Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Jacksonville (NY) Community United Methodist Church history


Introduction page

An exciting and stressful day. Exciting because I finished transcribing and indexing my great-grandmother’s handwritten history of the Jacksonville, New York M.E. Church. Readers should note that the name of the church changed over time, and as I was finishing the project, I asked: What do I call this? I decided on the name the community is using now.

Next page with quote from an 1898 newspaper

While transcribing her diaries I learned in 1946 Jessie (Tucker) Agard was asked to write the history of the community church. In January 1947 she purchased a manuscript book for $10.00 at Miller’s Paper Store in Ithaca, New York. Every day that winter she noted, “worked on church history.” I was curious to see this book, but no one seemed to know where it was. Thanks to my cousin and former Jacksonville Town Historian, Nancy Dean, a copy of the handwritten pages were found.

Jessie’s history of the church starts in 1790 and continues with board of trustee minutes through 1946. I learned this spring that she was asked to continue, which she did until 1957 when Florence Graham took over. During our visit to Jacksonville this May I was able to hold the manuscript book that Jessie purchased and copied the history into.

The morning was stressful because I took five copies of the completed history to the UPS store to ship to the Bridgeport National Bindery in Agawam, MA—a good thing, but always wondering, did I get everything right? Are all the pages in order (even though I checked each one)? Murphy's Law?

Five copies prepped and ready to ship to Bridgeport National Bindery
 I look forward to holding the bound books in my hand, and then distributing them to the proper repositories.

This project is for you great-grandma Jessie Agard. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Mysterious Harriett N. (Wortman) Crippen



A Wortman family researcher contacted me recently about Harriett N. (Wortman) Crippen. This “cousin” has worked hard, for years, trying to learn more about Harriett who was born abt 1833-1836, presumably to Jeremiah Clark Wortman and Phebe Brundage. That couple had four children (assuming Harriet is their first). The others are: Marilda J. (Wortman) Mitchell, Frances (Wortman) Covert, and Mary (Wortman) Thorpe.

Jeremiah Clark Wortman died in 1845, the same year Mary was born. Harriett married Jackson H. Crippen in September 1850. That same year widow Phebe (Brundage) Wortman married Lewis Halsey Wortman (not a brother; cousin?).

The Crippens had a daughter, Flora who died in 1892. Flora married Herman Cornell and had three children.

My “cousin” wants to confirm that Harriett N. Wortman is the daughter of Jeremiah Clark and Phebe (Brundage) Wortman.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Family of Margaret Conlon


From left, Maggie (Conlon) Doyle, Patrick Doyle and ?
Margaret (Maggie) (Conlon) Doyle is my paternal great grandmother. She is someone whom I know little about. I am now revisiting this family and hope I can find the link between Edward Conlon and Maggie.

Edward’s daughter, Mary (Mae) b: abt 1902 was always introduced as my grandmother’s cousin. Mae spent her two week summer vacations with us in Upstate New York while visiting my grandmother Mary Agnes (Doyle) Nunn. I’d also met Mae’s brother Lawrence, and knew about George and Edward Conlon.

From left, Mary (Doyle) Nunn and Mae (Conlon) Harrington
 Yesterday I searched the 1905 New York State census and was surprised to find another child in the family—Anna b: abt 1903. Their parents, Edward Conlon b: abt 1873 and Mary (O’Donnell) Conlon b: abt 1873 and family lived in Manhattan.

Edward reports in the 1910 Federal Census that he is a widower working as an oiler in a powerhouse. A brother named Lawrence, age 31, is living with him.

During previous research I’d found the sons Edward and George Conlon living at the Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum for Boys in the Bronx District #35 in 1910. The orphan asylum was located on Sedgewick Avenue and Kingsbridge Road.

Where are Lawrence, Mae and Anna? What happened to the mother and where is she buried. These questions remain to be answered.

