Monday, August 11, 2014

Mystery Monday, Quite By Chance I Found My Hemingway’s in Jersey

A few summers ago I visited the New Jersey Archives in Trenton searching for my Hazen family ancestors. I wasn’t successful and was browsing the shelves about 3:00 o’clock killing time until the library closed at 4 o’clock while waiting for my genealogy buddy/ride. I pulled a volume of The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey and quite by chance found cemetery inscriptions for my 4th great grandparents, William and Esther Hemingway. I never accumulated much information about them so was very pleased to see they were buried in the First Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery in Wantage, Sussex Co., New Jersey. William Hemingway died March 9, 1855 at the age of 80 years, 10 months, 5 days.  His wife, Esther, died June 22, 1842 when she was 64 years, 5 months, 7 days.[1]

New Jersey’s vital records began in 1848 so I hoped I’d find a death record for William to take home. Bound volumes contain death indexes and soon I located his passing in Volume A.F., page 648. I immediately went to the librarian for help and he was able to go right to a microfilm and within minutes I was looking at William Hemingway’s death as recorded in the ‘Return of Deaths in the township of Wantage, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey’. The Return of Deaths revealed he was a widower, 80 years old and born in Wantage. He had been a farmer and his cause of death was liver complaint.  The best news was his parents were named; my 5th Great Grandparents William and Sarah Hemingway. 

3rd Great Grandmother Dolly Hemingway, wife of John Doty and daughter of William and Esther Hemingway was born Jan. 31, 1798. She died Feb. 10, 1884. Her death certificate states she was born in Orange County, New York. William Hemingway was identified as her father and his birthplace was provided as Connecticut.  William’s birthplace was also said to be Wantage, New Jersey in the Returns of Deaths and a census record stated he was born in New York.  Perhaps future research will document which birthplace is correct. 

Dolly’s mother, Esther Hemingway, was born in Orange County, New York. Esther was a Halstead. I had previously known about Esther’s family from Ruttenber & Clark’s History of Orange County, New York containing a brief biography about her grandfather, Richard Halstead, an early settler of Goshen. Richard’s son, Michael, was Esther’s father. Michael’s children were named in the work including Esther who was called “Mrs. William Hemingway”.  Another daughter of Michael’s married a Hemingway, “Mrs. Silas Hemingway”. The bio follows:

“Richard Halstead was an early settler of Goshen. He lived on the Florida road, near the present Snyder place, over the "Rio Grande," and it is claimed by his descendants that he was the first merchant in Goshen. He afterwards bought 600 acres of land in what is now Wawayanda, adjoining the Fullerton farm.  The tradition in this family is that his son Michael was born there. If so (as Michael died in 1820, at the age of seventy- two), it determines the settlement of Richard in Wawayanda to have been as early as 1747 or 1748, not more than ten or twelve years later than the Dolsens. Michael Halstead left several children, Michael Jr., Jesse, Aaron, Mrs. William Hemingway, Mrs. Silas Hemingway, and Mrs. Alma Bailey. Michael, Jr., had one daughter, Mrs. Charles T. Jackson, from whom most of these particulars are obtained. It is understood that the pioneer Richard Halstead had a brother Joseph, who came to Orange County about the same time. He had no children, but an adopted son, bearing the family name, became the owner of the well- known Cash farm in Wawayanda.”

The 1798 Assessment Records confirm William Hemingway was a resident of the Town of Minisink. The “Assessment Record, homes and farms, 1798, Town of Minisink, Orange Co., N. Y.” transcribed by William J. Coulter includes William Hemingway dwelling on 134 acres owned by John Forger. This section of Minisink would later become the Town of Wawayanda about 1849/50. 

William Hemingway was still in the Town of Minisink when the 1800 federal census was enumerated.[2] His household included 1 unknown male under 10 years; 2 males between 16 and 26 years, William and another male; 1 female under 10 years, Dolly; 1 unknown female between 10 and 16 years, and 1 female between 16 and 26, Esther.

