Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Conferentie Versus Coetus

In my last post, I wrote about the division in the Reformed Dutch Church in Kingston, New York between 1766 and 1772. I had noted during this period that some baptisms were performed by Domine Hermanus Meyer. His name was followed by the word Coetus. Whereas, other baptisms were performed by ministers whose names were followed by the word Conferentie and the phrase, "from xxx," where xxx is the name of a town other than Kingston.

Dutch parents typically had a newborn baptized within a week after the child's birth. However, during this period parents in this church appear to have had infrequent, mass baptisms performed by a minister of another congregation. I usually observed this behavior when a community did not have a minister and had to wait for a minister of another church come to town.

Kingston, known as Wiltwyck before the English gained control of the Dutch colony, had a Reformed Dutch Church with a full-time minister since the 1600s. Even during this period, the church had a full-time minister, Domine Meyer. The clue to what happened in 1766 and the next six years was in the words Conferentie and Coetus.

Reformed Dutch ministers, called domine, were sent to the North American colony from the Netherlands by the Classis of Amsterdam. The Classis of Amsterdam found it difficult to recruit clergy to go to America so the colonists sent prospective clergy to the Netherlands to be educated and ordained as ministers of the Reformed Dutch Church. As this was expensive, the population in the American colony was growing, and the Dutch government was no longer in control of the colony, some members of the Reformed Dutch Church began to push for educating and ordaining ministers in  America.

As time marched into the 18th century, business and education outside the home was conducted in English. Subsequent generations of descendants of the Dutch were not speaking Dutch even at home so there grew another reason that the congregants were pushing for home-grown clergy, ones that spoke English.

These forces caused a split in the Dutch Reformed Church of America. One side of the argument were known as the Conferentie while the other side was called the Coetus. The Coetus pushed for the clergy to be trained and ordained in America. Domine Meyer supported the Coetus movement. Obviously, the majority of his congregation did not support him.

According to "An Historical Sketch of the Early Collegiate Church," the Coetus was dissolved in 1754. So what was going on in 1766 in Kingston?

To be continued...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Discord in Reformed Dutch Church of Kingston, New York from 1766 to 1772

Today, I was associating baptismal records from the Reformed Dutch Church of Kingston, NY to people in my family history. Typically, I like to include the name of the minister who officiated at the event. Roswell Randall Hoes's book, Baptismal and Marriage Registers of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston, Ulster County, New York, 1660-1809, includes the names of the presiding minister.

When I came across the baptismal entry for Maria Bogardus in 1769, I noticed something interesting on the page. There was a different minister after every three or four baptisms. But what attracted my attention was the parenthetical information following the name of each minister. In some cases the minister's name was followed by "(Conferentie)" and others by "(Coetus)".

I paged backward to see if I could determine when the first time one of these two designations occurred in the book. The first baptismal entry in which the notation of Conferentie or Coetus occurred was June 3, 1766 when Domine Gerhard Daniel Cock, minister of Germantown and Rhinebeck, officiated.

The minister who officiated at the baptisms prior to June 3rd was Domine Hermanus Meyer. The first baptism that is recorded with Rev. Meyer officiating is November 6, 1763; the last entry is February 9, 1766. From the latter date to October 25, 1772, Rev. Meyer was noted as Domine Meyer (Coetus).

Between June 3, 1766 and October 25, 1772, several different ministers performed baptisms for this congregations. With the exception of Rev. Meyer, each of the other ministers were recorded with "(Conferentie)." Each of these Conferentie ministers appear to have had a congregation somewhere else.

Domine Isaac Rysdyk was the minister for  Poughkeepsie and Fishkill, NY. Domine Gerhard Daniel Cock was the minister for Germantown and Rhinebeck, NY. Domine Johannes Casparus Fryenmoet was the minister for Livingston Manor. Domine Warmoldus Kuypers was the minister at Rhinebeck Flats, NY.

Domine Hermanus Meyer was the minister of the Reformed Dutch Church in Kingston during this time. However, it appears that the majority of the congregants chose to have ministers of neighboring Dutch Reformed Churches perform the baptisms. A minority of the congregation supported Domine Meyer and the Coetus.

By October 26, 1772, Domine Meyer was no longer the minister of the Kingston congregation as Domine Gerhard Daniel Cock officiated at several baptisms on that date and beyond. This six-year period must have been very difficult for the congregation, the community and friends and family.

To be continued...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Natural Lakes in Ohio

Before I start this Blog entry, I want to explain why I have not posted any Blog entries for a bit. My father-in-law suffered a serious stroke in September. Unlike the strokes that he had experienced previously, this stroke left him unable to effectively swallow. It has been a roller coaster ride for the family as he repeatedly suffers from bouts of pneumonia due to aspiration of saliva and food.

A friend of mine sent me an email message in September that was entitled, "Did Not Know That!!!." One of the claims was "There are no natural lakes in the sate of Ohio, every one is manmade." At the time I received the message I was suspect. That thought stayed with me largely because several of my relatives settled in Ohio after the American Revolution.

Studying my early relatives and their migration westward, I was very suspicious about the claim of no natural lakes in Ohio. I did a Google search for natural lakes in Ohio. I found a report released in 1991 regarding Natural Lakes in Ohio larger than five acres.

If you read this report, you will quickly learn that Ohio has naturally-formed lakes. Now I wonder about the other claims in my friend's email message.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Last Names in America

I subscribe to Dick Eastman's e-newsletter. His articles generally relate to Genealogy. About a month ago I received a message that Dick had posted three new articles. One article, "The Popularity of Your Last Name," caught my interest. He refers to a study conducted by the Census Bureau of the United States using the 1990 Census data.

It turns out that the Census Bureau of the United States has posted a file that contains 88,799 unique surnames found in a subset of the 1990 Census. The sample size is 6,290,251 people. After I read the methodology of the project, had I been Mr. Eastman, I would have entitled the article differently.

For many people the word popularity means well-liked or having high social status. In the case of the Census Bureau's study, popularity means common. A more descriptive title for Mr. Eastman's article is "How Common Is Your Last Name."

I have heard some people say that they believe that the language of the United States will change from English to Spanish within a few years. Having studied the way that immigrants assimilate into the American culture beginning in the late 1600s to now, I seriously doubt that English will be replaced by Spanish or any other language.

My initial reaction after viewing the list of surnames at the Census Bureau website was that the data confirmed my belief. The most common surname in the list is Smith. A Hispanic surname does not appear until the eighteenth name in the list. In the 25 most common surnames, three are Hispanic. Only three more Hispanic names occur in the list of the next 25 most common surnames. Of the 50 most common names, with the exception of the 6 Hispanic surnames, are very English. These include Taylor, Thomas, White, Clark, Young, King, Scott, etc.

As I mentioned above, this study was conducted with subset of the entire US population, which was 248,709,873 people in 1990. So the sample represents about 2.5% of the total population. Although I am confident that the statisticians who work for the Census Bureau are experts in determining how to select a representative sample to analyze, I was curious to learn more about this study.

It turns out that there was some concern that people living in disadvantaged areas may not have completed the 1990 census forms fully. The six million plus people represented in this study were re-enumerated in a separate enumeration. This was done to validate the data collected in the same areas in 1990.

After I understood the nature of the study and since many Hispanics reside in disadvantaged areas within the United States, I was actually surprised to find only six Hispanic surnames in the top 50 most common names. Now, I wonder how many Hispanic surnames, if any, would appear in the list if there was an analysis of the entire 1990 Census?

