Isabella Wright to James Patton, 1838.

x. "United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975," FamilySearch ( digital film 007157794, image 156, Orange County Deeds Y: 302, quit claim deed, Nathaniel Wright of Warwick to John Mains of New Windsor, 1823. And, 1855 New York state census, Orange County, population schedule, 3rd election district, town of Warwick, family 432, Nathaniel Wright household; digital image, Ancestry (

xi. Francis Wright and Maude E. White Cleghorn, “Wrights of Long Island,” 14-page typescript of now unknown origin, photocopy provided to the author by the late Douglas W. Cruger (author A Genealogical Dictionary of Wright Families in the Lower Hudson Valley to 1800 (Bowie, Md: Heritage Press, 1987)) in 2015. And, membership application, Mirbell Shirey Pairan, National no. 226286, on David Wright (1745–1833, New York), National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Library Record Copy Services (

xii. 1855 New Work state census, Orange County, town of Warwick, family 436, Townsend Wright, same page as note 10.

xiii. Membership application, Mirbell Shirey Pairan, National no. 226286, National Society DAR.

xiv. 1810 U.S. Census, Orange County, New York, town of New Windsor, page 286 (penned), line 27, Benjamin Wright; digital image, Ancestry (; from NARA M252, roll 29.

xv. "New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999," Ancestry ( > Orange > Letters of Administration, Vol E, 1815-1827 > image 132, Orange County Letters of Administration E: 116, Benjamin Wright entry, 1819.

xvi. 1820 U.S. census, Orange County, New York, population schedule, town of Newburgh, page 503 (penned), line 4, Jane Wright; digital image, Ancestry (; from NARA M33, roll 64.

xvii. H. M. Chesi [e-address for private use] to author, e-mail, 4 July 2018, “New Windsor NY Wrights.....;” privately held by the author.

xviii. "New York, Death Index, 1852-1956," Benjamin H. Vance entry, New Windsor, New York (1893); database, Ancestry (

xix. Henry Vance, compiler, “Vance Family Tree,” Benjamin Harvey Vance entry with numerous sources and citing a “Per Verified Transcript from Register of Deaths, Town of New Windsor” for birth and death information; Ancestry Trees (

xx. For background and resources see: "Duely & Constantly Kept:" A History of the New York Supreme Court, 1691-1847 and An Inventory of Its Records (Albany, Utica, and Geneva Offices), 1797-1847 (Albany, NY: A Joint Publication of the New York State Court of Appeals and The New York State Archives and Records Administration, 1991); On-Line Book ( Also, John L. Wendell, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Judicature, and in the Court for the Trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors, of the State of New-York. 26 vols. Albany: 1829-42; digital versions, HathiTrust Digital Library(; search of term "Wright" did not locate related case in the 26 volumes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A Place in the Family: New Windsor, NY

Years ago I wrote how naming patterns led me to find the New York origin of a Kentucky ancestor because he named his first son for his father: Moses Nichols > Charles Nichols > Moses Eckles Nichols. See the article:

July 19-24 I took a wonderful (virtual) class at GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh) on Land and Property Records. During the class I found at the Library of Congress website an 1851 land owner map of Orange County, New York. It led me to a discovery that I need to update here. Meanwhile I've combined a photo of my great grandfather, Moses Eckles Nichols (1841-1908), with the map. Highlighted is the Town of New Windsor where his father, Charles Nichols was born in 1817.
This scrapbook page was done for a challenge at
Designer credits:
map of Orange County, NY, 1851, from Library of Congress: link
-frame & mask: 52 Inspirations No. 33, Framed Clipping Masks 01 by Snickerdoodle Designs
-postcard: 52 Inspirations No. 32, Decorated postcards by After Midnight Design
-brushes: 52 Inspirations No. 31, Summer No. 1 by Anna Aspnes
-transfers: 52 Inspirations No. 29, French market transfers by Vicki Robinson
-dots: 52 Inspirations No. 25, Gesso'd Marks by Viva Artistry
-transfer, brushes: ArtPlay Palette Milieu by Anna Aspnes
-snap, word strip: ArtPlay Palette Archive by Anna Aspnes
-word art: Milieu WordART Mix No. 1 by Anna Aspnes

font on the postcard: Amapola

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday: Bivin and Vorce, more Kentucky relatives buried in Lake View