On March 28, 1804 William Hemingway and his wife, Esther, of the Town of Minisink, Orange Co., NY sold 25 1/2 acres land to Silas Hemingway, house carpenter, also of Minisink. John S. Ketcham was a neighboring property holder. The deed was signed by William and Esther Hemingway and witnessed by Jonathon Davisson and William Halstead. William and Esther appeared in the Court of Common Pleas March 19, 1804 but the transaction wasn’t entered in county records until April 15, 1807.[3]

The Old School Baptist Church at Brookfield (later known as Slate Hill) records indicates William Hemingway was a church member on Feb. 6, 1805 when the Church’s trustees sold pews and seats to raise money to finish their meeting house. William purchased Pew number 11 for $27.00.

"Primitive Baptist Church of Brookfield" by Daniel Case - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
(Old School Baptist Church was also known as the
Primitive Baptist Church of Brookfield)

On April 1, 1809, William Hemingway served as a will witness for John Forgerson from Minisink along with Jonathan Shephard and Joshua Reeve.[4] 

William Hemingway remained in Minisink per the 1810 federal census. His household included 1 male under 10 years, perhaps this is a son Silas; 1 unknown male between 16 and 26 years; 1 male between 26 and 45 years, probably William Hemingway; 2 unknown females under 10; 1 female between 10 and 16 years, Dolly would have been 12 years old; 1 female between 26 and 45 years, Esther Hemingway.[5]

When the 1820 federal census was taken, the family was again counted in the Town of Minisink. Dolly had already married John Doty and had started her own family.  William, about 44 years old, and Esther, about 41 years old had young children in their home. Two males, one under 10 years and the other between 10 and 16 were living in the Hemingway home along with two females, one under 10 years and the other between 10 and 16 years.[6]

A search of the 1825 New York State Census for the Town of Minisink proved negative. William must have taken his family to Sussex County, New Jersey sometime between 1820 and 1825. 

In 1830 there were 5 people living in William Hemingway’s home at Wantage, Sussex Co., New Jersey. William and Esther were the 50 - 60 year olds in the house. A small boy, between 5 and 10 years, a young man aged between 15 and 20 years and a girl between 15 and 20 years were the other members of the household.[7] 

The Hemingway family remained in Wantage per the 1840 federal census enumeration. William’s household consisted of 4 people:  one male between 15 and 20 years, William being the male between 60 and 70 years, one female between 10 and 15 years with Esther aged in the 60 to 70 range. One person was employed in the agriculture industry.[8]

My 3rd Great grandmother, Dolly and husband, John Doty had also relocated to Wantage, Sussex Co., New Jersey per the 1830 and 1840 federal census.[9] [10]

A few years later, Esther (Halstead) Hemingway passed on June 22, 1842. By the time the 1850 federal census was taken Sept. 7, 1850, William Hemingway was living in William and Easter Post’s home with their children.[11] William Hemingway was 74 years old and employed as a laborer. I’m wondering if Easter Post might be a daughter but haven’t been able to document this yet. Easter Post was born about 1807 in New York.  She would be a good fit with the family per the 1810 federal census.

William Hemingway died March 9, 1855 in Wantage, Sussex County, New Jersey. 

I have additional notes and thoughts but will save them for next week’s Mystery Monday, The Hemingway’s Part 2.

Line of Descent
  My Mother
Grandfather Frank Leroy Doty and wife Viola Lillian Wilson
Great Grandfather Lewis Penny Doty and wife Emily Wight
2nd Great Grandfather Albert Doty and wife Fanny Jane Bennett
3rd Great Grandmother Dolly Hemingway and husband John Doty
4th Great Grandfather William Hemingway and Esther Halstead

[1] The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Volume VI, No. 2, October 1930, Whole No. 22, Sussex County Gravestones
[2] 1800 Federal Census, Town of Minisink, Orange Co., NY page 324
[3] Orange County, New York Land Records, Deed Bk K, pages 7-9
[4] Orange County New York Early Wills Volume II, page 121
[5] 1810 Federal Census, Town of Minisink, Orange Co., NY page 412
[6] 1820 Federal Census, Town of Minisink, Orange Co., NY page 241
[7] 1830 Federal Census, Wantage Township, Sussex Co., NJ page 256
[8] 1840 Federal Census, Wantage Township, Sussex Co., NJ page 96
[9] 1830 Federal Census, Wantage Township, Sussex Co., NJ page 253
[10] 1840 Federal Census, Wantage Township, Sussex Co., NJ page 97
[11] 1850 Federal Census, Wantage Township, Sussex Co., NJ page 217, William Post Household

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