In 1915 Edward, George, Lawrence and Mae are boarding with the John and Bridget Conlon family on Wallace Street, Bronx, New York, and then by 1917 the Conlon children still minus Anna are living with Patrick and Maggie (Conlon) Doyle at 164 East 97th Street in Manhattan.

I’ve come up blank on finding information on Mae’s marriage to John Harrington, his death, and burial. I have Mae’s funeral card with the date of 11 September 1983, but no indication of church or funeral home. I know Mae Conlon and John Harrington were married between the time the census was taken in 1930 and 1935. I’ve looked through the Reclaim the Records index of New York marriages for the Bronx, but now wonder if they went to Manhattan to get married in the same church as my grandparents, St. Lucy’s. That’s my next step.

My challenge is to connect Maggie b: abt 1865 and Edward b: abt 1873 so I can add this branch to my family tree.

And then there is Thomas Conlon living with the Doyles in 1910. Ah, the Irish cousins.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Jacksonville Community United Methodist Church history – an update


Jacksonville Church sanctuary, May 8, 2019
We made a trip to Upstate New York in early May to review the manuscript books and other church history items my friend Beth found and spent the winter organizing.

We met at her house where she put before me the manuscript book my great-grandmother Jessie (Tucker) Agard worked on from the handwritten notes that I have been transcribing. Through Beth’s research we learned that Jessie finished the first set of minutes dated 1842 through 1946 to the church and then took the book back to continue with the project. Jessie transcribed the minutes through 1957 when Florence Graham took over the task. Mrs. Graham transcribed the minutes from 1957 through 1979.

We then went to the church where Beth showed off its soon-to-be-open-for-the season thrift shop – beautifully arranged, and then we walked across the road to the church. After admiring the quilts on the wall, the sanctuary, and the Rose Window, we went downstairs into a back hallway where the infamous previously locked file cabinet resides. Beth showed us the files she had organized neatly into Pendaflex and manila folders. She then pulled out the drawers of the other file cabinets. So much history; so little time.

The question was: how did I want to proceed with my part of the project knowing there is all this information yet to be digitized? The answer was easy. I’m transcribing what my great-grandmother did and that will be one project done. When that is bound and distributed, we can talk about what else should be tackled and maybe someone in the community will come forward and volunteer for the job.

My dining room table is covered with the handwritten minutes, my typed copy, and ten pages of two columns of index terms that I am working through putting in page numbers. Not as easy as it sounds. The issue comes when there are two persons with the same name or just an initial, and when women in the earlier years were listed as Mrs. and in later years with their first name. I had to consult the U.S. Federal Census to determine who was the wife of Frank Mattison. Caroline is the answer, though the census listed her as “Cardine.” That census also told me that Monroe was their son. I suspect I will be spending a fair amount of time on census research before the index project is complete.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Great Grandparent Book


A photo book with text to introduce our six and seven year old grandsons to our parents

“Do I have any great grandparents living?” was a question my then six-year-old grandson asked when we were coloring together after Christmas. The answer was no. Not on his mother’s or father’s side. I explained that Papa and I had great grandparents as part of our lives when we were growing up.

His question prompted me to introduce our grand boys to our parents. It took a few months, but I finally put my shoulder to the wheel and got it done. It was one of the most difficult projects I’d taken on in a while.

I planned to do a Snapfish photo book, like the ones I do of them every six months. As I pulled photos from our photo archive located in our lower level hobby room, I realized how difficult this was going to be—finding just the right photo of my parents to tell their story. And so many photos I wanted to share.

I decided an 8-1/2 x 11 format would be better, spiral bound. So I started with that, laying in numerous photos, adding many of the boys in Florida. Hubby was doing the same for his parents.

But it didn’t seem right, so I went back to my original idea. This book is for a six and seven year old. They’ll want pictures and little text. I went back to my Snapfish idea and started the book, and then realized some of my photos were “low resolution.” Although these have worked in the past, I wanted these photos to be the best they could be. I spent the afternoon running downstairs and back upstairs looking for the photos I had scanned years ago to rescan at 600 dpi.