Apparently there are those who believe that Hispanic immigrants do not learn to speak English. As with other immigrant populations over the last 250 years, it is true that many immigrants never learn to speak English well. However, the next generation does learn to speak English. Living in a state with a large Hispanic population, I have first hand experience with Hispanic immigrants.

There is also some belief that all people of Hispanic origin speak Spanish. Successive generations of the descendants of the immigrants generally do not speak the language of the immigrant. I suspected that some of the aggregate data available from the 2000 Census might support this fact.

I looked at the language spoken at home of people five years and over. In 2000, 82.1% of the people spoke only English at home. That means that 17.9% of the people spoke some other language. Spanish represented a little more than half of the non-English languages spoken at home or 10.7% of the population 5 or older. Half of these people spoke English very well and half spoke English less than very well.

I stand by my belief that Spanish will not replace English as the language of the United States anytime soon, if ever.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lanaii and Google

I grew up with a name that no one could pronounce. My mother and father each were partially to blame. My father was in the US Navy in the Pacific during World War II. He remembered the name of an island in Hawaii that he believed was spelled Lanaii. However in the 1940s and still today, that island is spelled Lanai.

My father believed that Lanai was pronounced like Hawaii but with the letter L in the place of H and the letter n in place of the w. My mother, it seems didn't like the pronunciation of the name that my father proposed and chose to make the double i’s sound like the vowel y. So when people see my name in print and try to pronounce it, they rarely pronounce it correctly. I tell people that my name is pronounced like René with an L.

When my mother and father were having the dispute over how my name should be pronounced, very few people in the Midwest had been to Hawaii. Amongst my parents' relatives, there were none to dispute my mother's pronunciation. So at the start of each year school year, I faced a teacher who had no clue as to how to pronounce my name. One embarrassing moment was the first day in my science class of junior high school (now called middle school).

Mr. Hayda apparently had a class roster that was written in cursive writing. Many people in the area in which I lived were of German descent, so I think that my teacher assumed that the two dotted letters were the letter U with an umlaut. So when he called my name, he pronounced it with a u sound and said my name as Lanow. After that, Peter Hauschild called me Lanow the cow.

After my family moved to California, my teachers didn’t seem to have a problem with attempting to pronounce my name. Houses being built in Southern California often were advertised as having a lanai. At that time, typically Hawaiian houses were built with a lanai, or as mainlanders would call it, a veranda. Unfortunately for me, the structure called a lanai on new houses was a patio. So when teachers first called my name, they pronounced it like the Hawaiian word lanai. After that a few kids called me patio. Within a year or so, the kids had become more mature.

A lanai (veranda) and the island of Lanai are not pronounced the same. And, neither is pronounced the way that my name is pronounced. Hey! The spelling looks the same, but that is because we look at the spelling from an English language point of view and ignore the subtleties of the Hawaiian language.

Lanai, the veranda, is pronounced la-nī (short a, long i). Lanai, the island, is pronounced La-na-ee (short a, long e). Over the last several years, I found that the island of Lanai was often written as Lana’i to distinguish it from a veranda, the lanai.

I periodically do a Google search on my name to see what Google finds. The Google search-process knows about the island, Lanai, as well as the structure, lanai. Google assumes that I made a typo when I enter Lanaii but allows me to say that I mean to search for Lanaii and not for Lanai. The search results are interesting.

When my father was in Hawaii, very few mainlander Americans had been in the Hawaiian Islands. So I was not surprised that my dad and mom together created both the spelling and the pronunciation of my name. It wasn’t until 1990 that the island was opened to tourism with the building of the first resort hotel. Until then, the island was primarily used for growing pineapples and access to the island was limited.

When the results of my search on Google appeared, I was very surprised at the number of hits that were about the island of Lanai but spelled Lanaii. Some of the hits contained the word Lanai’i. It would appear that the Hawaiians have been successful in getting mainlanders to pronounce the name of the island correctly. However, it also appears that people are making the same mistake that my dad made years ago.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What's in a name?

Many immigrants to the United States modify their surnames after they arrive. And in some cases they even change their given name. In most instances, immigrants change names to make them sound more American. I saw this tendency in practice as early as the late 1660s in New York following the British take over of the Dutch colony.

I found the names spelled one way in the records of the Dutch Reformed Church and another way in the English civic records. For example, the Dutch names Teunis, Jacobus, Aefje and Engeltje were written, respectively, as Anthony, James, Eva and Angelica in the English records. The spelling of surnames also evolved as the colonists moved from one colony to the next. Most of the changes in the spelling of surnames in America came about because names were spelled phonetically.

As each wave of immigrants came to America, immigrants modified both the first and last name if it sounded too foreign. My grandmother's father and grandparents came from Norway. In Norway, the family was known as the following: Martin Semmingsen, Mari Amundsdatter, Andreas Martinson, Kari Martinsdatter and Karl Person. Within a few years of their arrival, they were called Martin Simonson, Mary Simonson, Andrew Simonson, Karen Peterson and Charley Peterson, respectively.

Sometimes immigrants would change their name because it was too hard for Americans to pronounce. After years of people mispronouncing his name, a friend of mine named Ashok shortened his first name to Ash. I see this practice extensively with the Vietnamese immigrants. Although most have not Americanized the surnname other than to spell it using the English alphabet, many Vietnamese immigrants have Americanized the given name.

My husband's ancestors came to the United States from Eastern Europe. Unlike my great-great grandfather who made his Norwegian name sound more American, my husband's ancestors in two instances changed the name all together. One side of his family changed the name from Moswz to Klaine, while another side changed the name from Sluszny to Ehrlich. We recently met a second cousin who had some inkling of how that name evolved.

Historically, most names, both first and last, have a meaning. Just do a Google or Yahoo search on your name and there is a very high likelihood that you will find the meaning and derivation of your name. Jack told us that Sluszny and Ehrlich mean the same thing, honest or honorable.

I spent a little time on Google and found that Ehrlich, a German name, does indeed mean honest or honorable. Sluszny, a Polish name, means correct. I happened to come across a similar name used in the Czech Republic, Slušný, that means proper, decent or correct. So I can perhaps see how my husband's grandfather and great uncle got Ehrlich from Sluszny. At this time, I do not know why the two of them changed their surname to a German version.

As I explained the result of my research to my husband, he told me that he could see why someone would like a surname that means honorable. He reminded me that we address judges and Congress people by the title, Honorable. As much as I can see why we would call a judge, the Honorable Judge so-and-so, I am not sure why we should give such a title to many of the people who hold political office.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Howard University

Today I was arbitrating the results of two indexers who indexed the same image from the North Carolina Freedmen Letters 1862-1870. A name mentioned in almost every letter was Major General O. O. Howard, Commissioner. I decided to find out a bit more about this man.

O. O. Howard is Oliver Otis Howard who was born November 8, 1830, He was a career US army officer. However, the reason that his name appeared so often in the letters was that he was commissioner of the Freedman's Bureau. The bureau's purpose was to integrate the freed slaves into a free society.

I knew that many black college students attended Howard University and assumed that the university was founded by a member or members of the black community. When I was researching about who Oliver Howard was, I learned that he was the founder of Howard University. Howard University was founded in 1867. The university was open to both females and males and didn't judge an applicant based on color.

Nearly thirty years later, he established Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee to provide for the education of the "mountain whites."

Oliver O. Howard

Sunday, September 19, 2010

School Experience as A Baby Boomer

I was talking the other day to a woman at my gym who was concerned about moving and the impact on her teenage son. She was worried that he would have trouble meeting friends because her son is very shy. I told her that I faced a similar situation when my husband took a job in the San Francisco area, but I knew that my son would make friends based on my own experience.

