What I Know: Jehial Stanton, Post I

First published on September 17, 2016.

To research Jehial Stanton, I started with the documents and information I already had about him. Amazingly, I have two news clippings that mention him. The first is a small clipping about his birthday:

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From this clipping I jotted down the following information with the hopes of cross referencing it to other information from other sources as well as finding new avenues of research:

  • Name is only written as J. Stanton (his name varies wildly from source to source)
  • Lived on 917 LeClaire St, Davenport (IA) with his daughter Sarah Jane Husted
  • Born on the 4th of July
  • Been in Iowa/Illinois since 1850
  • “Well known…” may mean that he shows up in biographies, histories and diaries of people in the area.
  • Blind

The second clipping that mentions Jehial is from Sarah Jane Husted’s Obituary.

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Here’s the information I wrote down from this obituary:

  • Daughter Sarah J. was born in Loville, Louis County, NY Aug 7, 1848
  • Moved to Rock Island (IL) in 1850
  • Name is listed as Jehral Stanton
  • Wife’s name is Rebecca Stanton
  • Stayed in Rock Island at least until Sarah was out of school
  • Sarah is a member of the Old Settlers Association of Rock Island County so he might be too
  • Has a son Frank A. Stanton who at the time live in Kansas City
  • Possibly has a nephew Edward Remer in Davenport, IA
  • Rev. H.B. Cox presided over Sarah’s funeral, might have information on the family in his diary

Again this is just the tip of the ice berg of information I have about Jehial. I know that some of this information might not be correct but hopefully I can corroborate these articles with census information.

Game Plan: Jehial Stanton

First published on September 14, 2016.

Here is my game plan for Jehial Stanton. He definitely need[s] some work, I had his birthday wrong on ancestry. Here is what I’m almost positive is a picture of him (taken from a group shot):

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I though[t] he would be a good candidate for research, I have pictures and new clippings related to him, census data on him would be more substantial (mid 1800s to early 1900s) and I had no idea who his parents where. There is a lot more information to find. Without further ado, here is the list I created to help focus my research on Jehial:

  • Compile all the information I currently have, especially about his first and last name (find Jehial in 1900 census)
  • Find other Stantons who moved at the same time
  • Look at information from his children
  • Find more information about his wife (Rebecca Wright Stanton)
  • Look at Stanton Genealogies
  • Find books about the area of NY where he was born
  • Find books about the are[a] of IA/IL that he lived
  • Find out what information I can get from libraries if I go in person
  • Look at wills of family members
  • Look for diaries, church records in Scott (IA), Clinton (IA), Rock Island (IL)
  • Death date and place?
  • Look up nephew Edward Remer
  • Look up Old Settler’s Association of Rock Island County
  • Look up Rev. H.B. Cox

This is my list so far. I will try to follow this list as I research. The next few posts will be about the information that I have now. Hopefully I can get closer to Jehial’s origin story.

I’m Back And I Have Some Plans

First published on September 10, 2016.

I’m back to posting, hopefully regularly. This seems kind of counterintuitive but recently I’ve taken on a lot more responsibilities outside of work. Self care is really important to me, especially with the work that I do, and working on my ancestry is part of my self care. So I’m going to try to keep doing work on my trees and posting as regular as possible. To help with this, I’ve decided to focus my research and thus my posts on one person for now. This is Jehial Stanton. I’ve mentioned him in other posts, and I have a picture of him but I don’t know who his parents are. I’ll post my check list for my research soon and then my research as a get into it.

I’m also going to research how he got from New York to Iowa/Illinois, I have other ancestors who went from Connecticut to Iowa at the same time as well. I was talking about his story to a friend recently and she asked how he got to Iowa and I didn’t have that answer. I don’t know what I assumed. I think I was always imagining a Grapes of Wrath sort of scenario with all of the furniture plus grandma on top in the back of an old truck, but obviously in 1850 that would not be possible. She wondered if they had gone in a covered wagon akin to the Oregon Trail and that was something I never considered. So I’m also going to look into what that journey would have been like.

Like I said, I am going to try to keep up and keep researching.

Untitled

First published on May 28, 2016.