Five hours later I was almost done. We wanted to end the book with a picture my husband had taken in March of our son, daughter-in-law and the two boys on the Anna Maria Island beach at sunset. He sent it over to me from his iPhone, and although we were only inches apart, it took hours for the photo to arrive. Consequently, it was Monday morning before I finished the book and sent it off to be printed.

On the last page I wanted a photo of our son’s family and I added the caption that we are so happy the boys are the fifth generation of our family to vacation on Anna Maria Island. They visit us there every year and since it coincides with my older grandson’s birthday, we host a mini family reunion. Many relatives are in Florida in March, so we consistently have twenty-five to thirty people showing up for his birthday/family potluck gathering. I’m so thankful we rent a large house with a large deck, and the dolphins are willing to entertain our guests.

The book has a block on the very back cover for a photo, but instead I put a quote by Janet Hvorka:

“When people are grounded in where they have come from … it strengthens them and empowers them.”

In the corner of the back over is the embellishment: Grandparents fill the world with love.

Next project is to get our daughter-in-law’s parents to do their side of the family.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Robina (Donaldson) Carson - In the Paper - #52 Ancestors


A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to perform a Random Act of Genealogical Kindness from a phone call I took while on docent duty at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum.

A woman needed information on her aunt Robina Carson. She wanted verification of Robina's maiden name, husband's name, and where they lived. The family had done some research and thought Robina was from Scotland and she married someone named Carson.

I took the request home with me and hubby and I had a great time learning about Robina. Between the two of us the information was coming so fast I decided to do a timeline to keep it all straight as well as be able to share it with the woman who called.

This past weekend we attended a day long seminar by Dr. Thomas W. Jones. One of his presentations was titled: "Can a Complex Research Problem Be Solved Solely Online?" He did a great job of presenting a case study using online sources, but every so often he would point out that to verify or obtain certain information, a trip to a repository would be necessary. At the end, he answered the question - "Yes, but ... "

In doing research on Robina, we found most of the information online, but . . . to verify her place of birth, find her siblings' names, and residence, we had to reach out to the Manatee public library where microfilm of the local newspapers are held. We needed obituaries on Robina and her husband Ernest.

Hubby and I LOVE librarians. I called the library to ask if they had the microfilm, and yes, they did. If I gave them name and date of death, they would do the research and email the obit to me. Wow - this saved me a trip into town. 

In less than 24 hours, I had the obits for Robina and Ernest, in docx and pdf forms. Those obits provided the information we needed to complete our research on Robina. 

Below is the timeline I developed for Robina M. (Donaldson) Carson

Timeline for: Robina Mosley (Donaldson) Carson

[Middle initial from Findagrave gravestone transcription; full middle name from FamilySearch.org]

1891, November 25 -  Robina M. Donaldson, Born St Nicholas, Aberdeen, Scotland  [1940 U.S. Federal Census and FamilySearch.org]
Parents: George and Mary Jane (Mosley) Donaldson (FamilySearch.org)
Brothers: William and George Donaldson of Scotland (Obit)
Sisters: Mrs. William Cheyne and Mrs. John Garden of Scotland (Obit)
Religion: Presbyterian (Obit)

1927 – Immigrated to America (1930 Census, listed as alien); waitress in Pontiac, MI.

1897, August 16  - Ernest J. Carson [Husband] born Yale, Michigan (Obit)

1916, March 4, Ernest J. Carson married Lucie Hess. [https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=9093&h=1060031&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=61374] (Parents: Charles and Mary J. (Spring) Carson

1924 – July 16 – Ernest married Gladys Louise Marsh. [Michigan County Marriages [https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=XXJ105&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&db=fsmarriagemichigan&gsfn=Ernest%20J.&gsln=Carson&msbdy=1897&msgdy=1938&new=1&rank=1&redir=false&uidh=qx2&gss=angs-d&pcat=34&fh=0&h=147321&recoff=&ml_rpos=1]

1935 – Pontiac City Directory not listed; Neva (Ernest’s daughter b: 1916 listed as student living at 77 Wisner)

1937 – Pontiac City Directory – Neva working as clerk at M.D. Hubbard Spring Company. Resident: 153 S. Edith.

