Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Harry Puder & wife Clara Fitzgerald

Clara was a member of my Clark family and a cousin to my grandmother Viola L. (Wilson) Doty.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

James A. McFall Backs Grover Cleveland, 52 Ancestors, 52 Weeks

Today I’ll be writing about a southern 2nd great grandfather. I don’t have any family stories to tell about Grandfather but I learned a few personal gems about the man thanks to the Library of Congress’ initiative to digitize newspapers in their ‘Chronicling America’ project. The Staunton Spectator published in Staunton, Virginia has been a tremendous resource for me, especially with the McFall family.

James Addison McFall was born April 27, 1848 in Augusta County, Virginia. He was the third child born to David and Catherine (Todd) McFall with two older siblings, Margaret and Hamilton B., and two younger brothers, Stuart B. and David Chambers. James’ father, David McFall, died March 20, 1854 in Mt. Solon, Augusta Co., Virginia leaving five children and a young widow.

During the ‘War Between the States’ James A. McFall enlisted in Company E, the Virginia 26th Cavalry Regiment with the Confederate Army according to the Virginia Regimental Histories Series online at He had been a farmhand and enlisted as a private. The history included a physical description of James. He was 6 ft. 1 in. tall, had a light complexion, dark eyes and light hair.

Jan. 23, 1870 James married Radie Maria Harman, daughter of Henry Harman and Eliza J. Fifer. A newspaper, the Republican Vindicator, reported their marriage in the Feb. 4, 1870 issue.

   “James A. McFall and Miss Radie M. Harmon, both of Augusta, were married on January 23rd by the Rev. J. M. Follansbee.”

In August of 1870, James and Radie were living in the Mt. Sidney neighborhood next door to Radie’s mother, Eliza Harman. James was then working as a farm laborer. By June 1, 1880 he was employed as a school teacher. His mother-in-law had moved into James’ home by this time. The children arrived beginning with Clara Dean in 1871, Willie Stuart in1873, Flora Belle in 1875 (my great grandmother), Elizabeth Kinzer in 1877, Paul Duvall in1880, Lacy Hamilton in 1884 and James H. in1886.

The Tuesday, November 6, 1883 issue of the Staunton Spectator published an account of 2nd Great Grandfather’s talent craving canes.

   “CANE CARVING—Our venerable friend, Barbee, of the Bridgewater Journal, who has great skill in carving canes, will have to look to his laurels, for Mr. James A. McFall, of Mt. Solon, is reaching to take them from his brow. He showed us a cane last week, upon which he had carved with great skill in the short space of a few days a large number of birds and different kinds of animals—a whole menagerie, and other devices.”

The Sept. 9, 1884 Staunton Spectator reveals Great Grandfather and his brother, H. B. McFall, were among the founding members of the Cleveland and Hendricks Club in Mt. Solon, Augusta Co., Virginia. The Club supported Grover Cleveland for President with Thomas A. Hendricks for Vice President. The Democratic ticket carried the 1884 election. James’ roll in the Cleveland and Hendricks Club was secretary and his brother Hamilton B. served on several committees.

James was appointed an Augusta County Postmaster September 15, 1886. The Staunton Spectator published the announcement Sept. 29, 1886.

   “Postmaster at Mt. Solon—Mr. Jas. A. McFall has been appointed Postmaster in place of Sam’l L. Cootes resigned. This is a good appointment, and we have no doubt that Mr. McFall will give the utmost satisfaction in the discharge of the duties of his office.”

His illness was reported in the Wednesday, February 9, 1887 Staunton Spectator newspaper.

   “Mr. Jas. McFall of this place [Mt. Solon], who has been confined to his rooms for several weeks on account of sickness, we learn, is much better.”

Much too early James Addison McFall passed at the age of 38 years on April 17, 1887. It almost seems like history was repeating itself as his father also died a young man when he was only 35. James and his wife, Radie, both struggled with consumption. Radie would die May 1890 from the same sickness. They were buried in the Old Methodist Church Cemetery at Mt. Solon in Augusta County.

The Wednesday, April 20, 1887 Staunton Spectator had this to say about Great Grandfather’s last moments:

“The many friends of Mr. Jas. A. McFall, will regret to learn of his death. He died April 1st. He was young and had a very interesting family, which would very naturally endear him to earth, yet he certified his willingness to die—his last words expressing his desire to be with his Savior. Rev. Mr. Kibler, assisted by Rev. Mr. Railey, Conducted the funeral services.”