I last reported that Kentucky relative Matilda McClintock Scott lived in northern Ohio and was buried in Cleveland's Lake View Cemetery. Today I visited a different section of the cemetery to locate the graves of Matilda's daughter Anna Elizabeth (Scott) Bivin and Anna's daughter and son-in-law Edwin Marvin and Carrie (Bivin) Vorce. I am learning about the life of Carrie, or Caroline as the gravestone reads, because she was also an artist. I'll report on her when I have more details.
Anna Elizabeth was born in Kentucky, but lived in East Cleveland by 1900 when her mother lived with her and also daughter Carrie and her husband. Anna's husband, James B. Bivin, apparently still lived in Kentucky until his death in 1918, so they may have been estranged.1 Her gravestone is just right of the combined stone for Carrie and Edwin in Section 1, lot 300, which is near the Wade Chapel.
Carrie, also born in Kentucky, and her husband, Edwin, were married in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, in 1893.2 They did not have children, so there is no more of her line to follow, but she is interesting enough by herself. She would be my second cousin, twice removed, but that is true in both the McClintock and Scott families.
1. "Deaths, Bivin," The Bourbon News, Paris, Kentucky, 5 November 1918, p. 4, col. 3.
2. "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013," FamilySearch ( : viewed 6 October 2018) > Cuyahoga > Marriage records 1892-1893 vol 39 > image 227, Cuyahoga County Marriage Records, vol. 39: 348, Edwin M. Vorce and Carrie M. Bivin, 1893.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday: Matilda McClintock Scott, a Kentuckian in Cleveland, Ohio

Matilda McClintock was born in July 1809, most likely in Bourbon County, Kentucky. She was a sister of my 2nd great grandfather, Samuel McClintock (1794-1827). She was the second wife of Francis Scott, a brother of another 2nd great grandfather, Thomas Scott (1810-1844). Matilda and Francis lived for a time in Fayette County, Kentucky,1 but by 1870 she was an apparent widow living in a neighboring county in the Buena Vista District of Harrison County, Kentucky.2 The post office there was called Shady Nook, formerly Scott's Station.3 In 1880 she lived there alone but with nearby Scott families.4

I believe all of her McClintock siblings are buried in Bourbon County, mostly in the county seat of Paris. It was therefore a big surprise to learn she lived in East Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, in 1900. A widow, she lived with her widowed daughter, Anna Elizabeth (Scott) Bivin.5 Matilda died two years later on 14 April 1902 at age 92, cause listed as  "old age."6 She was buried in Lake View Cemetery at the corners of Cleveland, East Cleveland, and Cleveland Heights. The cemetery index lists her as Matilda M. Scott,7 but when I finally saw her gravestone, I was delighted to see it reads "Matilda McClintock Scott."