1937 – Pontiac City Directory – Ernest J. Carson working as Auto Mechanic. Residence: 156 Palmer.

1938 – Pontiac City Directory – Ernest J. Carson working as mechanic Pontiac Motor Company Retail Store. Residence: 156 Palmer

1938-39Robina M. Donaldson and Ernest J. Carson married.

1939 – Pontiac City Director – Ernest J. Carson mechanic Pontiac Motor Div. Retail Store; Residence 157 Palmer. Robina M. listed

1939 – 1945 – Pontiac, Michigan City Directories – Robina and Ernest listed. Residence: 56 Palmer Street and 73 Augusta Ave.

1940, Census, Robina (Roline) M. and Ernest J. Carson living in Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan; 2 years high school education; Lived same place in 1935, 73 Augusta Avenue, Pontiac, Michigan

1961 – Moved to Bradenton, Florida (Ernest obit)

1967, March 11 – Discharged from hospital [Library of Virginia Newspaper Archives]

1967, April 10  - Robina died, buried in Manasota Memorial Park, Bradenton, Florida

1967, April – Buried Manasota Memorial Memorial Park https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/134364663/robina-m-carson

1985, February 4 – Ernest J. Carson died. Buried with Robina at Manasota Memorial Park.  [Findagrave]

Research done March 2019 by:

M. E. Maki, author (Docent Anna Maria Historical Society)
Memaki.com
Fatal Dose; A Caitlyn Jamison Mystery
An Unexpected Death; A Caitlyn Jamison Mystery
http://caitlynjamisonmysteries.blogspot.com/
Harry Nunn and His Family
The Hardenbrook Family: Honoring Ancestors in Upstate New York
http://growingupinwillowcreek.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Family Photo and Love - #52 Ancestors


Merritt and Maude Emma Agard 60th Wedding Celebration
This family photo exemplifies love as each of these couples married young and stayed happily married until death did they part. They served as a strong moral core for their families and for everyone who knew them. They used their talents to the benefit of the communities in which they lived.



The photo was taken in 1983 on the occasion of the 60th wedding anniversary of Merritt Martin Agard and Maude Emma (Hardenbrook) Agard. The couple on the left is their son John Richard Agard and his wife Beverly (Shepard) Agard; on the right, Edward Francis Nunn and Carol (Agard) Nunn (my parents). The photo was taken at our family restaurant, Taughannock Farms Inn, overlooking Cayuga Lake near Trumansburg, New York.



Merritt’s version of how he met Maude: It was at one of their church suppers (Jacksonville M.E. Church) that he caught Maude Hardenbrook’s eye. Maude had attended with another young man from the community. Merritt, being mischievous, turned the lights out during the supper. While the lights were out, he raced in, took Maude’s hand, and took her away from her companion.



Maude on the other hand liked to tell the story that on one of their first dates, Merritt tried to kiss her and she slapped his face. In any event, they sorted all that out, were married, and celebrated their 60th anniversary in August 1983.



From their wedding book: They were married at Willow Creek on August 22, 1923 by the Reverend R. L. Smith. Witnesses were Helen Atwater and Alfred Hopkins. Guests were: Mrs. E. Hardenbrook, Mr. Enos Hardenbrook, Mrs. Arthur Agard, Mr. Arthur Agard, Mrs. Menzo Wortman, Mr. Menzo Wortman, Mr. W. L. Twekin, John W. Agard, Mary A. Simpson, Moreia Higgins, Fred D. Higgins, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Agard, Frank J. Beardsley, Mrs. F.J. Beardsley, Adalade C. Tucker, Mr. and Mrs. John Rightmire, Delia Rightmire, Mr. and Mrs. C. Owen Carman, Dorothy M. Vann, M. Gertrude Godfrey, Eleanor M. Drew, Mrs. Walter Higgins, Mary Higgins, Leon Drew, Walter Higgins, Emily H. Gardner, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Darling, Cornelia B. Thompson, Mrs. C. H. Smith, C. H. Smith, Kenneth Hardenbrook, Alice D. Sherman.



