Viewing Tip

If you see a large "X" at the top right of Ask Olive Tree Genealogy blog, click on the "X" to close it. Closing the "X" will give you the best viewing experience and allow you to leave a comment on a blog post

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Finding Baptist Vital Registrations

John wrote to AskOliveTree:
I have several birth and marriage records that I have searched for with no success. Elizabeth Hartley and John (possibly William) Thompson were married about 1888, probably in Port Hope, Ontario. Their children’s records are also nowhere to be found. John Stanley was born Jul 9 1889 in Port Hope, Walter was born Apr 6 1891 (possibly in the US), and Mary Hartley was born May 6 1895 in Port Hope. These dates are taken from the 1901 Canada Census. Elizabeth Priest and John Sheffield were married about 1868, probably in Simcoe County, Ontario (although possibly as far away as Toronto). I do have access to Ancestry, but I can’t find any of these. Any help that you could give me with these would be greatly appreciated.

Hi John - Thanks for a nice outline of your family and problem area of research, it is really a help when a researcher sends precise details. The one thing missing was WHERE Port Hope is! (Township and County in Ontario). Being on dialup as I am, it's quite tediously slow to have to go and look details like that up. But moving on to your query:

Your second question about Elizabeth Priest and John Sheffield's marriage record: the problem you are having is that they were married before Vital Registrations were required in 1869. So your only recourse is to find church records. To do that you will need to know their religion. Then look for churches in the area where you think they married, or consult the archives for whatever religion they were. It will depend on what religion they were as to what has been kept, and where.

First question re Elizabeth Hartley and John/William Thompson is interesting. I am going to assume that you checked under variant spellings of Thompson (Thomson, Tomson) on

Since they are not listed for their marriage or the births of the two known children born in Ontario, I suspect they did not bother registering. Many people did not follow the rules. So once again you may want to check local churches in Port Hope.

I had a look in the 1901 census and saw that the children were living with their grandmother Jane Hartley. Have you traced Jane? You never know what will turn up by researching another individual.

One very important fact came to light in that 1901 census - their religion was Baptist. I suggest you find what Baptist records were kept for the time period you are interested in. That may be your only option to finding those vital records of birth and marriage. However you may find your search very frustrating as Baptist records are few and far between. Baptists did not believe in infant baptism and marrriage records are sparse.

Here is an address for you to find out what is available in Baptist records.

Canadian Baptist Archives
McMaster Divinity College
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario
L8S 4K1, 905-525-9140 x 3511
Mon.-Fri. 9:00am - 4:00pm

You might consider tracing all three children and their descendants. It is possible that one of the descendants has an obituary that provides more facts. A death record for Walter who believe was born in the USA might provide an exact location. Each tiny bit of information you can find can start you on a whole new path of research.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting the full 1871 Canadian Census Record

PG wrote to ask:
I have found an ancestor living Nissouri East Twp., Oxford County, Ontario.Is there any way one could find out what other family members resided with him?

hi PG. The short answer is "Yes". You can get the filmed census at a local FHC or you can order a copy of the page your ancestor is on, from LAC (Library & Archives Canada)

See then look for the year (1871) The link for ordering the census page with the full family details is found there. LAC does not charge very much for this service.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Searching for Death Record in Wisconsin 1872-1879

DeAnn asked Olive Tree:
I am searching for my 2 Great Grandfathers death date? His name is James Frantz, born about 1825, Mecklenburg, Germany. Do not no when he emigrated to the States. He settle in Dane county Wisconsin, until his death. His youngest daughter was born About 1871, so I am assuming that he died between 1872-1879, if he died in 1880 he would of been in the 1880 Census. His family moved to Nebraska. They were in the 1880 Census.

Hi DeAnn

The 1870 census shows James with his wife and family but also living with them is a Fred France [sic] age 47 also born Mecklenburg. He is no doubt your James' brother so you may be able to find them arriving in the USA. Since their daughter Lucy was born circa 1856 in Wisconsin, they must have been in the country in the 1860 census at least. Yep, there he is, living in Middleton Dane Wisconsin in 1860.

Have you tried Vital Records records available for free on Wisconsin Historical Society Site ? They have a death index for Wisconsin pre 1907.

There is also the possiblity that he moved to Nebraska with his family and died there before 1880 census

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Checking Canada Census as well as American

Lance asked:
James Thomas BROWN was born in Illinois in Jun 1849 according to the 1900 Montana Census. He is also listed in the 1880 Nebraska Census. I can’t find him in 1850, 1860 or1870. He was in Milwaukee in 1868 where he married. Believed to be living in Ontario in 1869, where his first child was born in Kent County.
Hi Lance,

The USA 1900 census states that your James' father was born in Canada - Eng. which generally means Ontario (not always, but usually).

Since he was in Ontario in 1869 you may want to you may want to check 1851, 1861 (partially transcribed) and 1871 Canada Census (head of house only indexed online).

See for help finding these online records.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trouble Reading Handwriting on Manifest

Clayton asked:
This is my fourth time I have requested this. No one seems to respond. My mother ,Aunt and Grandmother arrived in Halifax on Jan 1 1913 on the SS Potsdam. There lastname is Leskiw. I believe that they Americanized their first names when they arrived here. They all came from Austria. My mother we knew as Nellie Leskiw age 11 months born in 1912, my aunt we knew as Irene Born in 1911, my Grandmother we knew as Mary Leskiw born in 1882. I cannot read their first names on the ships manifest, can anyone with more experience than I ,read the hand writing on the manifest.

Hello Clayton, You may have misunderstood what AskOliveTree is all about. There's only me answering queries from other genealogists so patience from questioners is a must. I pick one question each day to answer. I don't give a personal response, my answers are posted here on the blog. Some who send a question will never get an answer as there is not enough information provided for me to respond. Others may wait up to a month or longer to see a response from me so you have to be patient and keep checking back here on the blog.

Having said that, your first message came up in the queue for an answer (sending repeated requests didn't do anything to get your question higher in the waiting list) so I had a look at the manifest for SS Potsdam on Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935

My reading of the first names is

* Marya, age 30 (your grandmother Mary)
* Yeryma, age 2 (easily converts to Irene)
* [S?N?]ascia, age 11/12 (11 months)

I am leaning towards Nascia as the name but it is hard to tell as the first letter is difficult to read. You should go back and compare that first letter in her name to a name or word you recognize that has the same letter formation. Look at other pages on the manifest if you have to.

Hopefully others who read this will have a go at reading the image and give their opinion as to the name of your mother.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ships Passenger Lists 1947

Janet wrote:
How can I find a passenger list for 1947? We know the name of the passengers (family) the name of the ship and that it came to Halifax Nova Scotia. Are the immigration records would be available to search or would that be under the Privacy Act.