My McClintock grandfather was born in 1867 and lived near Matilda's home. She was still there when he was thirteen, so I'm sure he knew her. She was his father's aunt and his mother's aunt by marriage. I hope to learn more about her daughter and when and why they came from Kentucky to northern Ohio.
1.1850 U.S. census, Fayette County, Kentucky, population schedule, District 1, page 188A, dwelling 1105, family 1110, Francis Scott household; digital image, ( : viewed 4 September 2018); from NARA M432, roll 199.
2.1870 U.S. census, Harrison County, Kentucky, population schedule, Buena Vista District, post office Cynthiana, page 96B, dwelling/family 10, Matilda Scott household; digital image, ( : viewed 6 September 2018); from NARA M593, roll 468, imaged from FHL microfilm 545,967.
3. William Henry Perrin, History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky (Original edition published in 1882 by O.L. Baskin & Co., Chicago; reprint Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1979), 311-12.
4. 1880 U.S. Census, Harrison County, Kentucky, population schedule, Buena Vista District, ED 101, page 54B, dwelling/family 16, Matilda Scott household; digital image, ( : viewed 6 September 2018); from NARA T9, roll 418.
5. 1900 U.S. census, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, population schedule, East Cleveland Village, ED 215, sheet 25B, dwelling 564, family 579, Annie E. "Bibin" household; digital image, ( : viewed 6 September 2018); from NARA T623; imaged from FHL microfilm 1,241,260.
6. "Died, Scott," Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio, 16 April 1902, p. 6. Also, "Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001," FamilySearch ( : viewed 6 September 2018) > Cuyahoga > Death records, 1898-1902 > image 787, Cuyahoga County Record of Deaths, p.494 , Matilda Scott entry, 1902.
7. "Auto Graver," contributor, Lake View Cemetery gravestone (Matilda M. Scott), database, Find A Grave ( : viewed 6 September 2018), Memorial# 78155489.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Signatures of Grandfathers

I feel a special thrill seeing signatures of my ancestors. Yesterday I saw a document that has signatures of two ancestors of different generations of my Kentucky family.

My great grandfather, Moses Eckles Nichols, was just twenty-one when his father, Charles Nichols, died in 1862. He was the oldest child in the family and thus the only one of adult age. That must be why he was appointed administrator of his father's estate. His father died aged forty-five leaving no will. Moses was required to post an administrator bond. That document from the Scott County court contains his signature along with that of his sole surety, his maternal grandfather Charles Eckles, my 3rd great grandfather.1

Charles was then seventy-four and the signature looks a bit wobbly, but quite legible. He spelled his surname Eckels as it appears in two signatures I have found of his father, Robert Eckles. Moses Eckles Nichols had it as his middle name, but spelled it the way I am used to it: Eckles. In that spelling it was passed down to his grandson as a middle name. That was my father so the name was always familiar.

1. ”Kentucky Probate Records, 1727-1990,” FamilySearch ( : viewed 25 June 2018), digital film 004816099, image 84, Scott County Administrator Bonds, 1856-1874 (unpaginated), estate of Charles Nichols, 1862.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Death Date for Sarah “Sallie” (McDaniel) Scott

A Death Date Found (About) for Sarah “Sallie” (McDaniel) Scott
Jean M. Hoffman, CG

Sarah (also called Sallie) McDaniel married John Scott in Clark County, Kentucky, 21 July 1803 with the consent of her father Francis McDaniel.1 In 1819 they lived in neighboring Fayette County, but finally settled in Harrison County.2 Their neighborhood was called Scott's Station but the name changed to Shady Nook to avoid confusion with another Scott's Station in Jefferson County.3

John died in 1857 leaving a will that names eleven children, both living and deceased, and some grandchildren.4 In 1860 his widow lived with a married daughter, Mary, the wife of Harrison Cummins, along with her youngest child, Elizabeth.5 I had found no later trace of Sarah. John was buried in the Old East Broadwell Cemetery but it has been ruined as a cow pasture. It was transcribed by the DAR by 1960 so there is some record. But Sarah is not in that list.6

Harrison County probate records are now available online at FamilySearch. Looking through indexes I found an entry for the estate of John Scott in 1867. It turned out to be an affidavit filed by the executor of John's estate. The executor was his son, Robert Scott, who reported having settled the estate of his father previously, and that “about the last day of January 1867 his mother, the widow of Jno Scott departed this life.” Her assets were not enough for the expenses, but he had paid all the demands on her estate. This was his final report submitted 14 December 1867.7 While the date of death reads “about” that is probably the exact date and I consider it to be at least close.