J. Richard Agard and Beverly Jean Shepard were married July 1946 in Sage Chapel on the campus of Cornell University.



Edward Nunn and Carol Louise Agard were married September 12, 1941 in the rectory of Immaculate Conception Church in Ithaca, New York with J. Richard Agard and Adeline Agard in attendance. The reception was held at her parent’s home on Jacksonville Road. Photos of their wedding can be found on an earlier blog.


I miss these loving members of my family.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Surprise – Find Cousins App - #52 Ancestors

  Professional genealogist Donna Moughty presented “What is the Genealogical Proof Standard and Why Should I Care,” at yesterday’s Manatee Genealogical Society meeting.  As usual for Donna, her presentation was clear, concise, and right on target. Although I try hard to follow the GPS, it is always good to have a reminder of the process:

A reasonably exhaustive search – Donna showed different examples of one of her ancestor’s date and place of birth. An ancestor she knew, but in two “primary” documents the information proved wrong.

A complete and accurate citation to the sources – We wish this was drilled into our heads when we were baby genealogists. It was reassuring that as expert as Donna is, she still finds facts and information in her earlier research lacking citation. (Is this an example of misery loves company?)

Analysis and correlation of the collected information – She showed examples in research she has done for herself and others, and implored the audience to write as you go. Writing makes sense of things. She admitted she loves to research and early on she’d spend all her time researching, and then when she started to write, found all sorts of information she was missing. (She admitted she wasn't making much money this way.)

Resolution of conflicting evidence – Donna showed four conflicting birth dates for one of her Irish Catholic ancestors. All stated the person was born in the month of October, but the day and year varied. Which one would you chose? The answer: the baptismal certificate. The reason is it is a church record and a Catholic baby at that time had to be baptized within a certain number of days after birth.

Soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion – She made the case for writing your research as you go. This will catch any errors before you find yourself with “former cousins.” Those are the ones whose family you have followed in error. Up the wrong tree!

I’m glad Donna reminded me to create a research plan. Identify the problem and this should always be in the form of a question. She told the audience there is a difference between “surfing” and “researching.” She uses every online tool available, but when she showed a problem solved by using land records, a hand was raised, “where do you find those?” Donna smiled and explained only a small portion of information is online; for land and probate records, the local courthouse is where you need to go. Though FamilySearch.org is making some of these records available.

Re-read your earlier research. You might find items you’ve missed. Analyze. Repeat.

We were comforted by Donna's confirmation of our belief - she repeated that she wasn't saying that Ancestry.com is going out of business, BUT she reminded people of all those early companies that have. Keep control of your information. Have a genealogy software program on your computer. Back up, and in her opinion, if you want your information online, the safer place to put it is on FamilySearch.org. She urged everyone to write their family history and share it with local repositories, the FamilySearch library, and the Allen County Public Library. Donna gave the audience a lot to think about.

Her website www.Irishfamilyroots.com has forms you can download and use. Also blog posts and if you sign up, they will be delivered to our inbox.

So the “surprise?” The Manatee Genealogical Society has started a Brag for Bucks time at the end of the meeting. For a dollar, a person can get up and share something they’ve discovered.  My hubby gave up a dollar so he could share how he has uploaded his aunt’s and mother’s oral history onto their Person Page of FamilySearch.org. Now anyone can go to Kathryn Cutter Maki or Vilma Maki Hill and hear their voices. These are in five minute clips.

