Wednesday, March 26, 2014


The Argus, Middletown, New York, March 22, 1897

   --One week from to-night Jerome Wilson and Miss Grace Clark, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Clark, will be married at the residence of the bride's parents at 8:30 o'clock. 

The Independent Republican, Goshen, New York, March 30, 1897

   A happy home wedding took place last night at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Clark on Golden Hill Ave., this village, when their youngest daughter, Grace L., was married to Mr. Jerome W. Wilson.  The ceremony was performed at 8:30 o'clock by Rev. S. F. White, pastor of the M. E. Church.  The home was filled with friends of the bride and groom, and after the marriage ceremony and congratulations, the company partook of a bountiful wedding dinner, followed by dancing.
   Mr. and Mrs. Wilson left Goshen at 11 o'clock on train No. 14 for New York and other points.  They are both estimable young people of this village and their numerous friends wish them a happy and prosperous future.

   Mar. 29--At the home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Clark, on Golden Hill Avenue, by Rev. S. F. White, Grace L. Clark and Jerome W. Wilson, both of Goshen.

Photo from personal collection
  Grace and Jerome’s Wedding Picture

Daily Argus, Middletown, N. Y.
Tuesday, March 30, 1897


   At the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Clark, their daughter, Grace L., was united in marriage to Jerome W. Wilson, last night, at 8:30 o'clock, in the presence of about sixty relatives and friends.  The ceremony was performed by Rev. S. F. White.  Mr. and Mrs. Wilson took the Wells-Fargo Express east for an extended wedding journey. 

Daily Argus, Middletown, New York, Thursday, April 1, 1897


   Mr. and Mrs. Jerome W. Wilson returned, last night, from their bridal tour.

Copy of Marriage Certificate

Lower portion of marriage certificate

Great grandmother Grace Lee Clark was born in Westtown, Orange Co., NY July 2, 1875 to Jeremiah B. Clark and Harriet Ogden. Great grandfather Jerome was the son of Walter S. Wilson and Mary Peck born April 17, 1873 at Port Jervis, Orange Co., NY.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lewis Penny Doty Marries Mrs. Emily Taylor

Copy of Lewis P. Doty and Emily Taylor Marriage Certificate

Great grandparents Lewis Penny Doty and Emily (Wight) Taylor were married Jan. 22, 1897 at Port Jervis, Orange Co., New York.

From the Port Jervis Union, Monday, Jan. 25, 1897
Hymeneal Notes
 Lewis P. Doty of Slate Hill and Emily Taylor of Port Jervis were united in marriage in Port Jervis, Friday night, by Rev. George E. Gillespie

Lewis Penny was born August 17, 1867 in Ulsterville, Ulster Co., NY. His parents were Albert Doty and Fanny Jane Bennett. The marriage certificate states Lewis Penny was born in Slate Hill. That’s not true although he was living in the Slate Hill area when he married.

Emily Taylor was born Emily Wight Sept. 13, 1870 in the Town of Wawayanda, Orange Co., NY to Richard Wight and Emily Brundage. You’ll notice her marriage certificate says this is her 1st marriage but this isn’t the case. Emily was married previously to Ellsworth Taylor Sept. 24, 1887 in Goshen, NY. They had a daughter, Mabel, born August 4, 1891. Ellsworth was a drinking man and met his end much too soon because of it. He died April 18, 1896 near Springside, (Town of Wawayanda) NY. The local newspaper headline says it all:



He Had Bought a Horse, Became Intoxicated, Horse Escaped--He Started to Recover It, and When Night Came Got in Front of a Train
[Middletown Daily Press, Middletown, New York, Monday, April 20, 1896]

Emily was pregnant when Ellsworth was killed as Harrison Benjamin Taylor was born about six months later on Oct. 4, 1896 in Port Jervis, NY.

Not even four months later, Emily married Lewis Penny Doty bringing financial stability to her family. The Taylor children were raised in Lewis Penny’s home. A few years later on Oct. 3, 1901 my grandfather, Frank Leroy Doty, was born. His sister, Florence Adelia Doty, followed on Sept. 19, 1903.

Lewis Penny and Emily lived in the Wawayanda and Middletown/Wallkill after their marriage.

Lewis and Emily Doty

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Augusta County, Virginia Marriage Bonds, Book 15, 1815-1816

Jacob Fifer, bachelor, and Anne Bittle, spinster, promised the Governor of Virginia that there were no legal problems with them marrying April 22, 1816. Samuel Cramer (at least I think it says Samuel Cramer) served as a bondsman. Usually the bondsman was a relative or friend of the groom or bride.

In Virginia the age of consent to marry was 21. Jacob wasn't 21 years old so his father, George Fifer, Sr., prepared a note for the Augusta County, VA clerk providing his son with his permission to marry. Jacob signed the note and John Shelly acted as a witness.

