Monday, September 9, 2019

The Dorns of Upstate New York

Today I was contacted by someone researching the Dorns of Utica, New York. He'd found my earlier blog of four years ago - smile - and asked, "Where's the follow-up?" A good question since I had mentioned that in one of the blogs. Since this family isn't closely connected with my Emma (Nunn) Dorn, I didn't research further. I pulled out my Dorn file and found that I had developed this document. I hope it is helpful. 

~ The Dorns of Upstate New York ~

On October 13, 1879 Conrad and Maria (Schuck) Dorn arrived at the port of New York with their children: Adam, Ann, Nicolas, John, and Josephine.  The family traveled from Germany through Liverpool, England to New York City on the ship City of Montreal.  The ship was built by Tod & McGregor, Glasgow, Scotland. It had three masts and one funnel. At the time of their journey, Conrad was 37; Maria was 35.  They were married in 1868.

The family traveled to Utica, New York where they resided in 1880. Conrad found works in a lumberyard. He states in this census that he is from “Biern” (Bayern), Germany.  Why did this family immediately head to Utica, New York? In 1880 there were seven Dorn families in Utica. There is a good chance they were relatives. One was a carpenter, who may have helped Conrad get his job in the lumberyard.

Conrad finds work at the Empire Woolen Mills in Clayville, about ten miles south of Utica. He then his hired by the Globe Woolen Mills in Utica where he enjoyed long time employment as a weaver of fine woolens. 

Descendants of Conrad Dorn (b: July 1842) and Maria (Schuck) Dorn b: abt 1844[1]
Adam Dorn b: abt 1869 m: Margaret Lutz
Anna K. Dorn b: abt 1872 m: John L. Rifer
Nicholas Dorn b: abt 1874; d: 1952
John A. Dorn b: abt 1876
Josephine Dorn b: abt 1878; d: 9 April 1970 m: John Wenzel

About 1894 Adam Dorn married Margaret Lutz.  Adam worked as a woolen weaver, and they lived at 31 Saratoga Street, Utica, New York. In their household also lived Margaret’s sister, Sabina Lutz, age 24 (b: Oct 1875) in Germany. Sabina worked as a cotton weaver.

Anna K. Dorn and John L. Rifer were married May 1896. “At St. Joseph’s Church, Tuesday, John L. Rifer and Miss Anna K. Dorn were married by Rev. Clement Lutz. Nicholas Dorn was best man and Miss Maggie Rifer was bridesmaid. A reception was held at the home of the bride’s parents, 31 Saratoga Street. Mr. and Mrs. Rifer will live at 90 Bristol Street.” [Utica Sunday Journal, May 24, 1896, p. 7, col. 1]

On 15 January 1897, Josephine Dorn married John L. Wenzel in St. Joseph’s Church.  John was the son of Louis and Mary (Werthmann) Wenzel.  John’s sister was Sophie (Wenzel) Hartmann. John L. Wenzel was born 5 September 1877; he died 18 June 1956 and is buried with his wife, Josephine Dorn Wenzel, in St. Joseph’s Cemetery. []

In 1900 the family continued to reside in Utica, City Ward 9. The family consisted of son John A. Dorn, 25, born in Germany, and Conrad’s mother-in-law Maria Schuck, 89, born in Germany.

~ Maria Schuck Obituary ~

“ Mrs. Mary Eva Schuck, who died December 9, 1900 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Conrad Dorn, 31 Saratoga Street, was born in Bavaria, Germany, February 22, 1811, and came to America 18 years ago, locating in Utica. She was the wido of John Adam Schuck, who died 24 years ago. She is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Henry Hillenbrand, and Mrs. Conrad Dorn of this city, and Mrs. Nicholas Ebert of Abernau, Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, and leave also two step brothers, John and Bartholomew Schuck of Utica, thirty-four grandchildren and forty-eight great-grandchildren. Mrs. Schuck was a member of St. Joseph’s Church and the League of the Sacred Heart and the Scapular Society established in that congregation.”  [Utica Sunday Journal, December 16, 1900, col. 2]

Maria (Schuck) Dorn died in 1927 and is buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Yorkville, Oneida County, New York. 

