Saturday, January 3, 2015

Amos Stout Drake of Hillsdale, Michigan

At the end of last year, I hired a researcher at the Mitchell Research Center in Hillsdale, Michigan to investigate some of the records they have available and that I wouldn't be able to get at for another year.  The thought of not being able to move on my two gals (Lucia Cahoon Drake and her mother-in-law Catherine Whaley Drake) was making me crazy.

What I was looking for:

An obituary for Lucia.  She was the first school teacher in Hillsdale and is mentioned in the Hillsdale consortium published by the county.  she had some pretty well respected and prominent children.  Surely someone would say something about her somewhere.

I also wanted the obits for John Stout Drake, Amos Stout Drake, Catherine Whaley Drake and Allison Royce Drake.

To back track:  Lucia died in 1871.  She is buried next to John Stout Drake and has one side of his 4 sided tombstone.  She is identified as the wife of John Stout Drake.  Buried with her is their son, Johnie C Drake, who died a few months earlier.  There is the official death record that states she died in Hillsdale County and that she was married.

But Lucia is no where to be found in the 1870 United States Federal Census.  John Stout Drake is listed and a woman named Elenor who is listed under John Stout Drake, along with the children.  On that 4 sided tombstone previously mention, Elenor is on one side of it.

Anyways, there was no obituary for Lucia Cahoon Drake.

Amos Daniels

Today on Ancestry i found "a page from Amos Daniels probate file naming heirs."  I love it when someone includes a photocopied page with the original writing.  I hate it when I can't print a copy out for my files.  Now I'm sure there's away, but I just haven't figured it out yet.  But I HAD to have it! So I copied it off the screen longhand and I'm putting my transcription here.  I was unable to read every word and have left blanks.

At the very top of the document in the left hand corner it says:

State of New York
Wayne County
next to County is that letter that almost looks like an "f" with an s which leads me to think it's a double s and then another figure that could possibly be a badly done bracket.

Anson Daniels of the town of Arcadia
in the said county being duly sworn, deposes
and says, that Amos Daniels, died a natural
death, at the town and county aforesaid, which
was the place of his residence of the time of
his death, on or about the 11th of March
last _ _ _ _.(4 letters)   that the said deceased left a
widow, formerly Mrs. Rogers. who lived with
the deceased for about a year when they sepa-
rated, that the said widow resides in the
town of Arcadia aforesaid to the best of the
information and belief of the deponent.  That
the said deceased was aged seventy five
years.  that the said deceased left a last
will and testament, which  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (7 letters) exclusive-
ly to personal property, bearing dates the 11th
day of March 1839, that no person is named
executrix or executor in said will.  That Amos
Daniels Junior, of the town of Cambridge in
the county of Lenawee and State of Michigan,
John Daniels, of the town of Nankin
in the county of Wayne and State last
aforesaid, Timothy Daniels of the town of
Phelps in the County of Ontario and State
of New York, Elihu Ridley, of the town and County
last aforesaid, Oliver Bailey, of the town and County
last aforesaid, and Lydia Wait, the
wife of Philander Wait, of the County of Geauga
and State of Ohio, are the heirs and next of
kin to the said deceased and respectfully
of the age of twenty one and _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (7 letters)
and further the deponent says not.

Anson Daniels

Subscribed + sworn this 3d
day of June, 1839 before me  (and something that looks like another bracket)
RW Ashley _ _ (2 letters)  _ _ _ _ (4 letters) of
Deeds + C. of said County

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Amos Stout Drake and Catherine Whaley Drake

I hate dead ends.  Some folks who study genealogy call them "Brick Walls."  But that seems a little too optimistic.  The phrase implies that one can smash through the brick wall or get a ladder a scale the wall or find a stile or something.  Maybe "dead end" isn't the exact perfect word to describe where I've come with Catherine Whaley.  More like a cul-de-sac.  I keep going round and round and round.  Never gleaning any new information.  I keep slogging over everything I know, hoping that I'll come across something that I missed that can send me off in a new direction.  Then checking and double checking anything I can think of hoping that maybe possibly someone has put up some new data that might help me.  I can't be the only person in the universe who is stumped with Catherine Whaley Drake, wife of Amos Stout Drake.