As a student, I went to two elementary schools, two junior (middle) schools, two high schools and two universities. At each change, I met new friends from the members of my class. And as I predicted, my son found friends at his new school and has maintained that connection beyond his high school graduation.

You may think that I attended all of these schools because my family moved a lot. You would then be incorrect. I was a part of the baby boom that occurred after World War II. The number of children that were born in the years following the war strained the public school system. Communities were faced with having to build more schools to accomodate the dramatic increase in children of school age.

I started kindergarten at Adair Avenue Elementary School. I don't have much recollection of my time at the school. I remember being in kindergarten and sitting on the floor while the teacher read us a story. I also remember coloring pussy willows with colored chalk and having to have a nap on a mat in a darkened room. First grade also left me with few memories.

I fell off the schoolbus regularly when we arrived at the school to the point that I had bandages on my knees on a regular basis and had scars on my knees for many years later. As it turns out I needed glasses. By first grade, we were starting to read. I had learned to read before I was in kindergarten because my mother was a former school teacher. But this was the first time that I was asked to read from the blackboard. So that year I ended up with eye glasses.

My brother had started kindergarten that year but was at New Hope School. This school had been a one-room school in what was a rural part of the county. It was scheduled to be demolished but was temporarily saved by the urgent need of a place to house kindergarden students. Adair Avenue kindergarten was full.

The next year, I was to begin my second grade. My 1st grade brother and kindergarten brother all started at Noble Avenue Elementary School. The construction on the school was not completed until after the school year began. The focus was on completing the classrooms and then finishing the remaining facilities within the building.

I was in the morning kindergarten class so was home by lunch time, but I had lunch in the school cafeteria when I was in 1st grade. In the early months of second grade, we had to bring our lunch and we ate lunch in our classroom. Before I ended my time in second grade, we had a cafeteria. It was at Noble Avenue School that I first experienced the multi-purpose room.

Noble Avenue School was my home from second through sixth grade. However, as I was about to enter junior high school, the school district needed to build another junior high school. I ended up at the new school rather than the school that I had expected to attend. This time most of my class from Noble Avenue were in the same school with me but I was placed into a special program at the school. The students in this program were kept separated from the other new junior high students. There were 72 of us divided into two homerooms. Since we came from several elementary schools, I found myself in a homeroom with about a quarter of the students I already knew.

My parents then moved us to California. I attended O A Peters Intermediate School. I made some friends some of whom ended up at the same high as I did. The end of that year, my parents bought a house that was in the same school district but would place me in another high school, This was the school from which I graduated.

During my time in high school, the district was building a 5th high school and had created a contest to name the 5th school. A few years after I graduated from high school, the district lines were redrawn so that my younger siblings ended up at another high school than the one from which I graduated.

Years later, many of the schools were closed because there were not enough students. But the one thing that I learned from my years as a student is that you will meet friends.

Friday, September 17, 2010


My sister, brother and I donated one of the three cordboards that my mother owned to the Tustin (California) Museum in late 2008. The museum asked me if I could send them something about the history of this particular cordboard being in Orange County, California. However, events in my life caused a delay in a reponse. In October 2009, I sent the following email message to the museum:

I meant to send you a blurb about the cordboard that I donated to the museum last year but other events superceded my time.
My mother started an answering service at 1212 Sycamore Street in Santa Ana in 1968. She had been a supervisor at Orange County Answering Service that was located at the corner of Bush and 10th Street in Santa Ana. She was frustrated with the quality of service that her employer was willing to provide to its clients so she started her own business. Her sister who was an operator at Orange County Answering Service was my mother's first employee.
At the time that my mother started her business, Pacific Telephone leased the cordboards and provided maintenance support. The cordboard that I donated was one of three that my mother leased from PacTel. These cordboards were not new in 1968 and seemed to have been manufactured in the late 1940s. At some point PacBell did not want to support this type of cordboard. My mother ended up owning the three cordboards and the maintenance costs.
I came across a picture of my father's mother taken in 1910. She was sitting at a cordboard in the parlor of her parents' home. My great grandfather provided phone service to a small community in Anoka County, Minnesota. My Grandma was answering phones for 24 customers, but the picture did not look much different from a photo that I have of my mother in front of a cordboard with 100 slots. My mother met my father because she was one of the two teachers at a 2-room schoolhouse built on my grandmother's parents' property.
The cordboard that I donated was in operation until 2006. This is a picture of my mother in the early years of her answering service.

After I sent the information above to the museum, I received an email message that told me the following:

The cordboard you donated does attract a lot of attention since it appears that almost everyone "of a certain age" has a PBX story!  (Including myself since I operated one in the 60s).

Note: PacBell and PacTel are the same company. The named changed as the telephone company monopolies were required to break up into smaller entities.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do You Have Relatives or Ancestors Enumerated in A Canadian Census?

Although you may have been born in the United States as were your parents and your grandparents, you might find that you have relatives or ancestors that lived in Canada. The Canadian census images that are currently available for viewing will then be of interest to you.

I have looked at hundreds of US census images. This data is not always reliable as I found on more than one occasion that the age of the same person from one census to another are not always 10 years apart. One of my relatives was less than ten years older in the next census to the point that she was almost the same age in one census as she was 30 years before.

However, as you come across records and find that you have a year's difference in the birth year of a relative who lived in Canada and in the United States, it may be due to the difference between the meaning of the age recorded in a census between the US Census and the Canadian Census.

The instructions to the enumerator of the US census has been since the 1850 census to record the age of the individual at his/her last birthday. I looked at so many US census images that I assumed that the age in the Canadian census was the age at the last birthday. I was wrong!!!

When you find a relative in a Canadian census, do not assume that the age is the age at the last birthday. You will be wrong as was I. After enough times that I found a relative in a Canadian census whose age was a year older than I expected, I decided to look at what that data meant. A little research revealed that the age in the Canadian census is the age at the next birthday.

If you are looking at census images for countries other than the United States, be sure to understand what each data point means. Do not assume that you know.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2347 Prospect Street, Berkeley, California

About a year ago, I visited the house in which I lived when I was a student at the University of California. It had turned into a Co-op and was a shell of its former beauty. When I was living in the house, it was well kept. The girls residing in the house were expected to participate in the upkeep. We washed dishes, set the tables, polished the silver, etc.

Recently, I thought about the house and wondered what had happened to it between the time I lived in it and when I visited it. My search for information led me back to the period before I lived there. I remember that I was told the house was built around 1904-1906 and had been donated to the university by Phoebe Apperson Hearst (by whom I don't recall). Since Mrs. Hearst gave large contributions to the University of California and was a strong supporter of women students, I believed what I was told. I distinctly remember knowing that the silver that I polished belonged to Mrs. Hearst.

As I searched for more information about the house, I became suspicious about Mrs. Hearst's connection to the house. I learned that the house was built in 1906 but have not discovered who had it built. However, based on an academic paper written by Professor Frederick Parker Gay, he was living at that address in 1913. Who's Who in Berkeley 1917 has an entry on page 87 for Dr. Gay stating that he was a professor of Pathology at Cal since 1910.

I came across a page at the University of California website about the centennial celebration and history of the university. The page included information about women's living groups and made reference to Beaudelaire Club. 2347 Prospect St. (Formerly Al Khalail (women's club), Chi Sigma Phi sorority, and the residence of Professor Fredrick P. Gay.) 1950.

