Sunday, March 2, 2014

Joshua A Cornell 1849 - 1943

When you're big into Genealogy, you find yourself becoming very familiar with people in your family tree who died long before you were born. So although Joshua Cornell is actually my great-great grandfather I tend to refer to him as "Grandpa Josh"  because its just simplier.  My very tolerant family apparently has gotten used to this because they know exactly who I'm referring to. I've heard some Grandpa Josh stories over the years which I kept in  mind while looking at his genealogy.

Joshua A Cornell was born on June 30, 1849 to Jacob G Cornell and Mary McCord.  He joined at home two brothers, Aaron and Willett, and a sister Sarah. His brother Ezra was born three years later.  There's little known about his mother, Mary McCord, and speculation that she was Jacob's second wife. If so, Joshua was her first child. But thats a whole other story to tell some other time. Joshua's brother Aaron had a blacksmith shop, which was in the exact spot the new Croton Dam was built, which is why many refer to the dam as the Cornell Dam. The family farm and where Joshua was born is now under water, one of many homes flooded when the dam was completed.

Joshua was taught the trade of a wheelwright at first, according to his obituary. However he also is listed in the census throughout the years as a carriage maker, a blacksmith, and a carpenter with his own shop. Joshua married Alice Chase on Oct 22 1871.  Their son Ira J Cornell was born in May of 1874, Wright Benjamin Cornell in November of 1878. It was much later, in November of 1889, Lester Albert Cornell was born.

 Here they  are all together:  Lester being the younger one on the left, behind him is Wright, with Wright's wife Lizzie (Elizabeth Titus) besides Lester. Standing in the back is Grandpa Josh with his wife Alice on the right. Ira is in the right front with his wife Allie (Almira Fisher) just slightly behind and to the left of him. Date of photo unknown, but Wright married in 1903 and Ira died in 1905, which gives us a small window when this photo could have been taken. Lester would marry much later  - in 1923, to Florence Purdy.

One of the stories I've heard told about Grandpa Josh  was that he had a temper and sometimes he & Alice fought. Matter of fact, (they would say) he lived out in the garage for a time. The garage they referred to was once Grandpa Josh's shop. he bought it in 1885 and then began to build their house next to it. I thought this a funny story growing up.

Wright, Joshua and Ira
 Then, as I began to research the family tree an odd thing happened. I found Alice & Lester in the census, but not Grandpa Josh. He was alive, so why wasn't he there? Family reminded me he lived in the garage for a while... apparently not for a night or two, but for a year or more.  Sure enough, looking around the neighborhood in the census, there Grandpa Josh was, living by himself in the Garage.  It wasn't the last Census I found him listed living alone either. no one seems to know how long he lived out there, or if it was an on and off type of thing.

Grandpa Josh, along with his sons Lester & Wright were well known for their carpentry skills. Some of the buildings for Trinity-Pawling, a private boys school in Pawling, NY, were built by the three of them.  The family also hunted. In 1926, at 77, Joshua was mentioned in the paper for getting some squirrel and a pheasant.

Alice Chase Cornell died in July of 1939, after being ill for a few weeks.  Grandpa Josh however lived a long time. When he turned 91 his family threw him a big get-together to celebrate. Joshua was the last of his siblings to pass away, in 1943 at the age of 94.


Ira J. Cornell - May 30, 1874 - March 29, 1905

My Great Grandfather Lester Cornell had two brothers, Ira and Wright Cornell. Ira was the oldest, and he died young of tuberculosis, or so I’d been told, so he's been a bit of a mystery...

Then one day I was gifted with some old pictures. You know the kind, grey or sepia pictures of people on cardboard backing, usually they are faded and worn around the edges. Often there’s something somewhat familiar about their faces, but you’re not sure what.

The photographer is someone you never heard of in a place you’re not sure your relative ever went to; and to top it off, when you turn them over there’s no name on the back. Downright frustrating to be given a ton of great granny’s pictures… only to find out she was the only one who know who was in them.

This time it was different – I turned them over and there in spidery pencil was written names – some with question marks, but names all the same. I promptly started asking questions of anyone from that branch of the family and in that way I discovered many things from those few pictures.

Great Grandpa Lester was much younger than his brother - 15 years younger – and since Ira didn't have kids and died young not much was known about him. Other family members seem to recall his wife lived in CT in her later years after he died, but they’d lost track of her over the years. So, armed with a couple of old pictures and some sketchy data, I began the hunt.

First – the census. In 1880, I find Ira is 6, living with his brother Wright with his parents Joshua and Alice in Yorktown, Westchester Co, NY. In 1900, I find his family all in Yorktown, but Ira requires some more searching. There are 9 Ira Cornells in the census for that year, He is the one living with his wife Almira with her parents Henry and Jennie in Manhattan.