1. “Clark County Marriage Bonds 1793-1850,” Clark County Public Library, Winchester, Ky., bond and consent, Scott-McDaniel, 1803, scanned images provided via email 20 April 2011.
2. National Historical Company, History of Cass and Bates Counties, Missouri, Containing... (Saint Joseph, Missouri: National Historical Company, 1883), 514, gives Robert Scott's date and place of birth.
3. William Henry Perrin, ed., History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky (Chicago: O.L. Baskin & Co., 1882), 311-12.
4. John Scott will (1857), Harrison County Will Book G: 410, Harrison County Clerk's Office, Cynthiana, Ky.
5. 1860 U.S. census, Harrison County, Kentucky, population schedule, District No. 1, page 62, dwelling/family 445, Harrison Cummins household; NARA M653, roll 372.
6. Kentucky Records Research Committee, compiler, Kentucky Cemetery Records, Volume I (Lexington?: Daughters of the American Revolution, Kentucky Society, 1960), 56, this is the book with the original transcription of the stone but the cemetery is under Bourbon County and called Old Broadwell M.E. Churchyard. Also, Eric C. Nagle and Larry L. Ford, One Hundred Cemeteries of Harrison County, Kentucky (Dayton, Ohio: authors, 1992), 173. And, visit by author 28 August 2008 which verified the condition and lack of access.
7. ”Kentucky Probate Records, 1727-1990,” FamilySearch ( : viewed 29 April 2018), digital film 004816028, image 205, Harrison County Will Book I: 353, Affidavit of Executor, Estate of John Scott, regarding estate of his widow, 1867.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Military Monday: Pension Index Cards: Not Created Equal

Pension Index Cards: Not Created Equal

by Jean M. Hoffman, CG

Pension index cards available at both and FamilySearch are not the same as those provided at Fold3. Allison recently pointed out differences in a Legacy Tree Genealogists blog post, “Civil War Pension Files Research Tips.”1 I had just found a pension index card at related to a female ancestor. It shows her application for a widow's pension, but no application for the soldier. Spurred by the article, I located the card for the soldier at Fold3. That card shows he applied for and received an invalid pension. Note, these records, if Civil War era, are for Union soldiers.

Before concluding you've found pension information for your person of interest and requesting original pension records, review both versions of index cards. The card sets were created for different purposes and organized in a different manner. Today they are indexed by both name and unit but one is arranged alphabetically by soldier's name while the other is grouped by unit from the company level. As they served different needs, they contain different data.
Civil War Pension index card for Caleb S. Whaley from Ancestry.com2
 In my example, the card has the following information not on the Fold3 version:
  1. Widow's name
  2. State from which she applied
  3. Date of her application.
Civil War Pension index card for Caleb S. Whaley from (indexed as Gales)3
The card at Fold3 provides fields not on the first card:
  1. Rank of the soldier
  2. Date of his application
  3. application and certificate numbers for his pension.
In addition, the first card was correctly indexed at under the name Caleb S. Whaley but the second card was indexed under Gales S. Whaley. As I used the Fold3 browse function to view the cards by unit, that did not cause a problem.

The index cards were transcribed from other documents and can contain errors. Also, the soldier's name on these cards is the same but one was misread by the indexer. Pay particular attention to the certificate numbers as these are what the National Archives will use to attempt to locate original records. Any error can lead to not found files. A review of more cards would give a better picture of the variation in data on them but my example and that in the article demonstrate the merit of obtaining both. FamilySearch can be accessed for free and many libraries have subscriptions to Ancestry Library Edition. Some libraries also have Fold3 subscriptions, possibly providing access from home.
    1. Allison, “ Civil War Pension Files Research Tips,” Legacy Tree Genealogists (blog), November 29, 2016,
    2. “U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934,” Caleb S. Whaley card; digital image, ( : accessed 30 November 2016); citing NARA microfilm T288, roll 510.
    3. “Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900,” Kentucky>Cavalry>7th>Co. G> “Gales” S. Whaley card; digital image, Fold3 ( : accessed 30 November 2016); citing NARA microfilm T289, roll 146.