One of the things that makes me crazy is that many people don't attempt to validate or invalidate information that they find in other peoples family trees.  Sometimes it makes me doubt my own research and I feel I have to go over my own facts again and confirm what I'm pretty sure is the "truth."  I followed some of the "shaking leaf" hints on Ancestry and found about 10 other trees that have my Catherine's death date wrong.  Sometimes errors occur when the people who reported the death are not "family" -- maybe a neighbor, who doesn't really know much about the deceased.

So here I state for my own tree: Catherine Whaley Drake died on 27 Feb 1880.  That's probably why she didn't show up in the 1880 United States Census.  At, I found found the death record for Catherine Drake.  You can find it too by looking in "Michigan, Deaths, 1867-1897."  GS Film Number: 2363668, Digital Folder Number:  004207951, Image Number:  00541.

Here is the info I gleaned:  Catharine Drake died 27 Feb 1880 in Amboy, Hillsdale, Michigan.  She was a female, 81 years old.  Widowed and she did housework.  At the time of her death, she was 81 years, 5 months and 6 days old.  That should give me her actual birthdate.  Whoever did the reporting, did not know the name of her parents.  Whoever did the reporting, stated that she was from New Jersey.  Sigh.

In 1850, John Stout Drake was 25 years old and a farmer.  His wife, Lucia -- another gal who is making me crazy -- was 23.  They lived next door to John Stout's parents, Amos Stout Drake and Catherine Drake.  On the day the 1850 United States Census was taken Anna R Drake is enumerated at Amos and Catherine's house.  She is 4 months old.

Could the census taker have made a mistake and drawn the line in the wrong place?

At John and Lucia's house are the other children:  James A Drake who is three years old, and Emery E Drake who is 2 years old.  So the info gleaned from that very simple census, James A was born in 1847 and Emery was born in 1848.  I think this changes in the next census...  Maybe Anna was really staying next door at the Grandparents.  Maybe Lucia was being overwhelmed or she was sick or???

Regardless, In 1850 Amos and Catherine have a full house.  Besides Anna, there are:  William Drake (age 22), Cyrena (age 12), Catherine (age 7) and a whole bunch of Bakers:  Charles (44), Juliette (41), James (18), Ester (16), John (13) Cynthia (7), George (4), Charles (3).  I still don't know how we connect with the Bakers.  We share a cemetery with them, and those Bakers above are living not only in the same place, but on the same land and house.  I also have a very old bible that has Mary Baker on the front page and down in the corner is written "for Duane."  That is what they used to call my dad.  And there has  been no other Duanes in the family.

In that 1850 United States Census, Amos is listed as a farmer and that he was born in New Jersey.  Catherine was born in New York.  William and Cyrena were also born in New York, while the littlest Catherine was born in Michigan.

On the same page as Amos and Catherine and John and Lucia, and the Bakers are the farming families Clark and King.

10 years later, in the 1860 United States Census, the Amos and Catherine household has declined.  The only other person in the house is Catherine, grown up, and at 18 she is a school teacher.  Amos is 59 and still farming.  He says his farm is worth $2000, with a personal estate worth $793.  What's interesting is that Catherine as a personal estate of $32 -- and she's the only woman on the page that has any personal property.

Farms owned by others in the area, enumerated on the same page as Amos and Catherine are valued as follows:  $500 (James Garrison), $600 (George Salmon), $1000 (Horace Wright), $1000 (Alden Nash), $1600 (James Smith), $700 (Thomas Sawyer).

I need to find out what a "personal estate" actually is.

James Smith, the man who's farm is valued almost as much as Amos'?  Black family.  It's hard to fathom that the there were free blacks farming in Hillsdale County, Michigan in 1860.

That 1860 Census states that Amos was born in New Jersey, Catherine (the mom) was born in New York and daughter Catherine was born in Michigan.

In the 1870 United States Census, the Kings and the Clarks show up again as neighbors of Amos and Cate Drake.  Where were they in 1860?  Did Amos and Cate move to another part of Hillsdale County, then return?  How can I find out where they all were physically located in 1860?

In 1870. John Stout Drake has a new woman in the house -- an Elinor Drake.  Also in the house are Bird A and Alfred B -- and I've pondered over this before.  Even tho the enumerator lists them as Bird 13 years old and Alfred as 11, I propose that they are the same child.  Other children are Ann, Mary Serenus, Jane and Lucy.

