Saturday, January 19, 2019

Mehitable - 52 Ancestors

Mehitable is an Old Testament name meaning "God Rejoices." 

I first encountered the name “Mehitable” when I researched the founding mother of the Agards in America—Esther Agard.

In April 1683 John “The Elder” Agard and his wife Esther traveled to the new world. John either died at sea or immediately upon arrival, leaving Esther, who was six months pregnant to become the founding member of Agards in America.

Esther gave birth to John “The Younger” Agard on 16 July 1683, either in Boston or Barnstable, MA. On 14 December 1685, Esther married Samuel Storrs. Samuel Storrs' wife, Mary (Huckins) Storrs died shortly after giving birth to the couple’s seventh child, Mehitable.

Samuel and Esther Agard Storrs had three children, Thomas, Esther, and Cordial. Thomas married a woman named Mehitable Joyce on 14 March 1708. They in turn had a daughter named Mehitable.

In the Agard line, John “The Younger” Agard married Mehitable Hall in 1709. John and Metitable had seven children. The first five sons consist of the five branches of the Agards in America. The only daughter, Mehitable, born 14 October 1718. I have not traced her at this point. 

The next Metitable appears in the Benjamin Branch of the Agard family. Benjamin Agard married Elizabeth Hall and lived in Mansfield, Connecticut. Mehitable was born 16 October 1784 and died 8 June 1770. 

The first child of the Hezekiah Branch born to Hezekiah and Abigail Damon Agard was named Mehitable, born 5 November 1752 in Torrington, Connecticut.

The last Mehitable that I know of in this line was born into the Benjamin Branch, to Joshua and Ruth (Needham) Agard. Ruth was the daughter of Humphrey and Dorothy Munger of Wales, Massachusetts. Their second child was named Mehitable.

The Mehitable naming pattern in this family line seems to end with this generation.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Challenge – 52 Ancestors

My biggest challenge this past year was finishing the transcription of the Jacksonville M.E. Church history. It isn’t the most exciting document. The “history” is just a recording of minutes taken from 1842 to 1946. Photos taken by local residents have been added. An index of names and events will be included.

Update on 12 January 2019: Thanks to the trustees, the file cabinet that has been locked for many years has now been opened. The bottom drawer was filled with papers and documents relating to the church's history. Best of all: My great-grandmother's leather notebook in which she transcribed the church history was found in the drawer. And, it contains the missing twenty-seven years. A volunteer is now sorting through the papers and will arrange them in file folders. This spring we will travel north, go through the papers and see how much to include in my Jacksonville Church History document. Great news!

The church history is important because the document details the struggle and resilience of the Jacksonville church community. Financial issues plagued the church throughout its history, but the community rose to the challenge each time and made sure the church survived.

An excerpt:

July 1851            Subject of uniting Jacksonville and Trumansburg again brought up at Quarterly Conference.  Bro. John W. Nevins, P.E.

Bros Ashworth and Tichenor were delegates from Trumansburg. After long speeches it was laid on the table.

October 1851             It seems that finances were a serious problem for the Jacksonville Church, so much so, that in October 1851 a committee of three was appointed to inquire into the propriety of selling the M.E. Church. The committee to see about this was Joseph Stout, Joseph Ganoung and Elisha Wilcox.

The church history is important for genealogists. Those with ancestors in the Ulysses and Tompkins County area can find out if those ancestors belonged to the church, were active members, or maybe even expelled.

The plan is to have the volume bound and presented to the church in early spring.

Monday, January 7, 2019

First – 52 Ancestors Challenge

The title refers to the fact that it is a challenge for me to keep up with Amy Johnson Crow’s weekly blog suggestions. Writing mystery novels over the past several years has gotten in the way of my genealogy research. I’m trying to rectify that.

I did, however, sort out the marriages of Flossie C. (Dean) Searles Wortman’s marriages. When I did the original research many years ago I found an article in the Trumansburg Free Press and Sentinel that stated: “On December 29, 1910, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fremont Dean, of East Ulysses occurred the marriage of their daughter Flossie to Mr. Warren Searles of Hector.” In my haste I did not follow through on this, and just assumed the paper got it wrong and that she had not married a “Searles,” but instead the Warren mentioned was Warren “Wortman.”

I now know that Flossie did first marry Warren Searles, and had a daughter named Grace born 30 July 1911. That marriage ended and sometime between 1915 and December 1918 (when Flossie was listed as Warren Wortman's wife on his WWI draft registration card) Flossie married Warren Wortman. I have scoured the newly released (thanks to Reclaim the Records) marriage records for these years and have come up empty handed. I’ve also looked for some other marriage records that don’t seem to be listed. I wonder if the town clerk (s) have not submitted all their records, or the records may be lost.

Elizabeth Lois Wortman was born 16 May 1919 to Flossie and Warren. Flossie died on 24 May 1919, eight days after giving birth. She was listed as living at 205 Pleasant Street in Ithaca. Flossie is buried in the Trumansburg, New York Grove Cemetery, Plot 708 with the Wortman and Dean family.

There is much more work to do on this family, but I am relieved to get Flossie’s marriages sorted.