Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Introducing Alvah’s Parents: Abraham Bennett and Lydia Schultz

An Orange County, New York newspaper published Nov. 19, 1881 discussed my ancestor Abraham Bennett. I thought it might be a pleasant way to introduce 4th Great Grandparents Abraham Bennett and Lydia Schultz to my blog readers.

A Match for the Bertholf Children of Warwick

Abraham Bennett was born on the farm now owned by Hulet McBride, near Springside station, in the town of Wawayanda, in 1764. His wife, Lydia Hulse, was born where Little’s mills now stand, in 1769. They spent all of their life time within three miles of the place of their birth and raised a family of fifteen children, all of whom arrived at mature years. Mr. Bennett died in 1842. His widow survived him eight years and died in 1850. Of their children, five are now living, four daughters and a son. Mary, whose age is 94, and Nancy, aged 72, were never married; Hannah, whose age is 84, is the widow of Thomas Thorne, and Esther, the widow of I. C. Willis, aged 76. All of the girls, except Mrs. Thorne, who lives at Otisville, now live on the old homestead where they were born and which now belongs to their “baby brother,” Mr. Alvah Bennett, whose age is 70 years. The united ages of the five surviving children is 396 years, or an average of over 79 years. Mr. Alvah Bennett and Miss Esther Penney were married 49 years ago and have raised a family of twelve children, the youngest of whom is twenty-two, and have never had a death in their family. They have had thirty grand children and, twenty-eight of whom are now living. Next! W. A.
[Source Middletown Daily Press, Middletown, New York, Saturday, Nov. 19, 1881, page 3]

The author compared the Bertholf children of Warwick, Orange Co., New York to Abraham’s family. I wish I knew what the reporter meant by the title “A Match for the Bertholf Children of Warwick”. Does anybody know these Bertholf’s?

The Middletown Daily Press got Grandmother Lydia’s maiden name wrong. She was born Lydia Schultz, a daughter of Christian Schultz and Hannah Gardner.

The reporting provided a light-hardhearted moment when I saw my 3rd Great Grandfather Alvah referred to as a 70 year-old “baby brother”. I hope the Bennett sisters appreciated longevity when they read their combined ages equaled 396 years.
The Sisters
Abbott Handerson Thayer
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

I have Abraham Bennett’s estate pack and will be discussing his children in the new year.

My Ancestry
4th Great Grandparents Abraham Bennett and Lydia Schultz
3rd Great Grandparents Alvah Bennett and Esther Penney
2nd Great Grandparents Fanny Jane Bennett and Albert Doty
Great Grandparents Lewis Penny Doty and Emily Wight
Grandparents Frank Leroy Doty and Viola L. Wilson
My Mother

Monday, December 11, 2017

News of Alvah Bennett, Wawayanda, NY

The Middletown, New York newspapers have been a goldmine for me. Recently, I added two new articles for 3rd Great Grandparents Alvah Bennett and Esther Penny.

The February 19, 1881 issue of the Middletown Daily Argus reported the grandparents wedding anniversary:

Celebrating a Wedding Anniversary.
   Mr. and Mrs. Alvah Bennett, living near this village celebrated, last evening, the forty-seventh anniversary of their wedding, by a social party at which some 400 guests were present. Eleven of their twelve children and many of their grandchildren were present. After a bountiful supper, dancing was indulged in until a late hour. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were the recipients of numerous and costly presents and better still, of the good wishes of their friends for many years of happiness and prosperity.

Alvah Bennett and Esther Penny Celebrate 47th Anniversary

I knew three Middletown, NY newspapers printed Great Grandfather’s obituary when he passed. I can now add the Middletown Daily Argus to the list (Friday, August 22, 1890 edition). When I found the fourth obit, I wondered if the writer knew him as this was a more detailed account.