Professor Gay was living at 2347 Prospect Street in Berkeley according to the Polk-Husted Directory Company's Oakland-Berkeley-Alameda City Directory of 1923. I found an "In Memoriam" in the New England Journal of Medicine that said he was at Columbia University from 1923 until his death on July 14, 1939 in New York City.

I then found a paper written by Michael A. Green (Class of 1962) entitled "A Brief History of UC Berkeley Greek System." Enewah Incorporated 1913-1914 became Al Khalail and Al Khalail 1914-1927 became Chi Sigma Phi, a local sorority. Chi Sigma Phi closed in 1934 (page 39).

Based on various directories and Blue and Gold yearbooks, Al Khalail Women's House was  between 1919 and 1925 at 2736 Haste Street in Berkeley. In 1915 Al Khalail was at 2536 College Avenue. Thus, it seems that Al Khalail moved to 2347 Prospect Street after 1925. Then in 1927, the house at 2347 Prospect Street became the residence of a local sorority, Chi Sigma Phi. However, Chi Sigma Phi dissoved in 1934.

I have no idea who owned the house after Chi Sigma Phi closed in 1934. The first indication that I had of the existence of Beaudelaire Club was 1943. The Bancroft Library at Cal has a folder (27) from the Women's Dormitory Association Records of 1935 to 1965. This folder contains the "Minutes of the Beaudelaire Club 1943."

Because of the riots at Cal, my mother said that I could not stay at Cal. Under duress, I transferred to UCLA. When I transferred, I could not find university housing. I rented an apartment just off campus with another female. By the next year, no one wanted to live in university housing. This time was probably the beginning of the end for the grandeur of the house at 2347 Prospect Street.

I remember reading somewhere that the house was occupied by Naval midshipmen. That would have been brief as the military was not held in high regard by university students at that time. The Blue and Gold yearbook of 1978 indicated that the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity was living at 2347 Prospect.

If you do a Google search for this address, you will find hits that refer to the house as a house with an African flare. It think that Phoebe Apperson Hearst had she donated that house to the University would be rolling over in her grave to see it today. But then, maybe not.

Mrs. Hearst died in 1919. I still wonder about that silver I polished.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fillmore County, Minnesota

I was arbitrating the results produced by two indexers of a pre-1900 marriage register from Fillmore County, Minnesota. I wasn't sure where Fillmore County is in the state, so I looked at a map. It is in the southeastern part of Minnesota and shares a border with Iowa.

Although I felt fairly confident that this county was named for President Millard Fillmore, I have learned that I should find out for sure. The visit to the Fillmore County History Center, Museum & Genealogy Library web site and selecting the About option confirmed my assumption. Vice President Fillmore was president from July 9, 1850  to March 4, 1853 having assumed the role upon the death of President Zachary Taylor.

A visit to the Fillmore County official web site revealed that Fillmore County was established on March 5, 1853, a day after President Fillmore left office. The county was created from the southern part of Wabasha County. Wabasha, established in 1849, was one of the first counties created after the Minnesota Territory was created from the Wisconsin Territory in 1848. Wabasha was named for a Sioux Indian chief, Wapasha, who resided in the area.

I learned that the county seat moved twice. The original county seat was in Chatfield near Winona County. On March 2, 1855 the county seat was moved to Carimona. A year later, it was voted to move the county seat to Preston. Since April 1856 to the present time, Preston has remained the county seat. I initially suspected that county seat was moved as each of these counties was established from land that was originally in Fillmore County.

Winona and Houston Counties were created in 1854; yet Chatfield was the county seat until 1855. However, 1855 is the year in which Olmsted County was established. Chatfield is situated on the north branch of the Root River and very closed to the Olmsted County line. Its proximity to the new county may have prompted the move from Chatfield to Carimona.

Unlike Chatfield and Preston, Carimona does not appear to be on a navigatable waterway. Preston is on the south branch of the Root River. This river flows into the Mississippi River and has no rapids between Preston and the Mississippi making it easy to reach Preston by water.

Without more research regarding the political climate, population density, commerce and ease of access of these towns at that time, I cannot specifically state why the county seat was moved to three different locations in such a short span of time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I periodically come across a name of a town or county that makes me wonder who came up with it. Over that last few years, I keep encountering the county in Washington State named Whatcom. Each time I see it, I automatically think dot com and Watcom even though the county existed well before the Internet. Watcom International is a company founded in 1981 by three former employees of the University of Waterloo in Canada.

This past week, I again encountered relatives who lived in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington. Curious about how this county got its name, I visited the official web site of the county. Although I was not surprised when I did not find anything about the history of the county, I was disappointed that this web site like so many county web sites does not mention anything of the county's history.

From a visit to Wikipedia, I learned that Whatcom is supposedly derived from a Nooksack word meaning noisy water. Nooksack is a town in Washington in which some of my distant relatives lived in the early part of the 20th Century. That name too peaked my interest. I wondered what a nooksack was. My mind envisioned something like a backpack with lots of pockets and compartments or having nooks and crannies. Now I know that Nooksack was a coastal tribe of native Americans who lived in northwestern Washington.

Scrolling down to see the sources used to support the "facts" on the page, I found a link, Whatcom County History. It turns out that the link took me to the official Whatcom County web site. I guess that I did not look hard enough when I visited.

Whatcom County was established on March 9, 1854 in Washington Territory. So it was one of the earliest counties in the state. However, I came across another source from 1893 that on Page 195 claims the county was established on March 9, 1852.

Although Wikipedia claims that Whatcom is derived from a Nooksack word, the Whatcom County Website says that Whatcom is derived from a Lummi word "what coom," meaning noisy, rumbling water. The Lummi were also a coastal tribe that lived in the area when the Nooksack were there.

I then found another web site, The Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, that supported the Wikipedia claim regarding the origin of the name of the county. Only this site claims that Whatcom was the name of the Nooksack chief.

The gold rush in California created a demand for lumber and the rumor that the territory had dense stands of Douglas firs brought Henry Roeder and Russell Peabody to Bellingham Bay. They established a lumber mill on Whatcom Creek. A short distance from the mouth of the creek was a waterfall, hence the reason for the name.

I found an interesting article at the University of Oregon concerning the history of Whatcom County.

Thus, without more research I can only say with certainty the following:

• The name Whatcom is based on a Indian word that means noisy water
• Watcom creek has a waterfall near the mouth
• The gold rush in California contributed to the founding of the county.

Although the Whatcom County web site and the 1893 book on the History of the State of Washington disagree on the date on which the county was established, I believe that the 1893 book is in error.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My sister has been dealing with settling the estate of her son who died suddenly and unexpectedly this year. In her latest email message to me talked about moving the last of Collin's possessions from his home. My sister's message caused me to think about how our mother handled the death of our brother over 40 years ago.

My brother was 21 years old when he died in an automobile crash the night of his bachelor's party. He was not drunk according to the autopsy report. He suffered a heart attack and died of a cerebral hemorrhage when his car entering a freeway plunged off of the on-ramp.

My mother's reaction to the death of her second child was to discard everything that belonged to him. My father discovered this and retrieved some of the items that she discarded. He kept some of them for himself and hid them from her. At that time, I was the only one of their children living away from home. My father gave me a sculpture that my brother had created.

Of some of the items that our father retrieve, he was able to convince our mother to keep a few of our brother's belongings. My brother was an artist. She kept another sculpture and some paintings. After my father passed away, one sister and I sent the paintings to our brother in New Jersey and this sister took the funny square, yellow clay pot.

Shari's message to me about the handling of her son's belongings made me think about the upside-down carrot that my brother made and what will happen to it when I pass on. My children have grown up with this sculpture in their home. I don't recall ever telling my children about this piece and its history. I guess that they don't see the importance of that piece and only view it as another piece of art that is in the house.