Hi Janet - Great question! It's not always easy figuring out what records are available or how to get them.

To quote from the Collections Canada

"... Records of immigrants arriving at Canadian land and seaports from January 1, 1936 onwards remain in the custody of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. To request a copy of another person's immigration record, you must mail your request to the under-noted office..."

So all you need to do is go to the website and submit a request for those 1947 records. Good luck!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Looking for a Loyalist Connection

Willow wrote:
My loose end is Johnathan STEVENS Snr UEL, whose daughter Elizabeth was married to Lt Frederick DACHSTADER or DOCKSTEADER (of Butlers Rangers during the American Revolution) She wound up in Ontario on UEL lands, but what happened to her Dad? When did he die? and who was her mother? Because Johnathan Snr was raised partly at Mohawk Castle (Canojaharie in the Mohawk Valley) I suspect she was probably Mohawk, but can't find confirmation yet.

Hello Willow,

Have you looked into the family of Jonathan Stevens and Lea Van Slyke in New York in the early 1700s? Lea was the d/o Cornelis Van Slyke and his Mohawk wife Ots- Toch. I have written 2 books on the Van Slyke family which included the descendants of Jonathan and Lea but stopped in the mid to late 1700s. There is a Jonathan Stevens who fought during the American Revolution, who was a descendant but I have no other info on him.

Have you hunted for the land petitions for these individuals? Loyalist land petitions often contain a wealth of genealogical. See the Loyalist section of Olive Tree Genealogy website for more help with Loyalist Research, also The Loyalist Institute has an incredible amount of free Loyalist data

Jonathan Stevens Sr was in Butler's Rangers (or Forrester's Interpreters) and is noted on the Old UEL list as having a wife and 4 children in 1786 so it is almost certain there is a petition or petitions on file for him. There should also be one for each of his children, including Elizabeth, if they sought land grants as sons or daughtersof a Loyalist (SUE or DUE)

I'd also get the petitions of each of his children as you never know if one might contain their mother's name. I think you'll find that Aaron Stevens, also a Loyalist in the Home District (which is where Butler's Rangers former men for the most part settled) was probably a son, and this fits very nicely with the names found in the Jonathan Stevens – Lea Van Slyke family. (Arent=Aaron and they had a son Arent bpt 26 Jul 1702 in Schenectady)

I see from Reid's book on Loyalists that John (your Jonathan) had a dau. Mary whose OIC date is 23 Nov 1816 so you can look for a petition filed for her around that time, also Elizabeth's OIC is Aug. 1796. Reid's book should not be considered the final answer to Loyalist families though, so be cautious using it - just use it for clues to help you along in your research

Here's a very nice candidate for your Jonathan, especially if he went by the name "John" - Nicholas' brother Johannes Stephens (Johannes=John) bpt 21 Jul 1736 in Schenectady. Johannes/John's parents were Arent Stevens and Maritje (Mary) Hall. Since your John/Jonathan named a daughter Mary this is a nice theory for you to prove or disprove.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Finding James Garrett before 1874

Brian asked:
I am looking for my great-great-grandfather, James Buchanan Garrett, on either the 1860 or 1870 census. More specifically, I am simply looking for any reference to where he was prior to 1874, which is the earliest documentation I have! Here's what I do know:

James Buchanan Garrett was born on 29 Dec 1855 at Indiana. He married Martha Elizabeth Hobbs on 27 Jan 1874 at Sulphur Springs, Hopkins, Texas. He and Martha Elizabeth Garrett appeared on the 1880 Federal Census of Justice's Precinct No. 5, Kaufman, Texas, at Enumeration District No. 41, enumerated 9 Jun 1880. Their children Mary E, William Thomas and Martha E were listed as living with them. He and Martha Elizabeth Garrett appeared on the 1900 Federal Census of Justice Precinct No. 5, Kaufman, Texas, at Enumeration District No. 79, enumerated 25 Jun 1900. Their children Della E, Grover Cleveland, Eddie Luther and Robert Nicholas were listed as living with them. He died on 17 Dec 1904 at Scurry, Kaufman, Texas, at age 48.

The only other additional information I have that might be of any significance was found from the only probate record in Kaufman County that had anything to do with James or his wife. I found a package of papers in which he is named guardian of two minor females, Polly Ann Stroud and Rebecca DeLay in 1885. I checked the 1880 census to see where those two girls were prior to being passed to James. I found both of them together in Hopkins County, Texas. That in itself rang a bell because Hopkins County is where James and Martha were married.

Pulling up the census page, I found a "Mauel" Stroud and wife Sarah J. (I can't for the life of me make out a clearer name for the husband). With them at the home was daughter, Martha E., age 13 and daughter Polly A., age 3. Also with them was Rebecca Delay, age 5, listed as neice. The interesting thing is that living next door to the Strouds was Elijah Garrett, 63 years old, wife Hettie E., 46, and son Levi, 26. Elijah and Hettie were both born in Tennessee and interestingly enough... Levi was born in Indiana!

According to James' census from 1880, both his parents were born in Tennessee and he was born in Indiana. Could perhaps James and Levi been brothers? They were right about the same age... Only two years apart. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find Elijah, Hettie, or Levi on any other censuses

I would like to find something that gives me a location for James prior to 1874

Olive Tree Answer: Hi Brian - you have really done a lot of in-depth research gathering facts and putting bits and pieces of circumstantial evidence together. Because you presented it all to me in such an organized and detailed fashion, I really didn't want to edit any of it for this blog, but I did take out a few sentences here and there.

It is a challenge. I kept this question from you for a month as every now and then I went back to puzzle over it some more! I'll preface this with saying that I did not find the answer to your question but perhaps what I did find will help in some way.

An Public Tree "SWANSON" has Elijah Garrett born 1816 marrying twice - first to Mary (no surname) in 1837 and secondly to Hattie E. Stockton in 1872. So the Levi Stroud you found in 1880 was not the son of Hattie but rather of Mary IF this tree is accurate.