   Mr. Alvah Bennett, one of the oldest and best known citizens of the town of Wawayanda, died at his home near Springside Station, at 1:30 o’clock, yesterday afternoon, aged 78 years, 3 months and 7 days.
   Mr. Bennett suffered a stroke of paralysis late in the fall or early in the winter, which, for a time, completely prostrated him and made his recovery seem impossible. He, however, partially rallied, after a time, from its effects and this spring was able to walk about the farm. He, however, suffered another stroke, on Monday of this week, from the effects of which he died, as above stated.
   Mr. Bennett was the last surviving member of his family. He was the youngest of fourteen children born to Abram Bennet and Lydia Schultz, his wife. He was born on the Bennett homestead, near Springside, on which he always lived and on which he died.
   Mr. Bennett married Ester Penney, over forty years ago. Twelve children were born to them, of whom ten are now living. The sons are: Theodore, a farmer, living in the town of Crawford; William, of Brooklyn; John F. of Bloomingburgh, ex-Supervisor of the town of Mamakating; David W., a farmer near Howells; and Abram, living on the homestead farm.
   The daughters are: Jane, wife of Albert Doty, of Wawayanda, who died a few years ago; Almeda, widow of the late Geo. W. Horton, of Wawayanda, who since her husband’s death, several years since, has lived at the homestead; Harriet, wife of George W. Carpenter, of this city; Kittie, who died several years ago, and who was the wife of ______ Doane of Wawayanda; Ida, living near Goshen; Ann, wife of Seth Blizzard, of Slate Hill; and Elizabeth, wife of Horace Doane of Gardnerville.
   Mr. Bennett was related to several well-known families in this city and vicinity. He was an uncle of the late Oliver Crawford and also of Mr. James B. Crawford and of Mrs. C. Macardell, of this city, and of Mr. John H. Crawford, of the town of Wallkill.
   Mr. Bennett, during his life-long residence in Wawayanda, became very widely known. He was a whole-souled, generous-hearted man, who won his way at once to the hearts of all of his acquaintances and will be sincerely mourned by all who knew him.
   The funeral notice appears elsewhere.       

   Earlier posts about Alvah Bennett:

TREASURE CHEST THURSDAY After 50 Year Marriage Alvah and Ester BennettParted by Death

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY Alvah Bennet and Ester Penny, Wawayanda, Orange Co.,NY

SUNDAY OBITUARY Alvah Bennett died Aug. 21, 1890 Wawayanda, NY

My Ancestry
3rd Great Grandparents Alvah Bennett and Esther Penny
2nd Great Grandmother Fannie Jane Bennett and husband Albert Doty
Great Grandfather Lewis Penny Doty and wife Emily Wight
Grandfather Frank Leroy Doty and wife Viola L. Wilson
My Mother

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Daniel Maclise
Snap-apple Night

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

J. B. Clark’s Mustangs Run Away, Middletown, NY

2nd Great Grandfather Jeremiah B. Clark found himself chasing mustangs in downtown Middletown one Friday in May 1905. The Orange County Times reported the mustangs’ dash through Franklin Square in their May 23, 1905 edition.

Orange County Times, Middletown, New York
Tuesday, May 23, 1905

Team Belonging to Jerry
Clark, a Goshen Butcher,
Badly Injured Friday

   An exciting runaway occurred on Main street about 7 o’clock Friday. A team of mustangs belonging to Jerry Clark, a Goshen butcher, had been left standing in front of Robert Dugdale’s market, corner of West Main and Henry streets, and started on a run without any apparent reason.
   Mr. Clark drove to Middletown after a supply of meat which he procured at the Armour beef house. He was on his way home and stopped at Mr. Dugdale’s to obtain information concerning the purchase of an ice box. While the gentlemen were inside the store engaged in conversation the horses started suddenly and before Mr. Clark could reach them they broke into a run. The team dashed up West Main street toward Franklin Square at terrific speed and near the corner of South street just missed colliding with another rig. In making a turn into Academy avenue the wheels of the wagon struck the trolley tracks, causing the vehicle to sway so that both horses were thrown, and the wheels on one side of the wagon were torn off.
   The mustangs were caught before they had a chance to regain their feet. Both the horses were badly injured. One was bleeding at the mouth and is thought to have been hurt internally, and the other was severely cut and bruised.
   There was a heavy load of meat on the wagon, but it remained intact.

 Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

My Ancestry
2nd Great Grandfather Jeremiah B. Clark and wife Harriet C. Ogden
Great Grandmother Grace Lee Clark and husband Jerome W. Wilson
Grandmother Viola Lillian Wilson and husband Frank Leroy Doty
My Mother

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Review, Re-Do, and Rethink: James Todd Sr.’s Proofs

James Todd Sr. of Pudding Run, Augusta County, Virginia

The following material is from The Todd Family of Mossy Creek Augusta County, Virginia compiled by Katherine Gentry Bushman in 1966.

