Monday, December 29, 2008

Walter Butler Loyalist American Revelution

Genealogy of the Butler family and a interesting lost heirloom
Walter Butler and Mary Harris, living in New London, Conn. could not have ever realized what the infant son John born 1728 would grow up to be. His parents learned of the land and opportunities in central New York and moved the family to the Mohawk valley around 1742, arriving just a few years after William Johnson, Young John impressed Johnson with the on coming trouble with French and Indians out of Canada, Johnson made a Allie of the family. This was a great opportunity for the Butler family. over the next 3 years they would become the second wealthiest family in upstate New York, second only to William Johnson.
The year 1743 began with the third outbreak of the French and Indian war, Walter Butler began the wood frame building known as Butlersbury, located on a eminence of land overlooking the Mohawk Valley near Canawaugah, and by 177o's commanded 26,000 acers.
In 1755 John was commissioned a Captain in the Indian Department of Col William Johnson's
Militia. During this year Johnson was advanced to Major General of the British American Army and defeated the French at Fort William Henry, in Lake George, N. Y., Capt. Butler was there and the 250 Indians under his command with King Hendrick, and preformed well, Gen. Johnson was made a Baronet and reappointed Indian Superintendent, John Butler was his second, the two of them served during many campaigns and Butler attended the many conferences with Johnson trying to keep the Iroquois on the English side.
John Butler was at Fort Niagara 1759 in command of 700 Iroquois warrior, with Sir William Johnson's militia forcing the surrender of the French. He was a again present with a command of some 1300 Iroquois warriors joining Gen. Amherst army of 10,000. Together they defeated the French ending there power in America for ever.
Capt John spent enough time at Butlersbury to marry in 1752, Catalyntje Bradt and father
6 children, the first being Walter Butler, born 1752 at Butlersbury, Johnstown, New York.
Like his father he was interested in military affairs, he studied law in Albany admitted to the bar
in 1775. He was a Ensign in the Militia 1768. due to the time spent in the Militia, and college he knew most of the young men in the Mohawk Valley.
Unrest was starting in the Colonies, to make thing worse Sir William Johnson died 1774, leaving
his son John in charge. 1775 the the Palatine Committee of Safety was formed at Adam Loucks home and 24 May 1775 first meeting was held at William Sebbers home. A liberty pole was erected at Fort Herkimer and at Fort Johnson-The Loyalist knew the fuse was lit and it was only a matter of time when it would all explode. John Butler with his son Walter left with the other loyalist for Fort Niagara, before leaving he placed two navy flint locks on the shelf behind the fireplace in case his wife needed them, loaded and with extra shot and powder.
By Jan 18 1776 Gen Schuyler and Gen Herkimer with the Militia disarmed the Johnstown loyalist , some 400 in the area. They did not find John Butlers pistols, however they did take his wife and children back to Albany for safe keeping and the pistols were forever forgotten.
John Butler was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel, was present at ambush of Oriskany, and in June 1788 with 20 of his rangers and 100's of Indians ravaged the Wyoming Valley [now Wilkes-Barre] Penn. burning over 1,000 homes with the victorious Loyalist and Iroquois executing and scalping the remaining prisoners and fleeing Patriots [est 2000]. In August his son Capt. Walter with two companies of Rangers and 300 Iroquois allies burned and massacred Cherry Valley.
Lt Col John Butler died 12 May 1796 a war hero, to the British, life-sized bronze bust erected in 2006 at the National War Memorial Ottawa. The 2000 plus patriots in Wyoming Valley go undisturbed.
Capt Walter Butler, was not so lucky, he with Major Ross, launched a destruction raid on the Mohawk-Schoharie valley in late August and October burning the crops, buildings and scalping the inhabitants. Lt Wormuth, young patriot that Walter had known was put to death by Walter, mid October a running battle started at Johnstown, N. Y. and ended 30 Oct 1781 at West Canada creek when the American forces under Major Willet over took Walter Butler,
Butler was wounded and asked for quarter a Seneca Warrior shouted "I give yu Sherry Valley Quarter" grasped his hair and removed his scalp.
When the news was reported in the Mohawk valley people were so glad they were done with Butler they hardly reacted to Cornwallis's surrender.
Meanwhile Butlersbury is abanded, patriots take everything of value out of the house , no one lives in it for years. Then in the 30's the W.P.A. has a program to restore or preserve the old building of our past, Butlers home was on the list. A man was working on the fireplace when he discovered a chamber holding what was left of a couple of guns. He put everything in a bag and eventually sold it to Jack Markum the gunsmith living at Fort Johnson. The stock on one gun was completely disintegrated, the other about 50% rotted away. the barrels [which were loaded] and the mountings were all brass. the lock plates although they were steel had been protected by oil soaked leather cover. Jake Markum restored the guns and made a case for them. Earnest Spencer local Textile Manufacturer bought he flint lock pistols and in 1945 I married his niece June Vosburgh, Earnest lived with us until his death in the 60's when I came to own them. I passed them on to my son Lancing Lord, who is very interested in History and active in the historical societies in the Johnstown N. Y. area.
Strange how hero's are honored and there deeds no matter how cruel and cunning are forgotten,
today we stand ready to convict a soldier in our ranks for shooting civilians in a war zone, it happens in every war but our reaction is not always the same. I suppose after our present generation has died off new generations will forgive the atrocities of WW11 and the other conflicts.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cpt. Cyrus Balleu Co. A 115th N. Y. Inf.-Hangman