This sort of goes with a family comment that he did “some photography down near the city” at one time. In 1910, I find lots of Iras, But not the one I’m looking for. In CT I find an Almira Cornell, the correct age, widowed, living with her mother – So by this I believe Ira has died. I find his mother, father and Lester living in Yorktown again. Alice is listed as having borne 3 children, 2 of which are living and this backs up my hunch that Ira has died. in 1920, I find no Ira that fits this family... so I move on to other records.

In some cemetery listings for Westchester county I do some more searches for the missing Ira. I find a possible one in Mahopac and reach out to a cousin who might know if this is the correct one. Jeanette and her mom Lois (Lester’s daughter) going for a drive one weekend and find the stone I mentioned in Mahopac. They find a full death date and he is buried among the Fisher family – His Wife, Almira’s family. There’s a marking for the Masons on his stone, which adds a bit of information too.

Online at the Mahopac Library I find copies of the Putnam county paper dating way back… and give it a few looks to see what I can find on Ira Cornell. Sure enough,. A few days after his death I find a column describing his death and where he’ll be buried. He was 30 years old and died of consumption.

Knowing Almira's full name and the fact Ira married by 1900, I began to look for marriage records. Nothing is found in Westchester county where Ira was born. However now knowing he was in NY city in 1900, I look at the NY city indexes and find success. Ira J Cornell married Almira Fisher in Manhattan, NY on February 21, 1899. I wonder if any of the family traveled to the city that day to celebrate with them.

So by looking in several places and some help from other family members I've been able to piece together a bit of information to fill in the mystery of Great-Grand-Uncle Ira.  Ira didn't have any children, so my search doesn't go much further with his story. But finally we know a little more of one of Lester's brothers.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

From Cape Cod MA to Southeast NY...Moody Howes

MOODY HOWES was born 18 Jul 1724 in Dennis, Barnstable Co, MA, and died 09 Apr 1806 in Southeast, Putnam Co, NY. He married (1) HANNAH SNOW 09 Feb 1747/48. She was born 04 May 1727 in Harwich, Barnstable Co, MA, and died 10 Jul 1758 in Southeast, Putnam Co, NY. He married (2) SARAH ELLIS 21 Apr 1759 in Southeast, Putnam Co, NY, daughter of JACOB ELLIS and ELIZABETH FOSTER. She was born 15 Apr 1730 in Harwich, Barnstable Co,MA, and died 19 Jan 1815 in Southeast, Putnam Co, NY.

Notes for MOODY HOWES:
Rev. War, Served as a Private, 7th Regiment, Dutchess Co. Militia under Major Adams

Children of MOODY HOWES and HANNAH SNOW are:
i. HANNAH HOWES, b. 04 Jan 1749/50; d. 09 Mar 1839; m. THOMAS JONES, 18 Jun 1768;
ii. MOODY HOWES, JR, b. 20 Oct 1751;
iii. JOHN HOWES, b. 22 Nov 1753;
iv. THOMAS HOWES, b. 04 Dec 1756; .

Children of MOODY HOWES and SARAH ELLIS are:
v. SETH HOWES, b. 21 Jun 1760;
vi. JOB HOWES, b. 09 Nov 1761;
vii. DANIEL HOWES, b. 13 Apr 1763, Southeast, Putnam Co, NY; d. 04 Feb 1824, Southeast, Putnam Co, NY.
viii. SARAH HOWES, b. 06 Feb 1765; m. WILLIAM CASE, 11 Dec 1788; .
ix. RUEBEN HOWES, b. 06 Dec 1766;
x. SAMUEL HOWES, b. 09 Dec 1768;
xi. DEBORAH HOWES, b. 04 Nov 1770; m. JOHN HAUBARD, 11 Apr 1796;
xii. EDMUND ALANZO HOWES, b. 04 Aug 1772; .
xiii. ELIZABETH HOWES, b. 04 Nov 1774; m. UNKNOWN REED, 08 Mar 1795;

Generation No. 2

DANIEL HOWES was born 13 Apr 1763 in Southeast, Putnam Co, NY, and died 04 Feb 1824 in Southeast, Putnam Co, NY. He married RUHAMA REED 28 Jun 1791, daughter of JACOB REED and RHUHAMAH BENEDICT. She was born 12 Jan 1773 in Norwalk, Fairfield Co, CT, and died 19 Mar 1864 in Southeast, Putnam Co, NY.