Levi provides his parents birth places as Tennessee for his father and Indiana for his mother. Sarah, the wife of M. (Manual?) Stroud also says her father and mother were born in the same locations. With the two families living side by side and the fact that your James Garrett ended up being a guardian for M. and Sarah Stroud's daughter Polly, I think you may find that Sarah is a daughter of Elijah and Mary Garrett, and that your James is indeed another sibling. I also like the fact that your James named his firstborn daughter "Mary" (after his mother if he does fit with this family)

The tree also shows William Garrett born 1788 North Carolina died 1852 Hopkins Texas as Elijah's father. I found William and his family in 1840 Census in Rains Co. Texas and in 1850 in Hopkins Texas but no Elijah. However here's something intriguing... the Family Tree shows Elijah born in Gibson Indiana (the 1880 census says Tennessee but we all know Census can be wrong) In the 1870 census for Gibson Indiana I find an Amos Stroud 28 born Alabama with wife Sarah J. b Indiana age 30something (can't read the age very well) and daughter Martha E. b Indiana age 2. I'm intrigued because it is the only Stroud family I can find that "fits" with your 1880 Stroud family living next door to Elijah. I know the father is the wrong birth place but is it possible this is the (Manuel?) in the 1880 census? It's something for you to pursue.

I did find Levi Garrett born August 1854 in the 1900 census for Kaufman, Texas. He is listed as a cousin to Presley M. Garrett. According to online trees, Presley was the son of Charles and the grandson of Presley (who was a brother to Elijah) So the plot thickens! It's still not proof of your James fitting in this family but I think you will have to search all of these individuals backwards and forwards to try to see how/if each fits with the other.

This is quite a challenging puzzle, and you may want to consider that your family used first and middle names interchangeably, or were recorded in census years with a first initial only. Of course there are also spelling variations and transcription/index errors to consider!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Finding Proof of Parents in 18th Century New Jersey

Jerry asked:
According to a Family File, Sander Egberts and Elsje Pieters had a son named Sander Egberts who was born in 1695 in Staten Island, Richmond, New York. He married Trinite Wallings Van Winckel. Their children were: Walling, John, Peter, Else, and Antie Egberts.

Sander (Senior) and Elsje's other children may have been Trynte Sanders, Egbert Sanders, Johannis Sanders, Peter Sanders, Annetje Sanders and Herpje (Harmtje) Sanders. I need proof that my Peter Sanders was a son of Sander Eberts

Olive Tree Answer: Hi Jerry, I think there is a small error in your Family File. Here is an excerpt from the will of Egbert Sanderson of New Jersey:

SANDERSON, Egbert, of Newark, Essex Co. yeoman. will of. Children - Waalens, John and Peter Egbertson, Elsie (wife of Cornelius Doremus Jr) and Antie Egbertson. Executors - three sons. Witnessees - Reiner Van Giesen, Peter Garmo, Jon'n. Sergeant. Written 16 Feb. 1748/9 Proved 7 Aug. 1749

It seems from the will above, that your Peter was not the son of Sanders Egbertse but the son of Egbert Sanderson [Sanderse]. Following Dutch patronymics, Egbert Sanderson would be the son of a man named Sander.

There is also this will:

EGBERTS, Peter of Essex Co. gentleman. will of. Brothers - John and Waling Egberts. Sisters - Antje and Else Egberts. Executors - John Vinsent [sic] and Abram Brooks. Witnesses - John Degarmo, Cornelius Van Geisen, Peter De Garmo. Written 26 Aug. 1740 Proved 11 Sept. 1749

Source for both wills: Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey, Vol. II 1730-1750 . William Nelson and A. Van Doren Honeyman.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Military Records in United Kingdom

Beryle asked:
I am trying t o find my husbands aunt and her husband . All I have ais the marriage certificate and a few rumours in the family. They were married in 139 in Portsmouth UK he was a bombardier in the royal artillery there ia a story he was Amercan or Canadian and they went back afer the war . I have checked the war deaths I have tried the shipping recordsI have a army number on the certificate it is W893646 there could be another number after the W but I am not sure.There name is Walter and Barbara Wright she was Constant before her marriage.

Olive Tree Answer: Hello Beryle, If you have not yet checked Documents Online at The National Archives I urge you to do so.

DocumentsOnline allows you online access to The National Archives' collection of digitised public records, including academic and family history sources. It is free of charge. There are many WW1 and WW2 records there. Walter's military records should give his place and date of birth.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Who was Hillegond Joris?

Sandra asked:
Hillegond Joris appears as a sponsor at the baptism of my ancestor in the church records of New Amsterdam. I know that lots of times sponsors were family members but I can't figure out how Hillegond connects. Does anyone know anything about her?

Olive Tree Answer: Hi Sandra - Good question! It can be confusing because it is true that very often the Dutch used family as baptismal sponsors. But in this case Hillegond Joris was one of the official midwives of New Amsterdam, and she appears as a witness at many baptisms.

Here is a record of Hillegond's appointment (and suspension) as midwife in 1655:

21 April 1655. Appointment. Hellegond [sic] Joris to be city midwife, and suspension thereof. [Council Minutes vol. VI. 1655. Source: Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany NY edited by E.B. O'Callaghan. Dutch Manuscripts:]

I did some research on Hillegond Joris some years back, and here is a summary of what I found:

Hillegond Joris had an illegitimate daughter baptized on 1643 in the New Amsterdam Church. 1643 12 Dec; Hilegond Joris; Vrouwtje; no witnesses Source: New Amsterdam (New York City) Reformed Dutch Church Baptisms

There are several court records concerning this illegitimate birth:

7 July 1644. Declaration. Tryntje Jonas, midwife, respecting a confession of Hellegond Joris as to the paternity of her child. [Register of Provincial Secretary. Vol. II. Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany NY edited by E.B. O'Callaghan. Dutch Manuscripts:]

9 July 1644. Delcaration. Annetje Renst and Petertje Jans, that Hellegond Joris had said that Jan, the pilot of the Seven Stars, was the father of her newly born child.

11 July 1644. Declaration. Marritje Lives and Engeltje Mans to the same effect

14 July 1644. Court Proceedings. Fiscal vs Laurens Cornelissen, skipper of the Maid of Enckhuysen; adultery with Hellegond Joris; defendant denies the charge and is ordered to clear himself on oath.[Council Minutes Vol. IV. 1644. Calendar of
Historical Manuscripts in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany NY edited by E.B. O'Callaghan. Dutch Manuscripts:]

28 July 1644. Fiscal vs Laurens Cornelissen, for adultery with Hellegond Joris; defendant denies the charge upon oath and is dismisssed. [Council Minutes Vol. IV. 1644. Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the office of the Secretary of State,
Albany NY edited by E.B. O'Callaghan. Dutch Manuscripts:]

Hillegond was married to Jan Corneliszen [Van Horn] who died after July 1666. In 1669Hillegond married Mr. Evert Pietersen Keteltas, widower of Grietje Arents.