Then everyone with a FamilySearch.org family tree online was asked to access their FamilySearch.org app and see if there were any cousins in the room. Surprise! An immediate “ding” and two women realized their were related – 12th cousins!

Wish I had known. On the way home I downloaded the app so I’ll be ready the next time. What a fun thing to do at genealogical society meetings.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

At the Library – #52 Ancestors



My favorite “At the Library” story is about my experience at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  It was many years ago. I was a baby genealogist. My husband was working at a conference in and I’d joined him for a few days. We had an amazing room that looked out to the mountains in the relatively new Grand American five star hotel. While hubby worked, I headed right to the Family History Library. The morning went by quickly as I researched their vast microfilm collection. Hubby showed up around 3:00 to do his research. My head was about to burst and my eyes were exhausted. I told him I was done. I couldn’t look at another thing. I was going downstairs and he could find me there when he was through.

I walked downstairs and browsed through the stacks of books located there. My eye fell upon one. Could it be? Could it be here in Utah? The book was The History of the Town of Catherine by Mary Louise Catlin Cleaver. I pulled the book from the shelf and headed to the nearest table. I wasn’t so tired after all. My adrenaline was flowing again. I pulled my legal pad and pen out, ready to take notes. The Cleaver book was filled with my Agard ancestors who were listed as the early settlers of Catherine, New York.

In my Agard monograph I have a set-aside explanation of the area. It reads: The town of Catherine was originally called Johnson’s Settlement, named for Robert C. Johnson of New York City who purchased 10,725 acres in this area of Upstate New York.  In the center of the crossroads stood a post, not unlike the liberty pole that stands in the middle of State Route 25 and Route 6 in Newtown, Connecticut. The town was divided into northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest sections. Interestingly, the lot in the southeast corner of the town was purchased by Job Lattin, Jr. of Newtown, Connecticut. In fact, many early settlers arrived from Connecticut since this area of Upstate New York was known for its fertile land and abundant orchards.

The Town of Catherine was organized by act of legislature on 9 March 1798. John Mitchell is listed as the first bona fide settler; Eaton Agard is listed as one of the early settlers. The Methodist Episcopal Church in Catherine was organized in 1805; one of the first trustees is Samuel Agard. The Catherine Library Association was organized 1 April 1817 and Samuel Agard again listed as a first trustee. The first post office was established in 1816.

When my husband found me a couple hours later, he said, “I thought you were tired and done for the day.”

“Look what I found,” I replied, showing him the Cleaver book. “I hit a goldmine of information.”

There were so many connections with this family. We were living in Newtown, CT at the time. Litchfield, Connecticut, where the sons of John the Younger Agard had moved, was less than an hour north. I felt like our family had come full circle.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

I’d Like to Meet - Esther Agard - #52 Ancestors



I imagine that Esther Agard was a strong and remarkable woman. Strong because at the age of forty-three and pregnant, she survived a spring Atlantic crossing in 1683. Strong because with the death of her husband John, either during the crossing or shortly after arrival, it was Esther who is the founding member of the Agard family line in America. Remarkable because she survived and thrived. Two years after her son, John, was born, Esther married Samuel Storrs. She raised his five children, plus John and three of hers and Samuel’s. Those children are: Thomas Storrs b: 1886; Esther Storrs b: 1688; and Cordall Storrs b: 1692.

In his book, “Agards in America,” Frederick Browning Agard details the issues surrounding the origin of that family.  He starts with John the Elder coming from “somewhere in the British Isles in the mid-17th century.” John dies at sea or in Massachusetts between 1683 and 1685.” There are various accounts: Phelps Leach’s “Lawrence Leach and some of his Descendants,” D.H Van Hoosear’s “Fillow Family Genealogy,” and a statement of E.V. Carrithers, professional searcher in Brighton, Sussex, England that the family sprang from England, Scropton in Derbyshire.

I imagine Esther was a strong and remarkable woman. I would love to hear her story.

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.