Line of Descent
2nd Great Grandfather James Addison McFall and his spouse Radie Maria Harman
Great Grandmother Flora Belle McFall and spouse Daniel Franklin Joseph
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and spouse Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father


The Augusta County, Virginia Death Register recorded Grandfather’s death taking place April 17, 1887, not April 1st as stated in the above newspaper account.

The Library of Virginia’s website includes a section titled “Virginia Memory” where Virginia’s digitized newspapers can be searched at

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mystery Monday, The Hemingway’s Part 2

In last week’s post Mystery Monday, Quite by Chance I Found my Hemingway's in Jersey I discovered my 4th Great Grandparents William Hemingway and Esther Halstead relocated to Wantage, Sussex County, New Jersey from Minisink, Orange County, New York. I happily learned from William’s death register at the New Jersey State Library that his parents were William and Sarah Hemingway.

I decided to begin my search in Orange County for the elder William Hemingway although Sussex County, New Jersey and Connecticut have also been cited as William Junior’s birthplace May 4, 1776. The earliest Hemingway I located in Orange County was Samuel Hemingway who served under Col. John Hathorn of Warwick, New York during the American Revolution[1].  Samuel Hemingway received certificate 594 for acreage on March 16, 1785. A Samuel Hemingway and Samuel Hemingway Jr. appeared on the same census page in Warwick per the 1790 federal census enumeration[2]. The elder Hemingway’s household consisted of 2 males over 16 years of age, 3 males under 16 years old and 4 females.  Samuel Jr. had 1 male over 16 years of age with 1 male under 16 years plus 2 females in his dwelling. Samuel Hemingway, Senior had died by Dec. 31, 1791 as evidenced by a letter of administration filed at Orange County, New York Surrogate Court[3]. Samuel Senior’s son, Samuel Hemingway, was named administrator. Both father and son were residents of Warwick, New York. I would like to gather more facts for Samuel Hemingway Sr. to ascertain whether he’s a relative of William’s or perhaps even his father. I don’t know who the informant was when William Hemingway died in Wantage, New Jersey but suppose incorrect information might have been supplied to the town clerk/registrar.

In last week’s post I mentioned a land sale to Silas Hemingway, carpenter, of Minisink, Orange Co., NY from William and Esther Hemingway, also of Minisink dated April 1, 1809. Silas Hemingway was married to Margaret Halstead, a daughter of Michael and Phoebe Halstead. This land transaction naturally piqued my interest in the connection between Silas and William. They both married daughters of Michael and Phoebe Halstead. They both belonged to the Brookfield Old School Baptist Church. A ‘History of Broome County with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers’, edited by H. P. Smith, 1885, pages 419-420 provided many details about Silas. He settled there in 1814 coming there from Orange County, New York. The biography reveals he had a brother living in Dryden, Tompkins Co., New York and this is where he was headed when he left Orange County. However, he liked the land at Nanticoke, Broome Co., New York and made his home there for many years. He formed a Baptist Church at Yorktown and was appointed church clerk. The Leading Citizens of Broome County, New York stated Silas was born in 1778 and died in Livingston County, Michigan in 1873 at the age of 95 years. He was a carpenter by trade but in his later years was a farmer. 

With a birth date for Silas of 1778, just two years after William was born in 1776, its possible Silas and William could be the 2 males under 16 in Samuel Hemingway’s Warwick home per the 1790 federal census. Silas would have been about 12 years old and William age 14 in 1790. One other thought I’d like to mention is that Silas had a son named William and I believe William had a son named Silas. The William/Silas father/son link has not been proven.

Finding Silas’ brother in Dryden, Tompkins County, New York was my next task.  Everts and Ensign 1879 “History of Tioga, Chemung, Tompkins and Schuyler Counties, New York” included an early reference to Samuel Hemingway who was a Dryden, New York justice of the peace in 1803. The First Baptist Church of Dryden was organized Feb. 29, 1804 in the village of Etna. Samuel Hemingway was elected deacon at this meeting. I located Samuel Hemingway in Dryden, Cayuga County, New York in the 1810 federal census enumeration[4]. Samuel seems to the earliest Hemingway in Dryden and most likely is Silas’ brother. I’m hoping Samuel Jr. is the same man from the 1790 enumeration at Warwick, New York.

Samuel Hemingway remained in Dryden all his life dying in 1851. Cemetery inscriptions state his age was 83 years old at death dating his birth date about 1768[5].  Samuel and his wife, Salome, were living in a tavern next to William R. Hemingway’s household per the 1850 federal census[6]. William R. was 40 years old, a good age to be a son of Samuel. Could Samuel have named a son for his brother William?