I took pictures of that carrot and labelled it as Brother Craig's Carrot Sculpture view 1 et al.

How many things in your home that have a special meaning to you may not have that same connection to your children?

Think about it!

Monday, August 9, 2010

US Census of 1900 and Birth Dates

I have looked at thousands of US census records over the years. After looking at so many images, it is very obvious to me that the only thing you can glean with certainty from the census images from 1850 through 1930 is the place in which the person is residing. The occupation of adult members of the household generally is correct as well.

In the earlier censuses, the census taker often spelled both the given name and the surname phonetically. Thus, from decade to decade you can expect to find the same person, enumerated with a different spelling of one or both parts of his/her name.

Marital status and place of birth, I find are often incorrect followed by the year in which an immigrant entered the United States. But the one data point I found most often to be incorrect is the recorded age of adult females.

One relative for whom I viewed the census images for each of the census years 1850-1880 aged at a slower rate than the ten year interval between each census. This caused me to think of my mother who at some point in her life decided to decrement her age each year. I think I was about the age of 12 when my mother was the same age as I was.

So, it appears that women have lied about their age for years. However, when I viewed the census images of the 1900 US Census I saw errors across the board. The errors are not limited to adult females, but included adult men and children. The census of 1900 was the first census in which the month and year of birth were included. In the earlier censuses and the 1910 through 1930 censuses only the age was provided.

In each census, the enumerator was instructed to record the age of the individual at the last birthday. The instruction was the same for the 1900 census but I found many month/year birth dates to be off by a year. The month recorded in the record matched with the birth month that I found in other records but the year was off by one.

I have been baffled by this and wanted to find out why this occurred as often as it did. I did a Google search. The search results revealed nothing. I am not sure if anyone has asked that question until now.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tulips in Dutch New York

I am finalizing the annual newsletter for the Stoutenburgh-Teller Family Association and was asked to include a picture of the Equitable Life building at 120 Broadway in New York City. This is the site of Pieter Stoutenburg's alleged tulip garden. Pieter (1613-1698/99), according to family legend, is supposed to have brought tulip bulbs with him to New Amsterdam and was the first to plant a tulip garden.

It is not clear when Pieter arrived in New Amsterdam but he certainly was there in 1649 when his marriage banns were posted. Most of the information concerning the time of his arrival is hearsay. I have not found a document that provides a clue as to when he arrived in New Netherland. Some relatives claim that he arrived with Director-General Willem Kieft in March 1638. And, again I can find no supporting documentation.

Tulips are an Asian plant that were introduced to the Netherlands in 1571. The bulbs were very expensive as the supply of bulbs was not large. Only the very wealthy could afford the bulbs. A virus had attacked some bulbs producing a multicolored bloom. The bulbs of these flowers were highly desired by the rich. By 1634, the price of a single bulb was out of the reach of all but the very, very rich. Tulipmania swept the Netherlands between 1634 and 1638 when the bubble burst. In the succeeding years, the price continued to drop.

Many of the people who settled in New Netherland were refugees without great means. And those who were not fleeing religious persecution also came to the New World with very little means. The Dutch West Indies Company, a trading company, depended on these people to cultivate a trading resource in the New World. I really did not expect to see tulips in North America before 1638 because of the prohibitive cost but tulips appear to be in New Amsterdam by 1640.

Once the cost of tulip bulbs cratered, I naturally assumed that I would find some reference to the bulbs appearing in New Netherland. It does not seem plausible to me that Pieter Stoutenburg introduced tulips to Dutch New York when the colony was established by a huge trading company. Adriaen van der Donck settled in New Netherland in 1641 for a few years before he was sent back to the Netherlands for a period of time. While Adriaen was in Europe, he wrote about New Netherland. This account was published after 1644 and includes passages that describe the gardens of New Amsterdam. These gardens include among other plants tulips.

I don't believe that Pieter Stoutenburg was the only resident of New Amsterdam who was growing tulips. But ironicially the tulip associated with the Dutch and the Netherlands is not a native plant. However, the tulip is viewed by much of the world as Dutch. The Netherlands imports tulip bulbs throughout the world with the United States as the largest buyer. The winter of 1945 was a famine year for the Dutch. The allies had cut off supplies to the Germans occupying the Netherlands. The German military stole all of the food sources leaving nothing for the citizens. The enterprising Dutch used the tulip bulbs as a food source.

The Dutch princess, Juliana, and her children were sent during WWII to Ottawa, Canada for safekeeping along with some tulip bulbs. Ottawa has to this day a tulip festival to commemorate Juliana's stay.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Part 6: Regulation of Medical Practice and Schools in the United States.

On May 27, 2010, I posted a blog concerning medical training in the United States before the 20th Century. In that blog, I mentioned that as early as 1732, I found complaints about the lack of regulation and licensing of doctors. As I researched the history of medicine in the United States, I found that there was no overall regulation of the practice of medicine until the 20th Century.

There was very little regulation in the British North American colonies. Although regulatory powers traditionally were given to the legislatures of the provinces, it was the professional societies that initiated regulation of medical practices. The first organization of medical professionals was chartered July 23, 1766 in the Province of New Jersey. The New Jersey Medical Society was established to develop a code of ethics, fee schedules, education standards and regulation of medical practice.

When the United States Federal government was formed, regulatory powers for the most part remained in the hands of the states. The state of New York in 1806 legislated licensing but only for the purpose of allowing licensed medical practitioners to sue in court for the recovery of fees. Attempts by other states to regulate medicine were repealed because public sentiment bristled at the thought of government control. By the early 1800s, medical practice regulation was firmly in the hands of the medical societies and by 1850 only three states and the District of Columbia had licensing regulations.

One would think the fact that the medical societies had instituted licensing regulations was adequate. However, there were different types of medical practices that were recognized including homœopathy, allopathy, herbalism, etc. Each had its own medical societies and each medical society defined its own regulations and guidelines. Competition in the medical field was intense and practitioners resorted to many means in order to compete that included ignoring regulations set by their societies.

Dr. Nathan S. Davis, instrumental in the creation of the American Medical Association, in 1845 commented on page 418 in the Journal of Medicine concerning the lack of thorough training and education acquired by students of medicine. However, the real force in the founding of the AMA was the fact that doctors in order to compete in the free market made little money.

A national convention of physicians was held in 1847 and on May 5th the delegates established the AMA. Dr. Davis' complaint concerning the educational standards was addressed and for the first time a medical student was required to have clinical experience at a hospital. The AMA also defined requirements that a prospective student meet in order to be admitted to a medical school. The AMA strengthened the standards in 1852.

However, even by the 1870s many medical schools were not equipped with laboratories nor its own hospital. Johns Hopkins University decided to create a model school of medicine. In 1893 the School of Medicine opened with well-equipped laboratories and its own hospital. As universities overhauled their medical programs, many medical schools with inadequate facilities closed.

Between the establishment of the AMA and the creation of the medical program at Johns Hopkins University, by 1900 quality of medicine had vastly improved for patients.

U. S. National Library of Medicine,

Wellness Directory of Minnesotat,

Francis Randolph Packard, M.D. The History of Medicine in the United States. Philadelphia: J. B Lippincott Company, 1901.

Nathn Smith Davis, M.D, LL. D. History of Medicine with the Code of Medical Ethics. Chicago: Cleveland Press, 1907.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

California Missions

We just came back from vacation having spent almost 2 weeks in Southern California. The trip to Los Angeles on I-5 through the San Joaquin Valley was hot and not very scenic. The scenery improved once we reached the Tehachapi Mountains. So with very little to see between LA and Los Baños, we decided to drive home on US Highway 101, a slower but more scenic route.