The story of the Mossy Creek Todd family, for us, begins with James Todd who died in 1799, prior to December 23.  That is the date on which Jane Todd, the widow, relinquished her right to administer the estate in favor of her son, George Todd. 

The known children of James and Jane Todd were

            George (evidently the eldest son since he administered the estate)
            James, Jr.

            Chalkley, Vol. 1, page 534, Jane Todd widow of James relinquished her right to administer to son, George Todd
            Ibid., Vol. 3, page 220, James Todd's estate in account with George Todd, adm--Paid James Todd, Jr., for attending Pendleton Court; paid Nathan Todd, ditto (WB 9, page 113, 1801)
            Wayland, Rockingham County History, page 450, James Todd, Wm Nall's Company, Point Pleasant, 1774
            Wayland, History of Shenandoah County, Virginia, page 210 J. Todd--cut into Beech tree, Warren County, Kentucky, 6-13-1775
            Wayland, Virginia Valley Records, page 99, Militia Vouchers of 1788:  James Todd:  3 horses
            Deed Book 33, page 345, 11-1-1804 (Augusta County) Nathan Todd, Samuel Todd, James Todd, Jr., heirs of James Todd deceased, sell land on Pudding Run

I wanted a look at the records Katherine Bushman cited in her proofs. Lyman Chalkley’s Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County 1745-1800, Volume I, page 534 did record Jane Todd relinquishing her right to administer her husband’s estate in favor of her son December 23, 1799.

Thanks to Patricia Mae Hull Fulton, I have more to add to James Todd Sr.’s story. In 2007 Patt published her family’s history in a book titled Ancestors and Descendants of Vesper Beryl Fierce Hull of Iowa and Allied Families of Criswell, Hiner, Pickrel, Robinson, Strong, Todd and West. Patt’s Chapter Eight is dedicated to the Todd line and she shared it with me.

By the way, Patt is a descendant of Rachel Todd and Jacob Hiner, Jr. Rachel was the daughter of Catherine Siple and James Todd Jr. (and sister to my ancestor Catherine Todd who married David McFall).

She proves Jane Todd to be the widow of James Todd Sr. citing Augusta County Court Order Book 26, page 128:

   “George Todd, administrator of the Estate of James Todd dec’d, is granted him, he having made oath and entered into bond with Joseph Craven & James Todd his sureties in the penalty of $1,000 according to Law. Jane Todd, the widow of the said dec’d James, having certified to the Court that she relinquished her right of administration ordered that James Miller, James McHenry, John Bell and Joseph Snapp or any three of them being first Sworn to appraise said Estate.”

As Katherine Bushman stated, I found George Todd’s accounting in Chalkley’s Chronicles Volume III when he paid James Jr. and Nathan Todd for a court appearance about his father’s estate.

Augusta County, VA Will Book 9, contained George Todd’s accounting of his father’s estate presented in Court June 22, 1801.

George Todd paid 7 Pounds and 9 Shillings owed on a Davies Execution. Funeral expenses, attorney’s fee, vendue expenses, court costs, and taxes were deducted from the estate too.

The Administrator reveals a court case in Pendleton Court--James Todd against Ekert. That’s when Nathan Todd and James Todd, Jr. appeared as witnesses and George paid each 1 Pound.

Patt Fulton knew a bit more about the court suit. Nathan and James Jr. Todd appeared in Franklin, Pendleton Co., VA because their father initiated an action against Phillip Ekert for money owed him. [Source Pendleton County Minute Book 1795-1803, 80, County Clerk’s Office, Franklin, West Virginia.]

Mrs. Bushman thought James Todd a soldier of the Revolution and cited
John Walter Wayland’s Rockingham County, Virginia History, page 450. There was a James Todd that was a member of Wm Nall's Company of Volunteers from Augusta County, in the campaign to Point Pleasant in 1774. Google Books offers this work in their collection and I viewed pages 449-450.