~ Conrad Dorn Obituary ~

“Conrad Dorn Died Early Yesterday – Was for many years employed as weaver at Globe Woolen Mill. Conrad Dorn, a well known German resident of this city, died at his home, 31 Saratoga Street, early yesterday morning. Mr. Dorn suffered a stroke of paralysis a week ago and since that time he had been confined to his bed. Mr. Dorn was born at Obernau, near Ashuffenburg, Bavaria, July 4, 1842. He came to this country in 1879, locating in this city. In 1881 he went to Clayville where he worked for the Empire Woolen Company. He returned to this city in 1885 and entered the employ of the Globe Woolen Company as a weaver and continued with that company for 22 years. He was a skillful workman and was highly esteemed by his employers.  Mr. Dorn was married August 13, 1867 in Germany to Miss Mary Schuck, who survives him. He also leaves three sons and two daughters, J. Adam and Nicholas Dorn of this city, John A Dorn of Schenectady, Mrs. John L. Rifer (Ann) of The Dallas, Oregon and Mrs. John Wenzel of Utica. He also leaves a sister in Germany and 12 grandchildren. Mr. Dorn was a member of St. Joseph’s Church, the C.M.B.A. Branch; the Bavarian Sick Aid Society, the Roman Catholic Sick Aid Society, the Deutsche Bruder and he was an honorary member of the Maximillan Section of the Bavarian National Verband. [Utica, New York Dispatch, Monday Evening, September 2, 1907, p. 3, col 2 with photo]

Descendants of Adam Dorn (b: abt 1869; d: 1917) and Margaret (Lutz) Dorn (b: abt 1873; d: 1929)[2]
John C. Dorn b: 1896
Margaret Dorn b: 1900
Albert John Dorn b: 1901
William A. Dorn b: 1905
Henry F. Dorn 1906
Herbert W. Dorn b: 1909-1950 m: Ruth E. Bruzeau in 1938
Clara Dorn b: 1912
Rose M. Dorn b: 1914
Andrew Dorn b: 1918

~ Obituaries for John Adam Dorn ~

“Died Suddenly – John A. Dorn suffered attack of Heart Disease – John Adam Dorn, 48 yeas of age, collapsed at Layfayette and Washington Streets at 9 o’clock last evening. Mr. Dorn, who resides at 100 Stark Street, was returning from the office of a physician when he suffered an attack of heart failure. The police automobile was called, but Mr. Dorn died while on the way to the General Hospital. Coroner Dennis L. Creedon was called on the case and pronounced death due to heart disease. Mr. Dorn had suffered from this malady for some time, the disease becoming worse during the last three weeks. He was employed as pattern maker at the Globe Woolen Mill where he had been for 25 years. Mr. Dorn was born in Bavaria, Germany, February 13, 1869, son of Mary and the late Conrad Dorn. He came to America in 1879 and had since resided in Utica, excepting four years spent in Clayville. He was a member of St. Joseph’s Church and the Holy Name Society, also Utica Lodge No 450, Loyal Order of Moose; the Bavarian Sick Aid Society, the Roman Catholic Society and Maximillan Section No. 1, Bavarian National Verband of North America. He was married September 12, 1893 to Margaret Lutz, who survives with his mother; eight children, John, Margaret, Elbert, William, Henry, Herbert, Clara and Rose; two brothers, Nicholas Dorn of this city and John Anthony Dorn of Pittsfield, MA, and two sisters, Mrs. J.L. Rifer of Portland, Oregon, and Mrs. John. L. Wenzel of this city.”  [Utica Herald Dispatch, Wednesday Evening, May 23, 1917, p. 3, col 2]

“The funeral of John Adam Dorn was held this morning at 9 o’clock at the residence, 1100 Stark Street and at 9:30 from St. Joseph’s Church where Rev. Edward Borkhardt celebrated a requiem high mass. Professor Thomas Ryan was at the organ and the junior choir sang. Among the floral tributes were an anchor from friends of Mill No. 2 of Utica Knit; wreath from the office of the Globe Woolen Mill.  The bearers were Henry Hillenbrand, Fred Hillenbrand, Henry Lynbenlist (?), and Alois Henitz. Interment was in the family plot, St. Joseph’s Cemetery.”  [The Utica Observer, Friday, May 25, 1917, p 16 col 3]

Descendants of Albert John Dorn, Sr. (1901-1976) and Lois Mary (Brown) Dorn (1919-1995)                                                                                                                                                    
Conrad Dorn
Dennis Dorn (Jeannette)
Christopher Dorn (Margie)
Matthew Dorn (Kathy)
Albert John, Jr.  Dorn (Larraine DeAngelis) 15 Dec 1945 – 17 Feb 2012
Susanne Dorn (Burkhart)