Augusta County, Virginia Marriage Bonds, Book 15, 185-1816
My 4th great grandparents, Jacob Fifer and Anne Bittle, did marry and had six children—Eliza J. born Dec. 1816, Joshua born 1817, Margaret born Dec. 1821, Wilhelm born 1823, James M. born 1831 and Ellis born 1833. Eliza J. would marry Henry Harman in 1834 at Augusta County, VA. Their daughter Rodie Maria Harman married James Addison McFall Jan. 23, 1870. Flora Belle McFall, Rodie and James’ daughter, married Daniel Franklin Joseph, the parents of my grandfather James McFall Joseph.

Anne (Bittle) Fifer died on April 18, 1833—37 years old. Jacob would marry again to Frances Dickerson and Rebecca Balsey.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Great Grandmother Made Honor Roll

Great Grandmother
Flora Belle (McFall) Joseph

Scanned Image from Personal Collection

Great Grandmother Flora Bell McFall was a smart girl. The Staunton Spectator reported Wednesday, February 1, 1888 the Roll of Honor for the Mt. Solon School in Augusta County, Virginia.

Image from Library of Virginia, Virginia Chronicle

No absences, no tardies, well behaved and a 92% average! Flora’s siblings Kinzer, Clara and Paul also made the honor roll.

Her father, James Addison McFall, died a young man, age 39, in April of 1887.[1] She lost her mother, Rodie Maria Harman, in May 1890 who also died young at the age of 40.[2] Consumption was the cause of death for both parents. By the time Flora Belle was 15, she was an orphan. I’m hoping family took care of the McFall children.

Six years later Flora Belle, 19 years old, married John W. Bolen, 24 year old son of James E. Bolen and Sarah F. Hopewell at Mt. Solon, VA on July 18, 1894.[3] It was not a happy union. Flora Belle filed for divorce March 3, 1899 in the Circuit Court of Augusta Co., VA. She stated that John W. Bolen had deserted and abandoned her less than a month after her marriage. A daughter, Ruby Esther Bolen, was born from the marriage and John W. Bolen refused to provide any support for Flora Bell and Ruby Esther.

The divorce case was decided Nov. 23, 1899 when their marriage was officially dissolved. Custody of Ruby Esther was awarded to Flora Belle. Flora Belle accepted $260.00 (plus interest until paid) from John W. Bolen in lieu of support and maintenance. He was also required to pay Flora’s legal fees ($25.00).[4]

When the 1900 federal census was enumerated, Flora Belle and Ruby Esther Bolen were living in the North River Township--the place where she was born and raised. Flora’s younger brothers, Paul and Lacy McFall were part of her household. The census indicates Flora owned their home. [5]

Flora would soon meet and marry my great-grandfather, Daniel Franklin Joseph, on August 17, 1904.[6] Their marriage was reported in the Staunton Spectator and Vindicator which you can see in a previous blog post about Daniel at Well Known County Man Embarks on His Third Matrimonial Venture   

Together they had three children, James McFall (my grandfather), Lacy Daniel and Flora Belle. Lacy Daniel died when a baby. The Staunton Spectator and Vindicator, Friday, Oct. 1, 1909 issue reported his death:

Sudden Death of Child near Fishersville
   Lacy Daniel Joseph, the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Joseph, of the Fishersville neighborhood, died suddenly on Friday afternoon, the 17th ult., aged one year, nine months and ten days. The child was playing on the front porch when he suddenly fell, unconscious, to the floor. Medical aid was promptly summoned but the family physician, Dr. White, of Tinkling Spring, was absent from home and did not arrive for some hours.
   In the meantime, the fond mother, assisted by kind neighbors, resorted to such remedies as were at hand until the doctor's arrival. When Dr. White finally came he said that his presence earlier would have made no difference as the malady was beyond the power of medical skill. The little fellow remained unconscious from the first and late in the afternoon the gentle spirit passed to its eternal home on high. He was an unusually beautiful child and precocious to a marked degree.
   The father and mother have the sympathy of a wide circle of friends. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. H. A. Coffman, of the Methodist Episcopal church and the interment took place at Asbury Chapel.

Flora Belle (McFall) Joseph died April 9, 1910 about 3 weeks after the birth of her new baby daughter, also named Flora Belle, near Annex, Augusta Co, VA. She is buried in Annex Church Cemetery beside her 3-year old son Lacy Daniel.

[1] Augusta Co., VA Death Register, 1871-1892 North River District, Line 18.
[2] Augusta Co. VA Death Register, 1871-1892 North River District 1890 Line 32.
[3] Marriage Certificate of Flora Bell McFall and John W. Bolen
[4] Chancery Suit Flora Bell Bolen vs. John W. Bolen Index No. 1899-047, original case 600 online at Library of Virginia, Virginia Memory, Chancery Records digitized image collection
[5] 1900 Federal Census, North River, Augusta Co., VA, Series T623, Roll 1700, Page 150, Line 3, Flora B. Bolen Household.
6 Marriage Certificate of Flora B. Bolen and Daniel F. Joseph