The story of my Great Grandfathers brother in law, his part in the family genealogy and events around his life Capt. Cyrus Balleu, born in Montgomery Co. New York about 1826, a house painter at a very early age, a trade that he worked at all of his life. He married Anna Margaret Lasher in 1853, she was sister of John "Jack" Lasher, my great grandfather.
Cyrus and Anna lived in the little house on the left behind the new Court House in Fonda, New York. They were both very devoted to the Canawaga Church, were all of the children were baptized. however they had very bad luck trying to establish a family There was a total of 8 children. Mary A. bn 1854, James bn 1855, each died during the first few months after birth. Then Louisea born 1856 over came the odds and lived for many years. then they had Eliza 1857 she died same year. Followed by Willard C.D. born 1859 died 1861, then they had Cyrus S. born 1861 he drowned in the Mohawk River 1 Mar 1873.

In spring of 1860, Dewitt Lasher and his wife Margaret, brother of Anna, came to live with Cyrus
and they were both engaged in house painting. The civil war began and Cyrus enlisted 18 Aug 1862 with his brother in law John Lasher.

Cyrus was given a clerks position and attained the rank of Sargent. under Captain Van derVree, and Col Sammons in Co. A, 115th New York Infantry called the "Iron Hearted"

The unit did not see much combat until Petersburgh, were they were engaged by now Cyrus was Orderly and has been promoted to Lieutenant. There next engagement was Florida, here things took a turn for the worse. the 115th was fully engaged and lost a lot of men killed and captured. Cyrus was advanced to Captain after both Col. Sammons and Captain Van DerVree were badly wounded. The men fell back to Pilatka below Jacksonville and Cyrus penned this letter:
March 19th 1864
letter from Orderly C. N. Ballon, Capt. Co A 115th Rgt. The regiment is at Pilatke, about 75 miles from here, up river. I was here sick, but am better now and shall join the regiment in a few days.-Stephen Morris and George Bellos are dead. They were brave men. We had but sixty men in the battle of Olustee, thirty two were killed or wounded. thirteen are missing and supposed to be prisoners, all wounded except Elisha Carson. He was tired out by hard marching. Capt Van Dervee was severely wounded in front of his company, before he had got into his position in the line. A Minnie ball passed through his thigh, it bled profusely. I tried to get him to leave the field, but he would not abandon his post. At last he was shot through the breast, and was carried to the rear. The boys stood until they had fired their last cartridge, and then cut the cartridge boxes from their dead and wounded companions. We numbered 670 and held our position for more than two hours under a murderous and steady fire, from the enemy. We stood about fifteen minutes after all our ammunition was exhausted and would not yield an inch of ground till we were ordered back. Lieut Davis was brought 7 miles from the battle field. We left him comfortably and we thought safe, but he fell into the hands of the enemy. There was ten miles of woods before us and I could not get him on to a wagon. The men were all tired out and we could do no better. I am proud of the 115th Regt. from your old friend C.N.Ballou