Virgil A. Lewis’ book, History of the Battle of Point Pleasant Fought Between White Men and Indians at the Mouth of the Great Kanawha River (Now Point Pleasant, West Virginia), Monday, October 10th, 1774, The Chief Event of Lord Dunmore’s War is going on my reading list. Captain William Nalle’s Augusta County Regiment participated in the Battle of Point Pleasant; Private James Todd was among his soldiers. The Documentary History of Dunmore’s War, 1774 edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites and Louise Phelps Kellogg confirms James Todd’s presence in Captain William Nalls Company September 10th 1774. Both volumes can be found on Google Books. I can’t say with certainty this is my ancestor but it very well could be.

Proof: John Walter Wayland, History of Shenandoah County, Virginia, page 210 J. Todd--cut into Beech tree, Warren County, Kentucky, 6-13-1775. I viewed page 210 through my ancestry.com subscription and don’t have enough information to form an opinion.

James Todd was among the men serving under Captain Benjamin Smith’s Company in Rockingham County, VA in 1788. He owned three horses. According to personal property tax lists, 5th Great Grandfather resided in Rockingham County before living in Augusta County. [Source John W. Wayland, Virginia Valley Records, page 99]

I already covered the final proof Deed Book 33, page 345, 11-1-1804 (Augusta County) Nathan Todd, Samuel Todd, James Todd, Jr., heirs of James Todd deceased, sell land on Pudding Run in my blog post Review, Re-Do, and Rethink Todd Ancestry: James Todd Jr. Buys out his Brothers.

Today’s post wraps up my Review, Re-Do, and Rethink Todd Ancestry project and that’s only because I don’t know James Senior’s beginnings.

Reviewing my papers and notes triggered new thoughts and questions. The Re-Do answered some of those questions. I benefited from meeting Todd descendants who shared their research. It was wonderful to connect with them. Thank you Patt Fulton and Richard McMurtry.

Any other Todd’s want to talk?

The Natural Bridge, Virginia, 1852
Frederick Edwin Church
Wikimedia Commons

My ancestry
5th Great Grandfather James Todd Sr. and wife Jane
4th Great Grandfather James Todd, Jr., and wife Catherine Siple
3rd Great Grandmother Catherine Todd and husband David McFall
2nd Great Grandfather James Addison McFall and wife Radie Maria Harman
Great Grandmother Flora Belle McFall and husband Daniel Franklin Joseph
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Review, Re-Do, and Rethink Todd Ancestry: James Todd Jr. Buys out his Brothers

I continued reviewing Katherine Bushman’s The Todd Family of Mossy Creek, Augusta County, Virginia. Mrs. Bushman cited Deed Book 33, page 345 in her proofs for James Todd Sr. She concluded Nathan, Samuel, and James Todd Jr. sold James Sr.’s land on Pudding Run in 1804.

FamilySearch.org digitized some Augusta County, Virginia deeds. I was able to view the deed in question at a Family History Center near my home. My read on the document differed from Mrs. Bushman.

I’ll summarize my interpretation and follow with a transcription of the agreement.

The Augusta County, Virginia indenture was dated November 1, 1804—five years after James Todd Sr. died. Nathan and Samuel Todd each sold their undivided sixth share in a tract of land located on Pudding Run to James Todd Jr. The land belonged to their late father.

Money changed hands to seal the deal. James Junior paid Nathan and Samuel 30 Pounds each after borrowing 60 Pounds from J. McCue Dec. 18, 1804.

Transcription: Augusta County, VA Deed Book 33, pages 345-346

This Indenture made the first day of November in the year 1804 between Nathan Todd & Samuel Todd of the County of Augusta of the one part, & James Todd of the same place of the other part,  Witnesseth that the said Nathan Todd & Samuel Todd each for themselves & for and in consideration of the sum of thirty pounds to Nathan Todd & Thirty pounds currency to Samuel Todd to them in hand paid by the aforesaid James Todd at & before the ensealing & delivery hereof the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged & themselves fully satisfied contented & paid do each for themselves Grant bargain sell assign alien ______ & confirm unto the said James Todd his heirs & assigns forever each and all their undivided part of in and to a Tract of land lying in Augusta County on Pudding run which s’d tract of land their Father James Todd dec’d Sr was seized & possessed of & which they hold as heirs at law of the s’d JamesTodd Sr dec’d to have & to hold the s’d two undivided shares to him the s’d James Todd & his heirs & assigns forever and the said Nathan Todd & Samuel Todd do covenant and agree to & with the s’d James Todd & his heirs & assigns forever that they will forever warrant and defend each his undivided sixth part of in & to the aforesaid Tract of land against themselves their heirs & c. & all others claiming anything therein or thereto by from or under them or any of them to him the s’d James Todd & his heirs & assigns forever.  Given under our hands & seals the day & year first written.