Banns 16 June 1669: Evert Pieterszen, widower of Grietje Arents, and Hillegond Joris, widow of Jan Corneliszen. Source: New Amsterdam (New York City) Reformed Dutch Church Marriages

By her first husband Jan Cornelis she had 3 children - Cornelis Jansen Van Hoorn, Joris Janszen and Neeltje Janszen.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Early Ontario Records

Randy's Question:
I have been stuck looking for John Wilson born in County Tyrone in 1831 (we have his obit) and his wife Ellen McGowan born 1834. The John and Ellen Wilson family is identified as Irish in the census and was composed of at least eight children four girls and four boys. (Ellen, Leah, Rachel, Anna, George, Joseph, Johnston and James L.) The Wilsons were living in Mulmur township probably in the 1840’s and 1850’s which is approximately 30 miles east of Meaford. By 1857 the Wilson family was in St. Vincent township living approximately 4 miles south of Meaford on the fourth line. I am stuck finding info on where in Tyrone he was born. I have even done the DNA testing but the closest relative would be 20 generations ago.

Olive Tree Answer: It's a challenge finding information in early 1800s Ontario. But there are some records you may not have checked.

First, to narrow the timeline for the family arrival in Ontario, you will want to check for tax and assessment records for Mulmur.

Have you checked land records for John Wilson? If he filed a petition for land, there could very well be information on his origins in it. BRIEFLY -- land records are very important and they are plentiful. Here's what's available for Ontario:

CLRI (aka Ontario Land Record Index) summarizes land grants from sales of Crown Land, from Canada Company sales or leases and from Peter Robinson settlers' grants.

UCLP are the actual Petitions for land which were submitted in Upper Canada (Ontario) . They frequently contain information about the petitioner and his or her family. Loyalists and discharged soldiers often mentioned the regiment in which they served.

Land Books are basically a summary of land grants. They rarely contain more info than name, date and location. Sometimes they have little gems in the comment section. But they're helpful because if you can't find a petition in the UCLP it may be in the Land Book so at least you have some record of the event.

Township Papers are a miscellaneous group of land-related records have been arranged by township name, then by concession and lot or by town name and lot number. They're a mixed bag - they may contain correspondence re land, some petitions, copies of orders-in-council, etc

Cemetery and church records sometimes have specific towns of origins for individuals. I found an Irish ancestor's town of origin in the cemetery books (not on his tombstone) and another in his marriage record in the church register. Perhaps those will be some help to you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wrting a Letter to Strangers

Joyce asked
I saw a family name in the deth notices. As this has been elusive for me, I’d like 6to know how I can ask questions ofr the family without being invasive or pushy.

Olive Tree Answer: Hello Joyce, My opinion (and others will have their own thoughts and opinions on this subject) I think if you wait for a bit (a month?) and then write to the family with a respectful letter you will be fine.

Express your condolences for the family's loss, explain how you found their name and address, and your interest in the family name. I would not get into specific questions in this introductory letter. You could include your phone number, email and of course snail mail as a contact, and ask if there is anyone who is considered the family genealogist that you might get in touch with.

I think with this first letter, it is important to simply establish non-invasive contact. Then wait a month and write again, remind them who you are, and ask a few questions. Then cross your fingers for a response.

Realistically you are not apt to get one so be prepared.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Genealogy Research in Russia

Ray asked
How do i go about finding birth certificates in Russia

Olive Tree Answer: Vital records (data on births, marriages and deaths) are kept in different archives in Russia depending on the time period.

Russia has 89 territorial units (with different names such as respublika, oblast, krai...) Each maintains a separate regional state archive.

You did not provide me with a year so I can't tell you which Archives you need to use, but if you go to Russian Archives website you will see a list by date.

It has addresses and phone numbers of regional and state archives for Russia.

Also see and, two more good sites for Russian Genealogy Research.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

FInding out what abbreviations in City Directories mean

Cathie said
In the 1921 Austin City Directory I found a name that matches my Brick Wall relative. But after the name there is a small c in brackets. Considering the time of the Directory, I am wondering if this small (c) stands for coloured? In looking at the entire page several names have the (c) after them, but not all names have it. Any help would be appreciated.

Olive Tree Answer: Hi Cathie, You didn't provide an exact location so can I assume you mean Austin Texas?

Without seeing the directory myself I cannot tell you what the (c) stands for. But you can find out by going back to wherever you saw this directory and reading the preface or introduction. Every published work such as a directory will tell you somewhere at the beginning what the notations stand for. For example early farmer's directories might have a (t) for tenant, (f) = Freeholder, NR = non resident and so on.

Whenever you use a directory it is important to refer to the page showing abbreviations used in the alphabetical section of the directory, following the name in each entry.

Some abbreviations are used frequently, such as h for home or r for residence. You may also see r for residents who are related to the homeowner and b for boarders who are not related.

It's always a good idea to read the start of any book you are consulting to find out what the entries mean. If you found this directory online,just go to the first image of the book and start from there.

Also, if my assumption is correct that this is Austin Texas, you can consult the 1920and 1930 census to see what ethnicity is give for your ancestor.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Van Sickelen, Van Sickles Family in New Netherland New York

Jim asked
Q: Zacharias Van Sickles married 1660 Anna VAN VALKENBURGH. They had eight children

1) Anne Sickles who married Abraham Isaacs
2) Robert b. C1665 Albany, N.Y. d. 12/27/1729 Bergen, N.J. Married 4/5/1686 in Albany, N.Y. to Gertrude RIDDENHARS probably of Hackemack, Virginia
3) Lambrecht Sickele b. 1661 m1 Maria Jansen 1690 m2 Wyntie Dykman 7/19/1717
4) Elizabeth m William Barantse
5) Zarcharias b. 1670 m. Marytie Janse Brevoort 8/29/1693 in NYC, NY
6) Thomas m Jannetje Janse Brevoort 4/5/1702
7) Gritjie bp 5/17/1684 Albany, N.Y.
8) Lea bp 5/8/1687 Albany, N.Y.

Where was Zacharias from? Who were his parents?

A: Douglas van Buskirk citing Our Nordic-Viking Roots by Gene Van Sickle states: Peter Stuyvesant met Zacharias Sickelen in Curacao and took him as a cadet coporal in 1655 to Fort Orange. Citation by Douglas van Buskirk, personal comment from Gene Van Sickle who quotes from the book Colonial Lineages in America
"... Ferdinandus Van Sicklen, Born in Ghent, Belgium,1635 settled near Coney Island ..."
"... There was however one Zacharia Van Sicklen also born in Ghent, Belgium and lived in Vienna, town of Utrech Provence of Holland. Zach, undoubtedly was a cousin of Ferdinandus, was a cadet with the Dutch West India Co. And came to America in 1647 as a guard and orderly of Peter Stuyvesant who was to become Governor of New Amsterdam. Zach was first stationed at Ft. Orange (Albany, N.Y.) And married Anna Volkenburgh. After some of their children were born Zach dropped the Van and spelled his name SICKLES, however at least on of his sons retained the VAN.