Living next door are Amos J Drake.  and his wife, Mary.  Their children are Hiram A (2) and Carrie E (6/12).  Amos J happens to be James Amos, first born of John Stout and Lucia.  This custom of naming children after grandparents, then calling them by the middle name until said grandparent dies.

Skip a farm down and there we find Amos Stout Drake, now 69 and his wife, Cate, 70.  Amos' farm is valued at $3500 with a personal estate of $2000.  Here, Amos' birth state is listed as New York -- which has always been New Jersey up to this point and Catherine's birth state is still New York.  Living with Amos and Cate is Catherine who has married a man named Woods.  He isn't enumerated, but son Frederick Woods is there and he's three years old, making him born in 1867.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Rebecca Trotter Drake

I'm trying to get to know my female ancestors a little better.  As a genealogist, I sometimes just want to scream at all the women I know to leave SOMETHING behind; letters, journals, photos.  I fear that the next generation is going to be for a real tough battle to find pieces of their families, now that everything has gone digital and no one saves emails.

I have been reading my favorite book about women to help put Rebecca Trotter Drake into perspective: America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines by Gail Collins.  For anyone doing female family tree research this is an absolute treasure.

Another good one to add to your library or at least check out at your library is The Colonial Mosaic American Women 1600-1760 by Jane Kamensky.

The two books work well together -- America's Women is a little chattier, but there are some great statistics in The Colonial Mosaic.

When I'm doing general research, I keep a notebook handy and jot down information that I then try to put into perspective.  For example:  The first child born in America was Eleanor Dare in 1587.  Jamestown was founded in 1607. My Elizabeth Trotter was born in 1655 in New Jersey.  Her parents -- William Trotter and Catherine Cutbury Gibbs were both born in Massachusetts.  Rebecca was a 2nd generation American.

Back in those olden days, it took approximately 2 months to cross the Atlantic, and that's if everything went well.

One of the books stated that women lived most of their lives without back support.  They sat on stools or benches and most households had only one real chair, and you know who that was always reserved for.

Gleaned from the diaries of women in the 18th century (My Rebecca Trotter Drake would have been 45 years old), some of a women's duties were:
  1. Candle making
  2. Soap making
  3. Butter and cheese making
  4. Spinning
  5. Weaving
  6. Dying
  7. Knitting
  8. Sewing
  9. Dressmaking
  10. Tailoring
  11. Shoe making
  12. Millinery
  13. Brew beer
In 1656 (Rebecca Trotter would have been a one year old baby) the New England General Court ordered "all hands not necessarily employed on other occasions, as women, Girles and Boyes" be required to spin 3 pounds of thread a week for at least 30 weeks a year"!

And speaking of spinning -- in a full day of spinning a women could walk over 20 miles -- all in the one room of her house.

Rebecca Trotter Drake had 14 children.  She had six sons before a girl came along.  She had 4 boys in 4 years, then a two year break, followed by son #5, another two year break and then #6 son. Can you imagine trying to ride herd on a hip baby, a toddler, a preschooler, a kindergartner, a first grader, a second grader -- all boys! Holy cow.  And Abraham was only a year old when Sarah was born.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Rebecca Trotter Drake

Here are couple of things I found on the Internet regarding Rebecca Trotter.  I've learned that I can take fabulous pictures of my computer screen with my Iphone.  I just can figure out how to get them into a place where I can post them.  So I just email them to myself.

I've learned that when you are researching Middlesex County in New Jersey the same names keep popping up over and over.

Here is some info that I gleaned from The History of Middlesex County, New Jersey by John P Wall:

Stelton Baptist Church was founded in 1689.  The congregation was formed by 6 of the area's earliest European settlers:  John Drake (that's Rebecca Trotter's husband), Edmond Durham, Nicholas Bonham, John Smalley, Hugh Dunn and John Randolph.  These other names are littered through my family tree.  It goes on to say that John Drake, a nephew of Sir Francis Drake, became the first pastor of the congregation and  served in that capacity for 50 years.

Stelton Baptist Church in Edison, New Jersey is the second oldest Baptist Church in New Jersey and the 10 oldest in the United States.  It remained the Stelton Baptist Church until 1875 when it was renamed First Baptist Church of Piscataway.

The first church was erected in 1748.