After a brief stop in San Luis Obispo for gas and Starbucks, we were on our way. About an hour later, we came upon Mission San Miguel Arcángel to the right of the highway. My husband began asking questions about the California Missions. I had come to California as a teenager so missed the study of California history and could not provide all the answers to his questions.

At that point he bought up Google on his cell phone to get the facts. As he read me the California Mission history, I realized that I had many misconceptions concerning the missions that included the subjugation of the native population and the order in which the missions were built.

I believed that Father Junípero Serra had founded all twenty-one missions mostly because his name was the only name other than Governor Gaspar de Portolà I ever heard in connection with the missions. I live near the Junipero Serra Freeway, see a large statue of Junípero Serra every time I drive past the Carmel Mission and read scholarship applications from students at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo. The name Junípero Serra has surrounded me since I first visited the mission in San Juan Capistrano.

The Beginning of the Missions in Spanish California

King Carlos V of Spain created a set of "New Laws" that governed the treatment of native Americans in the Spanish colonies. Rather than subjugating the natives, these laws afforded the Indians protection and rights. The Indians had the right to live in communities of their own and select their own leaders. They were not permitted to live outside their community. However, Spaniards were not allowed to live in the Indian villages.

Spain being a Catholic nation and together with power of the Catholic Church, the "New Laws" required that natives be instructed in the Catholic faith. Thus, King Carlos allowed the Jesuits to establish missions in Spanish California. In order to protect the missions, Spanish soldiers were assigned to each mission and were under the command of the Jesuits.

The Jesuits built first Misión San Bruno about 12 miles north of Loreto, Baja California. (Baja California is a peninsula below the State of California and is part of México.) Between 1683 and 1767, the Jesuits built 18 missions and two visitas in Baja California. (Visitas are visiting stations or satellite missions. They have no resident priest.)

By 1767, the Spanish government decided that the Jesuits had gained too much power. The Jesuits were replaced by the Franciscans and control of the soldiers stationed at the missions was removed from clergy. Junípero Serra was made the head of the Catholic missions in both Alta and Baja California. He established in 1769 a 19th mission, Misión San Fernando Rey de España de Velicatá about 200 miles south of Ensenada, Mexico, and Visita de la Presentación located west of Loreto, the third visita. These were the only sites that the Franciscans established in Baja California before Father Serra and Governor Portola turned their attention to Alta California.

However, this left in Baja California an area encompassing the 200 miles south of Alta California with no missions. Between 1774 and 1834, the Dominican Order built nine missions and two visitas that filled that gap.

Missions in Alta California

I had heard that the distance between the missions in California was a day's journey on foot. Based on that piece of knowledge, I assumed that the missions were constructed starting with the mission in San Diego and culminating with the mission built north of San Francisco, Misión San Francisco Solano.

As I expected, Father Serra established Misión San Diego de Alcalá in 1769 as the first mission in Alta California. I then assumed that the second mission would be a day's journey north of San Diego. Misión San Luis Rey de Francia is located north of San Diego and east of Oceanside but was established June 13, 1798 as the 18th mission. Father Serra died August 28, 1784. Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuén succeeded him as head of the mission system and it was he who founded the 18th mission.

As it turns out the missions were not built in order from south to north. The plan was when the mission system was completed one could travel by horseback or boat from one mission to the next in one day and by foot in three days. The second mission was Misión San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo and was established June 3, 1770. This mission is located in Carmel, California and is the final resting place of Father Junípero Serra.

Of the 21 missions, Fathers Serra and Lasuén were responsible for the building of 16 missions. Father Lasuén died in 1803 and is buried at the mission in Carmel near Father Serra.

Indian Subjugation

Apparently in some way, I learned that the Indians of California were nothing more than slaves within the mission system. As I read more about the mission system and its history, I found my perceptions to be wrong. The "New Laws" and how King Carlos viewed the native population of Spanish America was my first clue that I did not have an accurate picture. As I researched further, I found that both the Jesuits and the Franciscans had an even more benevolent view of the Indians.

The plan in establishing the mission system included turning over the common land within the mission to the native population ten years after a given mission was founded. The Spaniards introduced European crops and livestock to Spanish California. The Franciscans hoped that the Indians would learn how to grow crops and raise livestock instead of living as a hunter-gather society.

As the mission system entered the 19th century, the secular community of Spanish colonists gained more influence. It was the view of many of the colonists that the aborigne population in Spanish California was primitive and not much above the status of the woirk animals that they employed.

Eventually the mission system broke down and the native population lost many of its rights and lifestyle. One can argue whether the Jesuits and Franciscans should have interfered with the Indian society or not. It seems to me that they were much like many parents who tell their adult children how to live. It is done out of love and concern and not to be exploitive.

The Indians fared no better when the people of the United States descended on California after gold was discovered. In fact, the Indians fared much worse.

A Virtual Tour of the California Missions
The Lewis and Clark Journey of Discovery
The Spanish Mission of California
California Mission History
California Missions Resource Center
Library of Congress
Monterey County California
The Old Mission San Juan Bautista

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Who is Pieter Van Stoutenburgh? Part 2

This post is a continuation from the one I posted July 9, 2010 concerning the errors I found in "Monmouth Families, Volume II." I concluded that post with the children of Pieter Stoutenburg and Aefje Van Tienhoven, his wife. This post begins with the children of their son, Tobias Stoutenburg, and his wife., Anneke Van Rollegom.

ISSUE, 11-21 (of Tobias #10):

11-PIETER bp. 4/26/1685 d. pr. 1720 md. ANN ERLE

12-TRYNTJE bp. 11/1686

13-JAN bp. 9/26/1688 d.y.

14-JOHN bp. 10/27/1689 12/1716

15-LUCAS bp. 9/20/1691 md. HELENA VAN PELT bp. 5/29/1695 dau. of ANTHONY VAN PELT & HELENA JOOSTEN

Comment: Tobias Stoutenburg #10 and Anneke Van Rollegom had 12 children, several of them died young. Ann Erle was known as Anna Erle and Hannah Earle. Ann was not a name that was in use when she lived. Based on the naming traditions, John (#14) probably died between December 31, 1692 and February 13, 1694/5. There were two sons, Lucas and Jacobus, born between John (#14) and Johannes. The baptismal record for John (#14) gives his name as Jan.

ISSUE 22-23(of Lucas #15):

22-TOBIAS bp. 6/7/1713 S. I.

23-ANTHONY 1720-1783 md. 7/26/1745 MARY SEQUIN

16-JACOBUS bp. 12/31/1693 d.y.

17-TOBIAS bp. 3/1698 d.y.

18-EVA bp. 10/15/1704

19-JACOBUS bp. 6/7/1696 d 1772 md. 5/25/1717 MARGARET TELLER dau. of WM. & RACHEL KEERSTIDE

20-TOBIAS bp. 12/22/1700 d. pr. 1767 md. MARY TEN BROCK GOLDSMITH

21-CORNELIUS bp. 5/23/1703

Comment: Lucas Stoutenburg had four children that included Tobias (#22) and Anthony (#23). Sara Bearing, Lucas’ first wife, was the mother of Tobias. Anthony was the son of Helena Van Pelt. Issue #16-#21 are the children of Tobias Stoutenburg (#10). Anthony married Mary Seguin. Margrietje Teller is the daughter of Willem Teller and Rachel Kierstede. Toward the latter part of her life and as the English were influencing the American Dutch, her name was recorded as Margaret. I also was finding more records in which Stoutenburg was being recorded as Stoutenburgh. Tobias Stoutenburg (#20) was a silversmith and goldsmith. His wife was Maria Ten Broeck.

pg. 204
23-ANTHONY STOUTENBOROUGH 1720-1783 Will pro. 6/9/1783 of Colts Neck md. 7/26/1745 MARY SEQUIN (SEGANG) of S. I.