Samuel’s home, Dryden, New York had been formed from Ulysses Feb. 22, 1803.  Dryden was part of Cayuga County at that date. About 1818 it would become part of Tompkins County, New York. Dryden was part of the Central New York Military Tract used to pay soldiers of the American Revolution. This brings to mind Samuel Hemingway (the elder) from Warwick, New York who served under Col. John Hathorn with the Orange County Militia and received land certificate 594.  Further research is needed.

Earlier I referred to a 'possible' son to William and Esther Hemingway named Silas (born about 1801) that I would like to discuss. I located a Silas Hemingway in Libertyville, Wantage Township, Sussex Co., New Jersey. He married Harriet Ayers in Sussex County and served as a postmaster.  By October 10, 1850, Silas and Harriet were dwelling in Orange County, New York at Deerpark.[7] Silas was unemployed at this time. By August of 1860, Silas had relocated to Great Bend, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania with his two youngest children. helped me locate Harriet Ayers Hemingway’s tombstone providing a death date June 8, 1858 in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Hallstead, Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. When the 1870 federal census was enumerated, Silas and his youngest daughter, Josephine, remained in Great Bend. Silas would stay with his daughter, Josephine and her husband, Abraham Benjamin. Abraham worked as a Railroad Agent in Albany, New York June 8, 1880. It's likely the whole family moved to Albany, New York between 1878 and 1879. Silas was included in Albany, New York Directories online at as late as the 1889 boarding at 215 North Pearl. Abraham T. Benjamin also resided at this same address. has a photograph of Silas’ tombstone also at Rose Hill Cemetery with his death in 1889.

As I stated in last week’s post, I was very interested in William and Easter Post from the 1850 federal census as widowed 4th Great Grandfather William Hemingway was living in their home.[8] I would like to explore the possibility that Easter/Esther ( born about 1807) might be a Hemingway daughter but much work needs to be done to establish or disprove this.

Recently I found a documented child of William Hemingway and Esther Halstead in William Clinton Armstrong’s book, “A Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Nathan Armstrong, an Early Settler of Warren County, New Jersey” published in 1895.  The child was a son named William Hewitt Hemingway born November 28, 1814 in Orange County, New York. His wife was Elsie Howell, a daughter of John R. and Sarah (Armstrong) Howell. William Hewitt and Elsie (Howell) Hemingway had five children and they are briefly discussed in this work. William Hewitt died at Delaware, New Jersey May 12, 1888. He served as an Elder with the First Presbyterian Church in Belvidere, New Jersey and later helps establish the Presbytery of Newton, New Jersey in 1871.  William Hewitt was employed as a railroad agent and in charge of the station at Delaware, New Jersey.

To date the William Hemingway and Esther Halstead family is rounding out nicely.  3rd Great Grandmother Dolly does have a documented brother, William Hewitt Hemingway. Certainly Dolly had other siblings.  Perhaps time will reveal whether Silas Hemingway and Easter Post belong with this family. 

Evidence needs to be obtained proving or disproving Silas and Samuel, Jr. Hemingway were brothers of William.

[1] Revolutionary War Rolls, Hathorn’s Regiment (1777-81), Folder 114, page 55, online at
[2] 1790 Federal Census, New York, Orange Co., Town of Warwick, page 392/32
[3] Orange Co., NY Surrogate Court, Letter of Administration, Liber A, page 51
[4] 1810 Federal Census, New York, Cayuga Co., Dryden, page 35 (Dryden would later become part of Tompkins Co.)
[5], McLean Cemetery, McLean, Tompkins Co., NY, Findagrave Memorial # 71974645
[6] 1850 Federal Census, New York, Tompkins Co., Town of Dryden, page 76, Line 35
[7] 1850 Federal Census, New York, Orange Co., Town of Deerpark, page 596, Line 21
[8] 1850 Federal Census, New Jersey, Sussex Co., Town of Wantage, page 217, Line 34, William Post Household

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Happy Belated National Can-It-Forward-Day

Aunt Lillie’s Cucumber Pickles

1 gallon vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 cup salt
4 tablespoons mustard “coleman”
1 cup horse radish “scant”
1/3 lb. mustard seed
Ground cinnamon and cloves to taste
Add a pinch of Alum “powdered”

If the vinegar is too strong, boil the water and cool it before adding to the vinegar and use 3 quarts of vinegar and 1 quart of boiled water.
Add to vinegar after water is cold.

Pack pickles in jars. Then make the above mixture. Pour on pickles and seal up jars.