Private Albert John Dorn, Jr. married Miss Beverly Barringer at St. Joseph’s Church on Saturday, July 24, 1965.  She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Barringer of Richfield Springs.  Dennis Dorn was best man. Ushers were Paul Atchley, Frank Combs and Conrad Dorn.  [Richfield Springs NY Mercury, Thursday, July 29, 1965, p. 4, col. 1]

[1] Information on this Dorn line from Conrad Dorn. Family story is 1879 Koonrad and Maria arrived via boat with children.  Also, "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 March 2015), Konrad Dorn, Utica city Ward 9, Oneida, New York, United States; citing sheet 10A, family 225, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,241,133.
[2] for John Adam Dorn d: 23 May 1917. Margaret Lutz Dorn 1872-1929. St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Oneida County, New York.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Hackney Family - Florence Smith aka Alva Mae Page and

One of the Hackney family researchers has sent me a couple of articles to share with the hope that it helps others. The particular family member's grandmother was put up for adoption as was her father. The first article is her grandmother trying to locate her birth mother, the second is her father trying to do the same thing. This is such an interesting family. 

"I am a descendant of Armour and am working on documenting my family tree.  I too was perplexed about missing census records and assume too its because he was a seaman.  There are some discrepancies in the documentation I'm finding on his mother so I'm trying to sort that our.  Hackett and Scull are the two women his father was married to so I'm trying to sort out the children.  I also can't seem to figure out what happened to Armour's first wife, Elizabeth Ackley.  I would so much appreciate you letting me know what documentation you have uncovered.  I was stuck but did some googling about the Hackney House that discovered on someone's tree, which is how I decided to google the house and came upon your blog.

"I’m trying to tie my grandmother’s connection into the family, see attached.  She was adopted.  She also put her son, my father in foster care and never came back for him, so I never met her.  I’ve concluded Armour and Elizabeth were her grand or great grand parents via DNA matching and clustering. "

Here is a second half to this story.  Its another newspaper article where my father was trying to find her before entering the military.  He died in 2003 and never found her.  I’m tracing her life and researching to find closure in honor of my dad.  Alva really had an interesting life, with Atlantic City mob connections and even cash treasures her husband had to dispose of per his will when he died.

Florence Smith seeing birth mother Myrtle Smith of Philadelphia

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Hackney Family Genealogy

I have received several requests recently for information on the Hackney family, so I decided to post the brief genealogy that my husband created on this family. Unfortunately, the family tree boxes that were included in this write-up from our Reunion software did not paste into the blog. This is not our family, but my husband did the research because a friend of ours moved to the neighborhood where the Hackney castle once stood and she wanted to know the history of the castle and the family. One thing led to another and here is what was found. I hope the family researchers who contacted me will share any new information on this family so I can post it here. 
The Hackney Family Genealogy

A.S. Hackney was born in 1846, the second son of Joseph and Mariam Scull Hackney.  His full name was Armour Scull Hackney.  The middle name, Scull, was found on a public family tree so it hasn’t been confirmed but it seems reasonable.  His older brother was Mahlon, his two sisters were Almeda and Rejoice and the last child in the family was Clark, the younger brother.  Joseph’s occupation is listed on the census as seaman or bayman.  The family lived in the Egg Harbor Township of Atlantic County, New Jersey, near Atlantic City.

Armour followed his father’s footsteps and earned his living from the sea.  His occupation is variously listed as bayman, or oysterman and it appears he lived most of his life in the Atlantic County area of New Jersey, although he is unaccounted for on the censuses beginning in 1900.  Armour, born in 1846, was a bit too young to participate in the Civil War.  His older brother, Mahlon, did, however, enlist with the New Jersey 7th Infantry Regiment which saw extensive service in such notable battles as Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and The Wilderness. 

Armour married Elizabeth Ackley shortly after the end of the Civil War.  The wedding date is reported on a public family tree as May 12, 1866 with the location of Egg Harbor City but no primary source was given.  Elizabeth was the daughter of Amos and Ann Ackley.  She was born in 1850 so she was about sixteen when they married.  Eight children were born to the couple.  Elizabeth died in 1892 and no census information has been found for Armour after the New Jersey state census of 1885.  He had young children so he presumably would have remarried but his history in this period remains a mystery.  He died January 24, 1925 and is buried, along with Elizabeth, in the Salem Cemetery, Pleasantville, NJ.  His obituary, if found, could provide details of his last forty years of life.  The Atlantic City Free Library reported they researched their local papers on microfilm and found no obituary for Armour Hackney.