Comment: Anthony’s surname was spelled many different ways in the various records that I encountered. Stoutenborough eventually was the spelling that Anthony and his descendants used. Mary Seguin was also known as Mary Seguine and Segang.

ISSUE 24-30 (of Anthony #23):

24-Capt. JOHN bp. 9/1/1754 a. 5/6/1839 @ 84-9-5 @ Bpt. Holmdel md. CATHERINE HOLMES b. 11/18/1765 d. 5/1/1838 @ 72-6-13 Holmdel


26-MARY bp. 10/21/1764 md. JAMES LATURETTE



29-ANTHONY bp. 4/4/1762

30-STEPHEN d. 2/20/1818 @ 47-2-20 Christ. Ch. Shrwsby. of Colts Neck md. HANNAH LAWRENCE d. 12/1/1849 @ 72-8-4

Comments: Elizabeth married Ephraim Johnson. Mary married James LaTourette. I have seen the name spelled Latourette and La Tourette. No. 27 is Leanah, Leana, and Elenor. Her name is spelled Leanah in her father’s will, Leana in her first husband’s will, and Elenor in the marriage entry for her first marriage. Shrwsby refers to Shrewsbury, NJ.

ISSUE 40-46 (of Stephen #30):

40-ELIZA d. 3/31/1866 @ 66 Chrst. Ch. Shrwsby. un md.

41-JAMES H. d. 5/7/1814 @ 1-  -

42-JOHN L. d. 12/22/1850 @ 47-2-6 un md.

43-JOHANNAH 4. 5/27/1844 @ 30-9-23 un md.

44-STEPHEN HENRY d. 8/24/1828 @ 20-2-20 un md.

45-MARGARET d. 6/15/1838 @ 42-4-3 un md.

46-MARY b. 3/20/1794 d. 1/18/1836 md. 11/21/1821 CHARLES BUCK (or BURK)

Comments: James H. was 1 year, 6 months and 12 days old when he died. The New Jersey Marriage Index indicates that Mary married Charles Burk. Her gravestone reads “MARY wife of Charles Burk and daughter of Stephen and Hannah Stoutenborough.

24-Capt. JOHN STOUTENBORO bp. 9/1/1754 d. 5/6/1839 @ 84-9-5 @ Bpt. Hlmd. md. 4/19/1785 CATHERINE HOLMES b. 11/18/1765 d. 5/1/1838 @ 72-6-13 @ Bpt. Hlmdl. dau of DANIEL HOLMES & LEAH BOWNE

ISSUE 31-39 (of John #24):


32-JOHN b. 12/8/1791 d. 12/25/1867 bur. Franklin, Ohio md. 11/1815 JANE SCHENCK b. 11/7/1796 d. 3/28/1888/3 (to Ohio in 1815)

33-WILLIAM of N. Y. City

34-ANTHONY of Alabama

35-MARY b. 4/1/1787 d. 4/29/1861 @ 74-0-24 Bible md. 3/9/1807 CORNELIUS R. COVENHOVEN b. 5/3/1783 d. 4/11/1817 Bible son of CORNELIUS & JANE DENISE

Comment: Jane Schenck died in 1883. I cannot confirm anything about William. Stephen Stoutenborough and Hannah Lawrence had a son named William who lived in New York at least until 1835. By 1850, he is living in Brooklyn. Anthony moved to Alabama near Selma about 1821. Cornelius R. Covenhoven’s mother is Jannetje Denyse. Hlmd refers to Holmdel, NJ.

ISSUE 32A-32C (of Mary #35):

32A-HOLMES b. 1/9/1809 d. 5/22/1860 @ 52-4-13 Bbl. md. CAROLINE CRAWFORD d. 8/28/1843 @ 24 Hlmd.

32B-LEAH b. 12/2/1810 d. 6/28/1895 Bible Hlmd. md. WILLIAM H. CRAWFORD b. 8/18/1809 d. 12/19/1874

32C-JANE b. 10/19/1807 d. 8/15/1869 Bible Hlmd. md. Capt. C. D. EMSON

36-LEAH md. 6/22/1807 HENRY CROCHERON

37-ELIZABETH d. 1/30/1872 @ 78-10-28 Holmdel md. JOHN S. LONGSTREET d. 6/20/1847 @ 56-10-17 Hlmd.

38-MARGARET d. 4/6/1833 @ 94 md. 2/16/1818 SAMUEL HERBERT


Comment: Margaret married Samuel Hubbard.

I am surprised at the number of times the surname of the spouse is completely wrong. I will continue in another post with that last section of the information from the book.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Who is Pieter Van Stoutenburgh?

I came across a USGenWeb Website for Monmouth County, New Jersey that posted information about an ancestor of mine. It appears to be a response to a query about a John Stoutenberg (sic) and his possible wife, Jane Schenck.

As I read the information that was included in the response, I was awestruck of the number of facts cited that were simply not true.

The information was taken from a book, "Monmouth Families," written by Ann P. Miles and was published in 1980. It can be found on page 203 of Volume II.

The STOUTENBERG (sic) family were early 1700 residents of Colts Neck, here is then a very small portion of the family who have long disappeared from the area.

1-PIETER VAN STOUTENBURGH (sic) b.c.1613 in HOLLAND d. 3/9/1699 @ 86 in N.Y. City (He came to U.S. in 1638. He was N.Y. City's first Treasurer. He also introduced Tulips to this country, lived at the corner of Broadway & Wall Streets) md. 7/25/1649 ALFGY (sic) VAN TIENHOVEN dau. of CORNELIUS & MARIE VANDAMIN

My Comment: The records do not indicate that Pieter Stoutenburg was the first treasurer of the New York City. He was appointed treasurer of the City of New York for a few years but long after the British took over the Dutch colony.

At this time, I have not found any indication that Pieter introduced tulips to the New World. He may have had a tulip garden, but even that fact I have not been able to confirm.

I have not seen a transcription the documents at the time of Pieter’s life in which his name is written as Van Stoutenburgh. The Dutch spelling has no “h.” I rarely saw his name written with the preposition “van.” I believe that he came from the area of Utrecht Province in which the town/village of Stoutenburg is situate.

I have never seen Aefje van Tienhoven’s name recorded as Alfgy. I have no idea where this information is found. Also, her parents were not Cornelius and Marie Van Damin. Who ever came up with this has confused several facts.

Aefje was the sister of Cornelis van Tienhoven, a very powerful man in New Amsterdam. Cornelis married Rachel Vigne whose step-father was Jan Jansen Damen. Aefje and Cornelis were children of Luycas van Tienhoven and his wife Jannetje.

2-ENGELTJE bp. 8/20/1651 d.y.

3-ENGELTJE bp. 1/5/1653 md. 2/18/1671 WILLIAM WALDRON b.1647 son of BAREN RESOLVED

4-Child b. 12/13/1654

5-JANNETJE bp. 8/30/1656, md. ALBERTUS RINGO b. 1620 in Holland son of PHILLIP JANZSEN RINGO & GERTJE CORNELIS

6-WYNTJE bp. 5/8/1658 d.y.