I haven’t posted in awhile and I’m sorry. The truth is, I kind of got burnt out doing my research (Warning for the post, it may be a little sad and existential). I can dig and dig and dig through records to find a birth date or how many times someone was married but I’ll never really know who they really were. I won’t know what made them happy, how they acted, if they liked to bake or ride horses or read. Life now is drastically different than it was 100 years ago and somethings I will never understand. Yes, somethings are the same, but most of them aren’t. The social codes that we operate by today are different than they were even 25 years ago.

I wish that my five year old self could have asked my great grandmother what her parents were like. As much as records get me, I definitely yearn for more information, and not the kind that you can get from a census. Now we have so many ways to express ourselves. My ancestors have only to look at my Facebook or this blog to know what I was really like, and not be left the bare bones of my life.

I know that this information might be out there, but it’s probably not. It makes it more important for me to interview my family, to see what they can remember about their parents or great grandparents, to find out more about their personalities. I’ve got some interviews with my grandpa and my great-uncle so I’ll listen to those and see what I can drum up.

I work in a nursing home, dementia and memory loss are something that I encounter multiple times per day. Reminiscence is something that I try to encourage everyday at work, and I can see the light that it brings to people’s eyes when they recount a fun story about their loved ones, little quirks they may have had, trips from their childhood. It’s made me realize that the past is important. You can get stuck there, and that’s never good. But it’s important, at least for me, to know where I come from. It’s a major part of me whether or not I acknowledge it. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all these thousands of people who lived their lives.

I wonder if my ancestors would like me, or if I would like them. Thanks to all of my family, I live a great life. I have the Internet, I can spend time researching my family, and I don’t have to toil anywhere. I have access to health care and as a woman, I was able to get a graduate degree. Certainly things that it would have been hard for my grandmother to do. I think this is where my fear of disconnection comes from. I’m a different woman that I would have been had I been born in 1890 instead of 1990. Would my ancestors be able to understand my life and would I be able to understand theirs? That’s why I want to know their personalities, because that’s something that everyone has had and will have and I think that it is the easiest way to understand them at least from my perspective.

I know that this post is angsty, I’m trying to explain why sometimes digging into my ancestors burns me out. I still love to do it, and it always makes me excited. I can spend hours trying to find something and I can block out everything to the point where if my partner asks me a question, I’ll get startled. I’m going to try to organize my research, finish working on the pictures that I have and try to interview more of my family. It might be awhile yet until I post again, but I haven’t given up on discovering my origin stories.

Mistakes

First published on February 5, 2016.

Sorry! I haven’t posted for awhile. I was starting a new tree, and got kind of sucked into that. It’s nice to start new trees on ancestry.com because I can avoid the mistakes I made with my first trees. The biggest mistake I’ve encountered when making my trees is importing information from other trees. Sure this information might be correct but there’s no telling where that information came from. What I do now is check each tree that has been “hinted” to me, to see what sources they got their information from. Maybe this isn’t important to everyone, but I like to have an original source for all of my ancestry “data”.

Here’s an example: James Kelly, my fifth-great-grandfather was born some time (give or take 10 years) around 1760. I don’t know his actual birth year but there is a American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) record for a James Kelly born in Massachusetts in 1760. The AGBI is a huge data base of genealogical information from genealogy records and family histories. On ancestry, this just shows as an index only record. The problem with this record is that I’m sure there was more than one James Kelly born in the state of Massachusetts in 1760. Furthermore, I can’t collaborate this information with any James Kelly in the Massachusetts Vital Records. That doesn’t mean that this James Kelly didn’t exist, it means that I can’t find any cross references to his birth or any information to narrow down his birthplace to a specific town.

Since I couldn’t find a record of a James Kelly born in this time frame, I also knew I was going to have a hard time finding out who his parents were. But when I looked at the other trees that had my James Kelly,  his parents were listed as George and Margit Kelly. Now George and Margit Kelly lived in about the same area where it would make sense that James was born and they had children that were listed in the Massachusetts Vital Records but as I said earlier James does not show up in those records. Again this doesn’t mean that James was never born but it could mean that they lived in another town when James was born and those records were lost. However I can’t verify that they were his parents through the Vital Records, and when I went to go check to see what source that this information came from, I found that it came from another tree, and then another tree and then another tree. That’s a problem I have with ancestry.com is that it is so easy to import other trees, but what ends up happening is that mistakes get compounded upon. I’m not saying that this is a mistake but even through searching archives.org, I found no genealogy that would back up this claim, so I have no idea where the information comes from.