No information has been found to explain Armour’s construction of the “castle” in Kilmarnock or his interest in that area.  His vocation as a waterman explains how he became acquainted with the area and, perhaps, after the Civil War and the resulting decline in the Virginia economy, land became very cheap.  Whatever his plans, Elizabeth’s early death in 1892 may have changed his level of interest.

Harry Samuel Hackney was six years old when his mother died.  His oldest sister, Nora, had married the year Harry was born so presumably she was out of the household.  There were two other older sisters who could have taken over raising Harry and his younger sister, Susan, but little information on the family has been found after 1885.  There is, however, ample evidence of Harry’s appearance in Virginia.  On January 17, 1911, he married Leora (aka Lola, Lela, Lelia) McKenney in Lancaster, VA.  Leora was the daughter of James (already deceased) and (Livinia) Opal Farley.  A public family tree reports Leora’s birth date as July 2, 1893 and gives the McKenney/Farley family bible as the source.  Harry was twenty-five and Leora was about seventeen.  Nine months later, on October 26th, their first and only child, Christina Olivia was born.  Some public family trees show Christina being born at “Hackney Castle” but no primary source is provided.  At least one tree says she was born in 1912 but the Social Security Death Index shows her birth date at 1911.

Their marriage lasted only a few years.  Leora, now reported as Lola, married Roland B. Ferguson, February 2, 1914 in Lancaster, VA.  Little subsequent information has been found on Leora.  Her second marriage may not have lasted long.  A WWI draft registration card for Roland Brooks Ferguson, born December 1893 in Virginia, living in Norfolk, has been found.  If it is the same person who married Leora in 1914, he now is single and has no left arm.  Both the marriage record and the draft card indicate the man was born in Middlesex County so it’s probably the same man.  Roland, Lola and Christina do not appear on any 1920 census under the Ferguson name.  He reappears in 1930 and 1940 married to Nannie, who was previously married to a Cardwell.  Roland Ferguson of Middlesex, VA died in March 1973 according to the Social Security Death Index.  No further verifiable information on Lola has been found.

 Harry Hackney also remarried in 1914.  He married Bessie Hale who was born in Virginia about 1897.  No official marriage record has been found.  Seven children were produced by this union.

Harry died in 1974 and his obituary is included.  It said he was a retired oyster boat captain and a WWI veteran.  No military information was found for Harry other than his “old man” draft card for WWII.  If he served in WWI he must have been in the service prior to the draft for WWI as no card for him was found and almost everyone had a WWI draft card.  His obituary indicates Bessie had preceded him in death.  It’s assumed both are buried in the Dividing Creek Baptist Cemetery.

Christina Hackney married Edward McGowan sometime before 1930.  Her obituary, shown in the appendix, said she was born and raised in Kilmarnock but no supporting evidence for a Virginia childhood has been found.  The 1940 Census indicates Christina completed 8th grade and Edward completed four years of high school.  He was an iron worker.  They had three sons, Edward, Harry and Clyde.  At some point prior to 1974, Christina married an Anderson.  It’s not known if this was before or after Edward’s death.  She subsequently married a Ralston.  Her obituary shown in the appendix implies she outlived all her husbands as none are mentioned.


·      Armour Hackney family per New Jersey State Census of 1885
·      Harry S. Hackney birth record, 26NOV1886, Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic Co., NJ
·      Tombstones for Armour and Elizabeth Hackney per FindaGrave, Salem Cemetery, Pleasantville, NJ
·      Leora McKenney/Harry Hackney marriage record, 17JAN1911, Lancaster, VA
·      Lola Hackney/Roland Ferguson marriage record, 02FEB1914, Lancaster, VA
·      WWI draft card, Roland Brooks Ferguson
·      WWII draft card, Harry Samuel Hackney
·      Harry Hackney obituary published 16JAN1974
·      Christina Ralston obituary published 10AUG2001
·      Lawrence Aulffo, spouse of Shirley Hackney, obituary, 09JUN2010
·      Horace Godown, spouse of Emma Hackney, obituary, published 29NOV2007
·      Myrtle Hackney Schwegel obituary, published 29JUN2012