No firm record has been found to indicate Zacharias place of birth. According to Rosalie Bailey in her book Pre Revolutionary Dutch Houses she lists Vienna, Austria as his home. In the Ancestry of Franklin Merriam Peabody he is listed as Zacharias Von Weenan and as from Vianen, Utrech Province, Holland. Vianen is a small town approximately ten miles south of Utrech, Holland.
".... earned as Adelborst [a gentleman soldier - more than a common soldier. In another place he is called corporal] according to the settlement thereof signed by Rodenbergh and Verellon; further the said Zacharias Sickels VAn Weenen, hereby appoints and empowers the lawful holder of this paper to ask, demand and receive said sum of thirty-six guilders and ten stuivers in fatherland from said right honorable directors of the privileged West India Company at the Chamber of Amsterdam, and having resolved it be pass acquitance therefor, which shall be valid as though it were given by the subscriber himself, moreover to do and perform all things, in order to obtain the aforesaid sum, which the subscriber, himself being present could or might do; also if the matter demands more special authority than stnads expressed in this paper, promising to all times to hold good and true whatever by virtue of this paper shall be done, under pledge of his person and estate.

Thus done in Fort Orange,in presence of Lowies Cobussen and Johannes Provoost,as witness hereto called,on this 28th. of August, A.D. 1659

Sacharyas Seeckelse [sic - his signature]
Ludovicus Cobes
Johannes Provoost, witness"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Looking for Passenger List of Hopewell 1635

Gail wrote to say
I am a descendant of Edward Ketcham. I have received information on this family tree. He supposedly came to America around 1635 on the ship Hopewell. I can find no passenger listing on any ship coming to America nor can I find his parents in England. Can you help please?

Olive Tree Answer: Hi Gail,

Before 1820 ships passenger lists to America did not have to be kept. So finding a manifest with your ancestor's name on it before that date is not always easy. Passenger lists before 1820 did survive but they are hit and miss.

Sometimes you will only find a substitute, such as a list of people taking an oath or buying land or perhaps a shipping record of some sort.

Sometimes you will never find what you want as it simply doesn't exist any more.

Having said that, there is a CD you can consult called
The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776

Before you rush to buy the CD, have you checked the online list of passengers on the voyage of The Hopewell of London in the summer of 1635?

Or this first voyage of the Hopewell in April of 1635?

Records of Ships Passenger Lists from England to New England between 1620 and 1640 set of ships passenger lists includes ships to Virginia (a catch-all phrase to mean almost anywhere along the coast),Barbadoes, Bermuda, West Indies and of course New England

This set of records consists of various passenger lists, names of individuals ready to sail to New England, and names of those taking the Oath of Allegiance (in preparation for sailing). It is not always obvious when each ship left. Researchers will have to determine whether or not a ship made more than one sailing each year it is mentioned. The original spelling has been maintained, so you will see "Landen" for "London", etc. Common words found are "uxor" meaning "wife", "mr" for "Master" (of the ship)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Looking for Marriage Record to find Parents' Names

Sandi asked
You've helped me before with a query in New Netherlands Connections. I greatly appreciate your assistance.

I'm looking for the parents of William H. Burd, born 17 Feb 1836 in Sparta, Sussex County, NJ. From his Death Certificate, it shows he died 10 Dec 1920, and was buried in the Florida, New York Cemetary. I have found him in the 1920, 1910, 1880, 1870 & 1860 Census', mostly living in Goshen, Orange County, NY just across the State line from Sussex Cty, NJ. He was married to Sarah E. Brooks, b. 29 Jan 1838 in NJ, d. 27 Oct 1892 in Orange County NY.

Their children were: Joseph Henry born 26 Feb 1866; John H b. May 1869; William Henry b. 24 Sept 1871; George Henry b. 20 Sept 1873; Margaret J. b. Jun 1875; Daniel Robert b. 13 Jan 1878; Grace V. b. 1879; & James Henry b. 30 Jan 1882.

In Sussex County, NJ there were several Bird families with sons named William only a year or two apart. My best candidate for my William's father is John Burd, who is found in Sparta in the 1950 Census. He spells his name the same way, (on this Census), and he has a son, William C Burd, 15. The middle initial is what complicates things. There is another William C. Bird, son of Clarkson, born about 1836. And my William has H. for a middle initial.

I'm not sure where to try to find more info to determine who his parents were. I have not been able to find a record of his marriage. I believe he was in the Navy during the Civil War, and married shortly afterward. His first child, Joseph, was born 10 months after the Civil War ended.

What other resources do you recommend to determine William's parents? Thank-you so much for your wisdom. I love reading your new blog.

Lorine Answers: Hi Sandi, You've really put together a lot of information to try to figure out your William Burd's ancestry. Good going! That is exactly how I approach a challenging genealogy problem - gather all the facts and note them carefully so you can keep track of definites versus maybes.

I am wondering about the 1900 census as you didn' t mention finding William there. Sarah was dead that year but using I found a William Burd, a farmer, born Feb. 1837 in New Jersey, living in Goshen Orange Co. New York with wife Hannah. Could your William have remarried? Hannah is noted as being born in Jan. 1850 and William says he married in 1865 (which fits his marriage to Sarah) but Hannah would be a bit young to have married at age 15. It is quite possible that Hannah did marry at age 15 and this may not be your William but it certainly is worth checking on if you have not seen the record. If it is your William you would have a second marriage to hunt for and this could provide you with his parents' names.

I'd also look at naming patterns of children. It isn't set in stone but if you can find Sarah Brooks in a census record with her parents you can see if Sarah and William named any children after her parents. If they did, there's a chance they also named some after his. I notice "Henry" was pretty popular with them for a middle name of the boys. Could William's middle initial "H" be for Henry? Is it possible his father's name was Henry? Or could William's mother's maiden name be Henry? These are just questions you might want to keep in mind when you are hunting.

PS I have just answered my own question. I looked up William and Hannah in the 1910 census, and he is in Middletown noted as William H., married TWICE, and married to Hannah for 17 years. So he and Hannah married circa 1893 after his first wife Sarah died. I would look for that marriage to Hannah in Ontario County records. Here is their address and phone number

Orange County Clerk
255-275 Main St.
Goshen, NY 10924-1621
(845) 294-5151

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When in Doubt Check the Original Record

Carrie asked .
My mother's father Ralph Gorman was 19 at the time of my mother's birth (1928) and is listed on the birth certificate as a taxidermist from Minnesota. My mother was born in Shawano/Mattoon, township of Almon, Wisconsin. Her mother was born in Minnesota in 1909. No other family members know any details either. So not knowing his parents or siblings, my brick wall seems permanent

Lorine Answers: Cariie, you asked a sensitive question so I've edited quite a bit of it for privacy reasons. A check of census records from 1910 on reveals no Ralph Gorman who fits your description. Variant spellings of Gorman did not pull anyone up that fits either.