Rebecca Trotter Drake

So I have been obsessing a lot about the women in the family.  I've put Lucia Cahoon Drake on hold until I can back up to Michigan and into the files at the Mitchell Research Center in Hillsdale.  Now it's time to obsess about another female who has even less information available.  And I tell you, for someone I know a lot about, I sure don't know anything of value.

When I'm researching a relative, I try to put a face to party, which is extremely difficult to do, but I kinda got a way around it.  I put in the dates and look through the google images, hoping i kind find a face that clicks.  For Rebecca Trotter Drake, I found this painting by Johannes Vermeer.  It's called the Milkmaid.

It is circa 1658.  Rebecca was born in 1655, but it took fashion a long time to make it from Europe to the colonies.  I like the fact that she is muscular with thick forearms and that she's working.  Rebecca Trotter Drake was married to a farmer.

I've also been reading the book America's Women: 400 years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines.  There is a ton of fascinating information about life in the Colonials.  I'll be including that in some of my future posts, but today, I want to get down what I know so I can study it in context.  

Rebecca Trotter was born in 1655 in Elizabethtown, Union, New Jersey, to William Trotter and Catherine Cutbury Gibbs.  Both of the parents were born in Massachussetts. I still need to look at a map to determine how far away Elizabethtown is from Piscataway, where Rebecca ended up.  All 4 of Rebecca's grandparents were born in England, so I'm assuming that she spoke with an modified English accent.

She married John Drake (more about him later) and had a whole passel of kids.  I'm still not 100% sure how many she had ... but at least 14.  She married John Drake 07 July 1677 which means she would have been 22 years old.  From what I've read in America's Women, it was not uncommon for girls to be married at 12 or 13.  Under what circumstance was she allowed to marry so late?

As far as I can tell, these are her children:
  1. John  1678-1758
  2. Francis 1679-1733
  3. Samuel 1680-
  4. Joseph 1681-1758
  5. Benjamin 1683-1763  This is my line.
  6. Abraham 1685-1763
  7. Sarah 1686-1744
  8. Isaac 1687-1702
  9. Jacob 1690-
  10. Ebenezer 1693-1740
  11. Ephraim 1694-1725
  12. Rebecca 1697-1749
  13. Abigail 1699-
  14. Hannah 1699-1740
There are also many family trees on Ancestry that have two more daughters:  Mary 1700-1740 and Elizabeth 1702-.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Hunt for Lucia Cahoon Drake Continued

With John C Drake's death date in hand, I went back to the FamilySearch website - again.  Lo and behold, I found his death record.  Name was right.  Date was right.  I clicked in and read a typed transcription record from the handwritten record.  John C Drake.  Father:  John Stout Drake.  Mother:  Tuira Drake.  Tuira?  WTH?  So I dug deeper, going into view the handwritten record.

If you know what you're looking for, Tuira Drake is oh, so obviously Lucia Drake.  It was all about being able to read old timey chicken scratches.  Tuira Drake IS Lucia Drake. This is what it looks like:

Lucia is the one in the middle. 

Now as I was looking at this document, I noticed the name under Lucia.  And then it hit me!  Lucia died 9 October 1871.  I flipped back a page.  Lucia Drake was the next recorded death in 1871.  But, the record -- too -- was written by the same person, so it looks like Tuira -- again.  Finally found Lucia's death record.  I went back to that page where I first found her.  James H Cohoon is listed as her father.  Finally a definitive freaking clue.  Forget the spelling of her dad's last name.  We'll get to that later.  And -- drum roll please -- her mother's name is Mary A Cohoon. 

So listen up all you cousins, searching for our Lucia Cahoon Drake.  Search for her under Tuira Drake.  I haven't tried a search in all the family trees at Ancestry.  Yet.

This document still doesn't solve the spelling issues.  It still doesn't solve the fact that I can't find Lucia Drake in the 1870 United States Federal Census.  It doesn't solve the problem that in 1970 there was another lady -- Elenore -- listed as the wife to John Stout Drake.  It doesn't solve the mystery of Elenore being buried with John Stout Drake, Lucia and Johnnie and Mary Pease.  But it is tangible proof.  John and Lucia were married a long time.  He would've known her family parentage better than some random person.  So in my own personal record, I'm making it official.  Lucia's dad was John H and her mother, Mary A.