So I guess, the moral of this post is be careful if you use ancestry.com. Make sure you check the sources of your information, and if you are going to import another tree into yours, maybe jot down some of the information first and see if you can quickly verify it, or check the sources and records of the other trees.

Graveyard Expedition Part II

First published on January 10, 2016.

As promised in Part I, Part II is going to be about Elnathan Husted, son of Peter Husted. Elnathan is buried in the same cemetery as Peter, so for more information on the cemetery and Peter, check out Part I.

Elnathan was born on January 16th, 1775 in Greenwich, CT. He lived in Greenwich for all of his life, marrying Nancy Close in 1797. They had their only child, William A Husted on December 31st, 1801. In the History of Fairfield County, Connecticut, I found a nice little paragraph about Elnathan:

Elnathan Husted was a successful farmer and drover, married Nancy Close, and had one son William A. He was a member of the Second Congregational Church at Greenwich, Conn., and was a man respected. He died in 1825, aged fifty years. His wife died at seventy-three years of age.

Elnathan raised his son on the farm and William eventually took over the family business and became very successful as well. Elnathan passed away on February 1st, 1825 and was buried at Putnam Cemetery by his father Peter.

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Graveyard Expedition Part I

First published on January 3, 2016.

While I was visiting home for Thanksgiving, I took my family on an expedition to see the graves of our ancestors that we have never seen before. We visited four graveyards in the town of Greenwich, Connecticut and saw the gravestones of seven of my ancestors. I think most of my family was creeped out after awhile, but I really wasn’t. The day of the expedition was warm but overcast and raining on and off, so an overall creepy day, I don’t blame them. The only time I was startled was when the bells tolled church next to the graveyard we were visiting. I also tried to get some rubbings from the gravestones, but with the equipment that I had and the conditions of the gravestones, I wasn’t able to get a good rubbing. This will be a multi-part installment, examining the ancestors whose gravestones I found as well as a brief history of the graveyards (if possible).

The first graveyard that we visited was the Putnam Cemetery. This was the biggest graveyard, and it had many famous graves, at least famous for Connecticut. George W. Bush’s grandparents are buried there, as well as various U.S. Senators. Victor Borge, a pianist and comedian who once said, “The difference between and violin and viola is that a viola burns longer.” There wasn’t a website for the graveyard so we didn’t know when it opened, but we went anyway. Because this cemetery was so huge, at first it was daunting to find the two graves we were looking for. After about ten minutes, my brother found the two, they were a row apart. The first was the grave of Peter Husted, my sixth great grandfather.

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Like I said the gravestones weren’t in a great condition. The moss and erosion of the stone made reading in the stone difficult and taking the rubbings impossible. It was easier to look at the stones from farther away than up close. I think that the gravestone says:

In memory of Peter Husted

Who died

March 24, 1821

in his 79 yr.

Peter Husted was born May 9th in 1742 to Moses Husted and Susannah Mead in Greenwich, Connecticut (his info comes from Ye Historie of Ye Town of Greenwich). He married Eunice Lyon on February 11th, 1768. They had nine children:

  • Amos, b. December 2, 1769
  • Cynthia, b. September 22, 1770
  • Peter, b. October 11, 1772
  • Elnathan, b. January 16, 1775
  • Moses, b. December 19, 1776
  • Aaron, b. January 23, 1779
  • Caleb, b. March 2, 1782
  • Eunice, b. January 21, 1784
  • Ebson, b. February 25, 1787

Eight of his children survived into adulthood. Two of his children are my direct ancestors Elnathan Husted and Cynthia Husted whose children, they would have been cousins, married each other.

The only other information that I have about Peter is that he was a soldier in the Revolutionary War under Captain Abraham Mead. The lieutenant of that company was Odle Close, another one of my sixth great grandfathers ( His daughter Nancy would marry Peter’s son Elnathan). Peter is listed as “returned having deserted at New York in August, 1776″. But, “It will, however, be noted that some of these men reentered the service and should have been returned only as ‘missing’, instead of ‘deserted’.”

I definitely have to do more research regarding the American Revolution in Connecticut and maybe I can learn more about Peter. I would hope that he did reenter the service, but as of right now, I can’t be sure.

Next in this series is Peter’s son Elnathan Husted.