7-LUCAS bp. 1/10/1660

8-WYNTJE bp. 10/15/1662 bur. 7/11/1734 md. 1st GERRET CORN, VAN EYEEN md. 2nd 5/25/1693 EVERT BYVANKS

9-ISAAC b. 9/23/1668 d. 9/21/1711 N.Y. md. 7/21/1690 NIELTJE BOGART

10-TOBIAS bp. 1/18/1660 N.Y. City d. 1715 N.Y. City md. 7/2/1684 ANNEKEN VAN ROLLEGOM bp. 7/15/1665 d. 1744 dau. of JAN JOOSTEN VAN ROLLEGOM from Holland

Comment: Engeltje Stoutenburg married Willem Waldron. Their banns were published On Feb. 18, 1671. I assume that the entry in the Reformed Dutch Church marriage book in New York was the date on which the 1st bann was published. If that were the case, then Engeltje and Willem were married about 3 weeks later as banns have traditionally been published for 3 Sundays.
Willem Waldron was the son of Resolved (Resolveert) Waldron and his first wife Rebecca. After her death, Resolved married Tanneke Nagel. Resolved and Tanneke had a son who was named as tradition would dictate for her father, whose given name is Barent. For some reason, Resolved and Tanneke’s son Barent Waldron has been confused with his father Resolved Waldron and grandfather Barent Nagel, both of whom I have seen in stories given the title, Baron.

I really don’t where this author has found the names of the people as I have not seen some of the names above spelled in that manner. For example, Gertje is not a spelling of her name that I have seen or would expect to have seen based on the records of the time that I have examined. Albertus Ringo’s mother was Geertje.

There are variations in how Wyntje Stoutenburg’s husband’s name was recorded then, but I have not seen a record in which his named is written Gerret Corn. Van Eyeen. I have seen his name recorded as Gerrit Cornelisen Van Westeen, Van Echtsveen and Van Exveen. Corn. is an abbreviation for Cornelis but also for the patronyms Cornelisz, Cornelisen or Corneliszen.

Isaac married Neeltje Uittenbogart or Uyttenbogart.

Do not believe the family trees, old books and family lore if you want a true picture of who your ancestor's are.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Northwest Territory AKA Ohio

Anyone who has ancestors who lived in British North America before the America Revolution has a good chance of finding relatives who lived in Ohio just before the end of the 18th century. However, what today is the State of Ohio was called the Northwest Territory of the River Ohio.

Also, known as the Northwest Territory, this region was established in 1787. The territory included all of the land in the current states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin and part of Minnesota. The Northwest Territory ceased to exist in 1803 when the State of Ohio was created. The land not included in the State of Ohio became known as the Indiana Territory.

Following the Revolutionary War, the new United States government was cash poor but became land rich as it acquired land to the west that the British government had preserved for the aborigine populations, i. e., Indians. Some of this land was part of the Northwest Territory. The Federal government saw an opportunity to raise revenue by selling land in this area.

Much of today's Ohio was surveyed around 1785 to provide saleable lots. In addition to lots that could be purchased, lots could be exchanged for Military Bounty Land Warrants. During the Revolutionary War, the patriot government had little money to pay the military personnel fighting in the war. The pay situation was no better at the conclusion of the war.

Soldiers were offered the land warrants in lieu of pay. The holder of the warrant could exchange the warrant for land patents, primarily in the Northwest Territory in what is Ohio today. Not all people who were given the land warrants exercised them, because for some it was more advantageous to sell them to another who then exchanged the warrant for land.

Because the warrants could be transferred to another either by gift or by sale, you cannot conclude that your ancestor who settled in Ohio at conclusion of the war actually fought as a patriot.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Georgia, the Peach State, vs. Early and Late Crawford Peach

I was trying to find some information on Edwin Stoutenborough. That journey led me to William Henry Crawford who, as it turns out, created the early and late Crawford Peach. William Henry Crawford lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey from 1809 to 1874 when he died. He was married to my relative, Leah Conover.

I had never heard of a Crawford peach. Since the creator of this peach was married to a relative, I felt compelled to press on and learn about this peach. It is a freestone peach. I like freestone peaches because I can easily remove the fresh from the pit (or stone). I then made a Google search query on this peach.

Not surprisingly, I came across the State of Georgia. Afterall, Georgia is the Peach State. On a trip to Georgia many years ago, I came across Peachtree Street, Road, Park, Hotel, etc. Eveything seemed to be related to a peach tree in Atlanta.

In my Google search, I found a Crawford County in Georgia that is noted for peach growing. Thinking that this county was named for my New Jersey relative's husband, I grew excited only to learn that Crawford Co. is named after US Senator William Harris Crawford and not after William Henry Crawford. I guess the saying, "Close only counts in horseshoes" applies here.

As my dad would say, "Sam Hill." I only heard my dad swear when he cut his head while working under the car or something akin.

OK, so Crawford County, Georgia wasn't named for my relative's spouse. My son graduated from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Their mascot is a yellow jacket. I thought that was a bit weird, but after what I learned about the Peach State doesn't seem quite so odd.

According to Kathryn C. Taylor of the University of Georgia (2003), Georgia peaches are primarily grown in Crawford, Peach, Taylor and Macon counties. However, she then indicated that Georgia (the Peach State) produces less peaches than South Carolina and California. Georgia isn't the biggest peach producing state but I wondered what happened in New Jersey that knocked it off the peach map.

I found an article on the History of the New Jersey Peach written by Ernest Christ, a professor emeritus at Rutgers University. It seems that the San Jose scale decimated the New Jersey peaches in 1886. This scale came from China on plants imported to California. The scale reached New Jersey on plum trees from California. The scale killed thousands of acres of peach trees in New Jersey by 1920.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Formatting Problems with My Blog

I have been having real problems with formatting my blog entries recently. So instead of having the time to write entries, I have been struggling with the formatting of my last few entries.

Blogger has an option that lets me edit the HTML code. Having been a former programmer, HTML code is easy. However, the code I saw and edited was not the same code that I saw after I published my blog entry.

I find it interesting that I have the most problems when I use Google Chrome as my browser, afterall Blogger is a Google company. When I use Internet Explorer, I have fewer problems.

George Washington Cass

In my blog entry (June 21, 2010) about General Lewis Cass, I mentioned that Cass County, North Dakota was not named in his honor, but was named for George Washington Cass. As it turns out George W. Cass is General Cass' nephew.

Born in near Dresden, Ohio, George W. Cass was sent in 1824 to the Detroit Academy to study. At this time he lived with his Uncle, General Lewis Cass. George Cass completed his studies at the Academy and in 1827, was appointed from Ohio to Westpoint. He was a topographical engineer and served in the Corps of Engineers until 1840. He built the first cast-iron arch bridge in the United States.

Cass established the Adams Express Company to transport items between Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Eventually his interest in transportation led him to the railroad industry.

George Cass, in 1875, was president of the Northern Pacific Railway. He had acquired an extensive landholding in the northern part of the Dakota Territory. He owned 27,000 acres at Casselton near Fargo. Dalrymple, who was known as the king of wheat farmers in Minnesota, moved to the Dakota Territory about this time. He teamed up with George Cass to grow wheat on a large scale. (Colossal Farms, Page 1031: History of Dakota Territory, Volume II by George W. Kingbury. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1915.)

Cass County was organized January 4, 1873. With nearly 1,125,000 acres of land, it is one of the largest counties in eastern half of North Dakota. By 1910, 90% of the county was under cultivation. (Cass County, Page 53: North Dakota Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 4, August, 1911; Year Book 1910. Bismarck, ND: Agricultural Department.)