                                                                                    Nathan Todd
                                                                                    Samuel Todd
James Cochran
William Cochran jun
Thomas Denny

I do assign my right and title to the two parts or Shares mention in the within Indenture, which shares I have bought of my brothers Nathan and Samuel Todd, together with my own sixt part of my fathers tract of land, on the within mentioned pudding run;  I say, I do assign my right and title, and that of my heirs, forever to J. McCue his heirs forever, in order to secure to him the Just and full payment of Sixty pounds one Shilling and nine pence on dem’d this 18th day of Dec’r 1804 and he may sell said land any day to make his money. Witness my hand and Seal the day above written.

                                                                                    James Todd
James A. McCue

Deed Book 33, page 346
Top of page

At a Court Continued and held for Augusta County June the 26th 1805 ~~
This Indenture of bargain and Sale between Nathan Todd & Samuel Todd of the one part, and James Todd of the other part was proved by the Oath of William Cochran jun’r a witness thereto ~~
At July Court 1805 This Indenture was proved by the oath Thomas Denny a witness thereto ~~
At a Court held for the said County the 24th day of March 1806
This Indenture was further proved by the oath of James Cochran a witness thereto and ordered to be recorded.
                                                                                    Chesley Kinney C.C.

It’s too bad a more detailed land description wasn’t included. I only know James Senior’s land was in the same vicinity as the 104 acres that James Junior paid the Davies family 100 Pounds on Pudding Run in 1822. See my last blog James Todd’s Ties to Pudding Spring Draft.

Richard McMurtry’s web site The Todds of Augusta County, Virginia is a genealogical goldmine for Todd family descendants. Mr. McMurtry traced the history of the 104 acre lot on Pudding Spring Tract to James Todd Sr. James Senior “encumbered a debt” with James and Walter Davies in 1795. The Davies’ purchased the land from the Hogshead family in 1793 and they obtained the parcel from the original patent owner Moses Hall. In 1799 the Davies’ went to court to get the money they were owed.

I confirmed a connection between James Todd Senior and the Davies among my papers. Senior died intestate leaving his son George to administer his estate. George Todd’s settlement was presented in Augusta County June 22, 1801. At first glance I thought the first item read ‘To paid Davies Executor 7 Pounds, 9 Shillings’.

Excerpt from Augusta Co. VA Will Book 9, page 113

Only when I enlarged the image, I saw ‘To paid Davies Execution’. Execution—what’s that? I checked my A to Zax Dictionary and soon realized James Todd Sr. had a judgment against him because he didn’t pay a debt. The Court had stepped in to satisfy the debt. This agrees with Richard McMurtry’s research.

I learned more specifics about the Todd tract from Peggy D. Munson’s web page Lytle Family: Register Report of James Hogshead. James’ son, William Hogshead, bought 2 lots on Pudding Spring Draft Aug. 16, 1773 from Moses Hall. One tract contained 104 acres and the other 99 acres. The Davies’ paid 120 Pounds for both Sept. 17, 1793.
I looked for Moses Hall on the Library of Virginia web site among the Land Office Patents issued by the Secretary of the Colony. He did indeed receive a land grant August 16, 1756 for 104 acres on Pudding Spring Branch in Augusta County, VA. I downloaded an image of the patent to study. Lo and behold, the land description was almost word for word as written in James Todd Jr.’s 1822 deed.

It seems James Todd Sr. owned the 104 acres on Pudding Spring Draft near the waters of the Mossy Creek. Then James Todd Jr. took over the property. A similar scenario was played out by James Junior’s children leaving the land to Todd grandsons Preston and James H. Todd.

By this time you know I’m a document diva so my next task will be to find any evidence of these dealings in court records.

My Ancestry:
4th Great Grandfather James Todd, Jr., and wife Catherine Siple
3rd Great Grandmother Catherine Todd and husband David McFall
2nd Great Grandfather James Addison McFall and wife Radie Maria Harman
Great Grandmother Flora Belle McFall and husband Daniel Franklin Joseph
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father