So, I suggest you need to question if the name Ralph Gorman is correct. That leads to the question - did you consult an original birth registration for your mother or did you use a transcribed version? Because when in doubt you should always go back to the orginal to verify that the transcriber was correct. Perhaps his name was not Gorman but something similiar. Perhaps he had a middle name that he used interchangeably with Ralph. Perhaps his age is wrong ( there are Ralph Gormans of various ages in the census records). There are lots of possibilities for error and if you have been searching for 3 years with no results, it might be time to turn to the original and verify your facts. You may want to read "I Found My Great Great Grandfather Online -- Now What!!??? (Verifying Records Found On Webpages)" which explains about different "generations" of records and why it is so important to go back to the original record.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Looking for missing uncle in Oklahoma

Jerry asked:
For the past 44 years I've tried in vain to locate information on my uncle, Frank FOREMAN, born 26 Feb 1901 Panama City, LeFlore Co, Oklahoma. The only time I find him is in the 1910 federal census living with his family in Stigler City, Haskell Co, Oklahoma.

By 1920, he's apparently out on his own since he isn't living with the family in Stigler City. By 1930 his father (my grandfather), Jay Wm. Forman and his brother, Hayden Forman (my father) left Oklahoma (Dust Bowl Refugees) and moved to San Francisco, CA.

I contacted the Merchant Marines but they were unable to help without more data input. I contacted the F.O.I.A. at U.S. Dept of Justice and discovered Frank Foreman had applied for a Social Security Number as an employee with the Pennsylvania Railroad (#722-16-0348) on Oct 27, 1942. His social security card was issued Aug 11, 1943. At the time he was residing at 5965 Superior Ave, Chicago, IL (today the street is W. Superior Ave 60644-1047). Apparently, no rail service or earnings were ever credited to this account and yet his application shows he worked as a laborer until March 17, 1947.

Olive Tree Answer: Hi Jerry, You've certainly done a lot of research on Frank! Have you checked the Cook County, Illinois Death Index, 1908-1988? How about the Social Security Death Index? City Directories? These are all found on Rootsweb also has an interactive search of the SSDI

I did find Frank in the 1930 census so you can add this to your family tree notes. He and his wife L. Rose are found in Pomona, Los Angeles, California. Frank is 30, L. Rose is 27. Both Frank's parents were born in Oklahoma, machinist in garage, and he married at age 21. Perhaps you can flesh out Frank by finding his marriage to L. Rose and looking at witnesses and his residence at that time.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Looking for Jewish Records

Marcia asked:
I've been following the interesting questions and have one of my own. I've been trying to find marriage information about my paternal grandparents. Hit the brick wall. I've contacted, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, looked at the indexed records to no avail. I have found them on a number of US Census records and think they were married in 1887 in Philadelphia, PA. Pretty sure about the place. I was hoping the marriage license would give some other information about them. They came over single at the time around 1882-1884 from Hungary. We feel fairly certain they arrived at the port of Philadelphia, PA. Grandfather's name on his naturalization cert reads: Mores Schlessinger. Later the spelling on all other documents is Morris W. Schlesinger. Grandmother's name is Rose Braun or Rosa Braun. She may have also used her middle name of Rachel. They were probably married in a Philadelphia synagogue. Thank you for any help or steering me in the right direction.

OliveTree Answer: Hi Marcia. I'm afraid I am not very familiar with Jewish records and this is when I wish I had Guest Responders standing by!

I do have an idea though which I hope will help you. You say that you found Morris' Naturalization Certificate. I found his Petition to naturalize online on Footnote.comicon but not his actual certificate. He petitioned in Pennsylvania in September 1895 but before 1906, the declaration of intent generally contains more genealogically useful information than the petition. Petitions before 1906 usually show only a name, former allegiance, and date of naturalization. The declaration may include the alien's exact date of immigration into the United States. Have you found his actual declaration?

I would also look for Synagogues in the area where you know Morris lived. Check for any records of his children's births as well as his marriage. Have you been to JewishGen website? If not you should go as you may find some help there. There is a Hungary database as well as many other genealogy records and help.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Complete Your Research using One Set of Records before jumping to the next

Karen asked:
John Dill, was my husband's great-grandfather. A family member having done some research on him advised of the following, but did not specify where he got info. He believed John Dill came from Germany and arrived in Canada West in the 1840's. He was married before arriving there and settled in Hullett Township. He had a son, christened Matthew, after his father - son born 1849. The mother died soon after childbirth - name unknown. John hired a girl next door to be nanny and housekeeper, her name was Clara Gatzemeyer.

Clara was my husband's great grandmother. Accordingly to some church records I found, John and Clara married on 18 Feb 1852 in St. Columban "Irishtown". John's parents were listed as Matthew Dill and Anna Zahnt. Clara and John Dill had 6 children [list of children edited by Lorine]

I found an 1871 cenus listing for Canada-Ontario (Huron South district, Tuckersmith sub-district) which I think may be the correct John Dill - but could not find the actual census. Plus I thought sure I found an 1851 census listing for John, his son Matthew and housekeeper Clara Gatzemeyer, but for the life of me I cannot find it again.

I just can seem to find anything on him, nothing on his son's birth, his wife's (name unknown) death, not even his death which family has said was 1875 - but when, where?? Any suggestions on places I might search? I sure need some help.

Answer: Hi Karen, You have some good information, both factual and second hand, but it looks like you don't have sources. You might find it helpful to focus on one area of research, gather your information and sources for it and study it for further clues before jumping ahead. I suggest you start with those census records. Don't look for deaths or marriages or the son's birth until you've exhausted census. You can include tax and assessment records in with those census records too.

Bookmarking Websites

So let's start with 1851 census of Canada. You said you saw it but can't find it again. It may be time for you to bookmark certain sites that have links to various records. It's easy to forget where we were online and it helps to keep some sites in your web browser favourite list. If you follow my sites, you'll know that I have one called That's one you can bookmark and use to find out where various census years for Canada (and USA) can be found online.

1851 Canadian Census

The 1851 Canadian census is online at LAC (Library & Archives Canada) but it is not searchable there. You can browse the images but you will need to have a very precise location. 1851 Canadian Census has been transcribed by volunteers and the transcription is online at AutomatedGenealogy. Lastly has the 1851 Canadian Census indexed and linked to images. So you have several choices for consulting that census online.