Children of DANIEL HOWES and RUHAMA REED are:
i. SUSANNAH7 HOWES, b. 1791; d. 1856; m. STEPHEN SMITH, 1807;
ii. FANNY HOWES, b. 25 Jan 1792; d. 30 Apr 1876; m. UNKNOWN FERGUSON, 16 Mar 1811;
iii. MALCHUS REED HOWES, b. 07 Aug 1793;


iv. NATHAN ALVA HOWES, b. 22 Apr 1796, Southeast, Putnam Co, NY; d. 29 Jun 1878, Southeast, Putnam Co, NY.
v. PHEBE HOWES, b. 09 Dec 1798; m. UNKNOWN HOYT, 02 Apr 1815;
vi. VILETTE HOWES, b. 19 Jan 1801; d. 27 Apr 1825; m. FREDERICK T BIRCH, 05 Jan 1818;
vii. ADELIA HOWES, b. 18 May 1803; d. 24 Jul 1880; m. WILLIAM HARVEY RIDER, 28 Mar 1826;
viii. DANIEL MORGAN HOWES, b. 26 Mar 1805; d. 04 Dec 1830.
ix. JACOB ORSON HOWES, b. 08 Mar 1807, Southeast, Putnam Co, NY; d. 07 May 1876, Southeast, Putnam Co, NY.
x. ESTHER HOWES, b. 17 Jan 1809; d. 14 Mar 1890; m. CHARLES RIDER, 31 May 1831;
xi. LAVINIA HOWES, b. 23 Oct 1810; d. 23 Sep 1831; m. SETH S CROSBY, 19 Dec 1827;
xii. REUBEN WING HOWES, b. 20 Oct 1813, Southeast, Putnam Co, NY; d. 29 Sep 1897, Yonkers, Westchester Co, NY.
xiii. SETH BENEDICT HOWES, b. 15 Aug 1815; d. 16 May 1901, Brewster, Putnam Co, NY.
xiv. PHINEAS HOWES, b. 25 Sep 1817, Southeast, Putnam Co, NY; d. 11 Oct 1894, Rockford,Winnebago Co, IL.

Sources on this family include:

Map of Southeast Centre 1867
Marriage, Birth & Death Records
Obituaries & Tombstones
Censuses – 1830 – 1930
Abstracted Will
Early Settlers of NY State
Gravestones of Putnam County by Barbara Smith Buys
NEHG&R July 1965 – Oct 1965
Carmel Newspapers, Putnam Co, NY 1849-1873 Indexed By Glen Wheeler
Westchester County Graveyards by Evelyn Briggs Baldwin
Family Bible Records
DAR applications

Monday, October 14, 2013

Charles S Beattys

Charles Beattys was my great great great grandfather.

 It was the 15th of December in 1832 in Connecticut. Gustave Eiffel, the architect of the Eiffel tower was born on that day. Andrew Jackson had just been re-elected President. And Charles is the third child to be born to Daniel Beattys, a stagecoach driver and his wife Caroline Hubbell in Danbury, CT.

 Daniel Sturges Beattys and Caroline had a son Daniel Silliman Beattys born in 1828 who only lived a few days. His second son, George Frederick Beattys was born in 1830. George Died in September 1832, and Charles Sturges Beattys was born not long after in Dec of 1832. He was followed by a brother George Hubbell Beattys in October of 1834. Frederick Lacy Beattys was born in April 1839, followed by the only girl in the family, Caroline Amelia Beattys in February in 1841.

 In 1850 the Family is living in Danbury Connecticut. The land they live on is valued at $3,000. Charles' father drove the stage coach from Danbury Ct, to a village named Brewster in the town of Southeast in Putnam county, NY. Charles seems to be hiding from the 1860 census taker. I'm not sure if he's in Connecticut or New York at this point. It seems he and Georgianna Howes married in between 1860-1861.

They had two known children - A son, who lived for three years. I've been told his name was Charles Beatys... but in the Milltown Cemetery in Southeast, New York, there's a stone for Daniel H (Howes?) Beattys who died Jan 1866 at three years old. The other child Georgianna and Charles Beattys had was Helen Amelia Beattys, Born September 2, 1861 in Dykeman's station in Putnam County NY.

Charles S Beattys Joined the Union army on Sept 8 1862 in Norwalk, CT. He joined the 27th Connecticut Regiment of Volunteer Infantry. They mustered out on October 4 1862. This group saw action in the Battle of Fredericksburg, on December 13, 1862. Charles was promoted to full Sargent on April 16 1863. He was active at the Battle of Chancellorsville, From April 30th through May 6th 1863. His record states he was wounded and captured on May 3rd at Chancellorsville. He was paroled May 14th 1863. I don't know if he was with his unit at Battle of Gettysburg, on July 1, 2 and 3, 1863. He mustered out July 27 1863 with a Honorable discharge.

After the War, Charles became an Advance Man for the Amburgh Menagerie and Circus. He was with Seth Crosby on work related duties when he died on the 21st of October in 1866. 5 years later, his wife Georgianna remarried Oliver Gay, another Civil War veteran. Eleven years later his daughter would marry Junia Dykeman and they would go on to be my great great grandparents.

While I know a fair bit about Charles I know very little of his father Daniel Beattys and nothing of his grandparents. Please email me if you know more about their story.