1861 Ontario Census

The 1861 Ontario census is not online (yet) but it is coming this year. However you can check at to see if the location you need has been transcribed, as there are bits and pieces of 1861 done and available for searching at two websites - OGSPI and Ontario GenWeb Census Project

1871 Ontario Census

As for the 1871 Ontario Census, that is available as an index only on LAC. If you read their instructions as to what to do after you have found a name in the index, you will see you can order a copy of the census page from LAC. It's easy to do and affordable. You can also follow the instructions found at Obtaining Copies of the 1871 Ontario Census

At you will find all the links there that I am giving you here (plus more). So go, and bookmark the site for future research.

Agricultural Census Returns

When you are getting all these census records, be sure you check the agricultural census return if there is one for the year you are searching. It has very important clues and information that will guide you to further records later. Besides it's just plain interesting to find how many bee hives or milk cows your ancestor had!

Tax & Assessment Records

There are many early tax and assessment records for Ontario. Some have been lost so you have to check your location to see if any have survived for it. There are also the 1842 and 1848 census records which are often overlooked. has links and information on some of these earlier records for Ontario. You may be in luck because an 1842 Assessment for Hullet Twp in Huron County exists and is online.

Reading Introductions to Records

I can't stress enough how important it is to read the introduction to any set of records, offline or online. When you read the intro you will find out exactly what is available (perhaps there is more to the record than you think!), how to order copies or obtain more detail, when and where the record was taken (for example the 1851 Canada census was not taken until 1852 - that's an important detail to note!) and more. Some sites call it a HELP file, others call it an INTRODUCTION. My advice is to read them before you start searching.

I hope this has helped. Once you have found all the census records available for your ancestors, then I'd turn to other records - births, deaths and so on.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Finding an Immigrant Ancestor in Census - Be Creative with Spelling!

Jan asked me:
My G-Grandfather was born in New York State in August 1856, and married my G-Grandmother in 1885. I haven't been able to trace him any further back, but did find an Ellen Guilfoyle (with a son John) immigrating to NY in 1849 (with 5 other children), a widow. How can I figure out if there's a direct connection when I can't find Ellen or any of her children in any US censuses after arrival?

Answer: Hi Jan, you have a challenging puzzle ahead of you. I am not sure why you mention a son John with mother Ellen arriving in New York in 1849 as you say your g-grandfather was born in 1856 in New York. You didn't give me your great grandfather's name so I am slightly confused. Is your great grandfather's father John and his grandmother Ellen?

Since I didn't have enough detail from you to help you figure out if there is a connection with Ellen Guilfoyle and your unnamed great grandfather, I've done what I hope is the next best thing. I have found the family in the 1850 census. I'll explain how I did it, then you can have the fun of looking for them in 1860, 1870 and 1880.

Variant Surnames

The surname GUILFOYLE is one of those that can be spelled many different ways. If spelled phonetically (as it sounds), you never know how it might be written down on official records. So you must be prepared to search creatively, that is, with different spellings such as Guilfoyl, Guilfoil, Guilfoile, Guilfole and so on.

Using Wildcards in Searches

You should learn to use wildcards wherever possible, and to do that you need to read each site's Search Help for their specific search box. They might use an asterisk (*) or a question mark (?). You may have to enter 3 characters first, then a wildcard. You may have to enter one character then a wildcard.

Census Records

Having said that, I used to search for your family in the 1850 census records. Ancestry uses 3 characters than an asterisk to represent any number of characters. Thus Guilfoyle can be searched as Guil* or Gui*.

I used Guil* and decided to look for Cornelius, the youngest on the ship (I have to add here that it would have helped me tremendously to have the names and ages and name of ship for that 1849 sailing rather than trying to find it myself. I needed to know the names and birth years of Ellen's children in order to hunt for them in the census)

Searching the child rather than the parent

I chose Cornelius because Ellen can be recorded as Nellie, Nell, Helen or Hellen and could be much more difficult to find. Cornelius is a bit less common a name. So I searched for Corn* in case he was called Corny or his name recorded as Cornelis. The beauty of wildcards is it allows for spelling variations or errors.

That's my long answer. :-)


The short answer is that the entire family is in Poughkeepsie New York indexed as Guilfoil in 1850. Have fun and be creative when looking for them in the next census!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

When was the Barge Office used for Ships Arriving in New York?

Linda asked:
I remember looking for folks coming into New York, and there being a 3rd entry port called the BARGE Office, can you elaborate, Did this one port exists before Castle Garden and or Ellis Island?

Olive Tree Answer:
From 15 June 1897 to 16 Dec. 1900 the processing station was the Barge Office. Go here for more information on Ellis Island

There is also a nice little chart showing a detailed timeline for Immigrant Processing Stations at the Port of New York from 1624 to 1924 found at Ships Passenger Lists to New York

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Finding an unknown first wife's name and death year in Minnesota or Iowa

Jan 18, 2009 Nona asked

My Uncle was given away when he was a baby . I found his father in the next census and it said he was a widower in 1900. My Uncle was born in 1899. His fathers name was Peter Rosenthal born in 1860 Germany. He remarried in 1901 or 02 and had children with him in 1910 by his 1St. and 2nd. wife. I think he gave my Uncle up because of his wife dying. I'm trying to find her death and name and my uncles real name . They lived in Mower, Minnesota.

OliveTree Answers: Hi Nona,

You've got a challenging genealogy puzzler! It seems you have 3 questions, so let's tackle one - Peter Rosenthal's wife's name. I'm glad you gave me a location to work with (Mower Minnesota) because if you hadn't I wouldn't have taken this query on.

As I usually do, I started with the census records on I started with 1910 so that I could understand better about his two wives and different children by each.

You've seen this census of course but so that anyone else reading this will understand, in brief we find Peter age 49 saying he immigrated in 1860. His wife is Milly M and she is 36. His two eldest children are ages 22 and 24 and born in Iowa, giving them estimated years of birth of 1886 and 1888. Milly would be too young to be their mother so I think we can agree she is wife #2.

Going backwards we find Peter in the 1900 census for Mower Minnesota listed as Peter V. Rosenthal, age 39, widower. Here he says he immigrated in 1861. It is not unusual to find different years of immigration given for the same person. Always search a year or two on either side of any year given in the census. Peter is with his parents Carl and Anna, which actually helped me to determine if I had the correct Peter Rosenthal in earlier census years.

1890 is missing so we turn to 1880. Now Peter is in Mitchell Iowa and he is a single man born Hanover [Germany] living with his parents and siblings. So we know Peter married his first wife between this census (1880) in Iowa, and circa 1886 when his first known child was born.

Thank Goodness for the State Census Records!

Iowa has an 1885 state census and a search there showed Peter age 24 in Worth County Iowa, still single and still with his parents and siblings. That was a terrific find because now we can narrow that marriage time line even further. We know that Peter married between 1885 and circa 1886, and chances are good he married in Iowa, and most likely Worth County has Iowa Marriages 1851-1900 (but no images or details) and there I found a marriage in Worth Co. Iowa for Peter Rosenthal and Minnie Stehn. There is no year given so your next step would be to order the marriage record through the Ancestry online service or consult FHL film #1445838

Since I'm the curious sort, I took a look at the Iowa GenWeb Archives for the marriage in Worth County. There it was. Peter and Minnie were married on 3 April 1885. Further checking of census records showed that Minnie Stehn was born ca 1865 in Hanover Germany and thus was the perfect age to be Peter Rosenthal's first wife.

I think I've answered one of your questions. If I were you I would now check the 1895 state census for Iowa and see if Minnie is still alive then. Remember though that the family may have moved on to Minnesota by that year so you should check to see what state census records are available there.

I would also look for Grace and Clarence Rosenthal's birth records in Iowa. They are the two eldest children of Peter and Minnie. That should confirm my findings of their mother's name. You might want to search Minnesota and Iowa birth records for your uncle's name. Now that you know his parents' names the search should be easier.

Good luck. Please let us know here on how you make out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How Do I find Miss Rye's Home Children records?

Kim asked
My great-grandfather's sister, Agnes Louise Bickerstaff, was a "Home Child" - she grew up in the Thame Workhouse to the age of 12, when she left with one of Maria Rye's group of pauper and orphan children for Canada, arriving there August 1872. At the US Federal 1880 census, Agnes was residing in NY State, age 22 - so it appears once she turned 21 she left Canada. The only indication of where she might have lived and worked in Canada is her life-long correspondence with a Mary Jane Wynes of Ontario, Canada. In checking the 1871 and 1881 Canada censuses, Mary Jane resided in the rural area of Sunnidale, Simcoe, Ontario with her mother. Is there any avenue to follow in determining where my Agnes Bickerstaff might have been living during the years 1872 through 1879-1880?

Olive Tree Answer:

Miss Rye's home was taken over by the Church of England Waifs and Strays Society but it is not known if the records survived. However, according to Marj Kohli, those records are being recreated by Gail Colins and Chris Sanham. You can contact Chris Sanham. Chris' email can be found online

You may also want to find out what is in Maria Rye's papers held at the University of Liverpool in England.

Apparently the annual reports contain brief biographical sketches of each child and details of their placing out as well as extracts from letters received from children. This may prove helpful to you. Good luck!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Looking for Cornelia Van Alstyne

Bill asked on Sat, Jan 17, 2009

Seeking information concerning Cornelia and her father Cosen Aalstine? Cornelia married Jahn Van Ivern (son of late Jahn) 12 Dec 1766 in Dutch Reformed Church Stone Arabia, New York. Her date of birth (where) her mother, date she died and children.

Hi Bill - Did you know that I am a Van Alstyne descendant too?

Luckily I'm a packrat and can't bear to throw out anything related to genealogy. In my Van Alstyne files is a huge printout (not indexed, over 75 pages) which I obtained in July 1991. It is noted as "Montgomery Co. New York. W. Barker, Shelton CT" so I would guess it is from a digitized book.

In this printout which is quite cumbersome to use as it is the old fan-fed computer paper so is a seemingly never-ending roll of paper which I had to lay out on the floor to read, we find
#4082 Captn. Gose [this should be Goosen] Van Alstyne bpt 8 April 1722 s/o Marten Janse, died 1776, md 5 Aug. 1749 (SRR) Elisabeth Schyler (b ca 1720 d Ft Plain New York 28 July 1808 age 88) d/o Philip Schuyler & Maria. Goosen was Captn of Canajoharie militia in 1762 and built a stone house on Front St which was stockaded as Fort Van Alstyne during the American Revolution (Revolutionary War)

One of his children was
#5023 Cornelia bpt 24 Aug 1750 (SRR) m 1766 John Van Ever[e]n.

Goosen's father Marten Janse Van Alstyne (#3039) is noted as baptised in 1682 (no source given), and dying in Canajoharie 15 Sept 1765 (no source) married in Reformed Dutch Church of Albany on 10 Nov. 1705 to Cornelia Van Den Berg d/o Cornelis van Den Berg & Cornelia Van Der Poel. The transcription for this marriage is online, just follow the link.

It reads
Nov. 10. Reg. Ma. Dec. 5. Marten Jansse Van Aalstede, b. and l. in Col. R., and Cornelia Van den Berg, y.d., b. at A., l. in Col. R.

For a list of the words and abbreviations used in Dutch Church Records and what they mean see Translations of Dutch Words in Church Records of New Netherland

The list of sources from the printout is missing but I am 99.9% sure that SRR is Stone Arabia Church. The only location that I am aware of for these records online is at Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Stone Arabia : in the town of Palatine, Montgomery County, N.Y.

You may want to contact the owner of Gysbert Cornelise Van den Bergh Blog for help with your Van Den Berg[h] family.

So there you have it, you can now search for the church records to verify that this is correct.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Looking for Margaret Walsh in Pennsylvania

Toni said:
My ancestor was born in Canada about 1852 (tombstone) but I don't know where (census information). She came to Olyphant, PA from Canada around l864 but I have not been able to find out where she was born in Canada. Her name was Margaret Walsh and she married Charles O'Malley in the early l870's. I have never been able to find her in the 1900 or 1910 census

MY ANSWER: Good news! I found Margaret in 1900 :-) Margaret is misindexed in 1900 as Mary Ann, but the image clearly says Margaret. It is really helpful to use wildcards (MAR* for example) to search for individuals as that gets by those indexing errors.

Also use the names of children if you can't find the main person you want. I actually found Margaret by searching for her child Frances!

See Olive Tree Genealogy Blog for tips on using search engines in genealogy research.

The 1900 census records her birth as Canada ENGLISH which most likely means she was born in Ontario.

It also says she immigrated in 1864 so she should be on an 1870 census.

QUESTION: I have searched all available census records in Canada looking for a Margaret born to Patrick which would make her 9 in l861 and all I can find is 3 possible Margarets in Haldimand.

MY ANSWER: Her date of birth is given as Nov. 1852 on the 1900 Pennsylvania census so you won't find her on the 1851 Canadian census. However she will be in the 1861! That is not online yet although bits and pieces are. See and choose 1861 to find out where you can get those records (offline and on) If you are patient, Ancestry is bringing 1861 census online sometime this year