June 27,1865 Line Officer Capt. Cyrus Ballew was en route to Albany
New York, to be discharged the battle roll for the 115th shows 1,493 names and left on the field 301 pretty high casualties.
Once home life soon became routine another child Gracie joined them in 1869 but her stay was shortened by death in 1872 at which time her brother Cyrus passed away. This left the family with just Cyrus and his wife and daughter Louise who lived until past 1880 census.
In 1872 Cyrus was a Deputy Sheriff in Montgomery Co. and was given the job of building the famous Montgomery County Gallows. When completed Cyrus was put in charge of the execution of one Ecker who had murdered Durdick the School Master. This launched a carrier job for Cyrus he would become famous in the Mohawk valley communities for his exceptional and professional execution of the condemned, a man who the valley sheriffs could real on to preform a safe reliable job. His most Gaulish encounter was Sam Steinburg a colored man This man had been accused by a teen age girl of molestation, the trial was short, while in Montgomery Co. Jail Steinburgh sold his skin to local tanner, to raise money that his daughter might get a education. After his death the tanner finished the leather and made several items, I personally saw a wallet and small lamp shade.[looked like any other leather to me] The sad thing is the teen age girl admitted a few years,later "it never happened".
Cyrus went on to oversee many other executions in the valley. The change to the electric chair ended this career. Cyrus then operated a steam boat excursion on Canada Lake, N. Y. he died at his home in Fonda 24 Jan 1902 A very common man swept up in war to have rank and honor bestowed on him only to,returning to his home town were he served the law as under sheriff and deputy for years.

Monday, November 10, 2008

WW11 Army Nurse and WAC Sheppard Field Texas

Well late again but was reading "AnceStories", which triggered a memory of two very important young girls in my life. WW11, 1944 I was at Sheppard Air Base in Wichita, Texas. One night while crossing the parade ground I passed out, was taken to base hospital and in few days the commandant of the hospital sent my wife[of one month] a telegram "your husband critical recovery doubtful suggest you come if possible"
Well being new bride she called my parents and for first time in there life they flew in a air plane from Albany, N.Y. heading for Texas. That trip is another story, they eventually got to Texas but by train.
I was in a coma my doctor was Capt Pritchet, he and his nurses a pair of twins Helen and Hazel Albie had just arrived at Sheppard from the south Pacific and thought they new what was wrong and had a program to help me, at the same time my parents arrived, my dad had been in the Albany Medical Center just 4 years before with exactly the same problems. Capt Pritchet and my mom called Albany Medical Center and the Doctors agreed on a course of treatment. Now the real star performer was a young Nurse Hazel Albie, she remained with me for two days until my parents arrived and then was in charge of all my test and medications, it was almost another week before I was awake enough to know everyone. My father, wife and her uncle, went back to New York, but my mom stayed there at the Guest house . The technition or nurse aid was Dorthy Platte, she was in my room anytime Hazel had to leave. These two young girls went way beyond the call of duty to take care of me. Dorthy took my mom under her wing and made sure she was comfortable at the guest house. As I got better Dorothy and Hazel found a uniform that I could get dressed and get out of the hospital. My mom left in November.
I was given a leave and came home for Christmas. Never returned to Sheppard.
Shortly before I left, Capt Pritchet was transferred from Sheppard.

For several years my mother wrote to Dorothy and we know she was married.
If anyone knows either of these girls Hazel Albi or Dorothy Platte
I would love to see them again. Its been 64 years, a long time to remember someone you only knew a few months, may have the spelling wrong, but the names are etched in my memory. It is strange how selective our memory is, there was a Paul Wit that I became friends with he left before me, remember he had somthing to do with the frozen food buisness.

Friday, November 7, 2008

1939 Worlds Fair wow! 70 years ago

Time out from Genealogy to recall one of the highlights of times gone by. has been doing a great job with the Carnival and I have visited that site a lot when Jasia noted that October was Polish remembrance I knew that some place we had the Worlds Fair photos and some of them were from the Polish Pavilion. Like everything else in life time has taken it toll. there are only two Photos left, and I am a few days late.

The photo that everyone takes with the sphere and ball in back ground and in the foreground from left to right my aunt Ruth Rose, My Mom Mary Lord, my most favorite aunt Julia Adamskie Olyer and my grandmother Margaret Olyer. I do not know were they put me, was probably being a spoiled brat and they did not want a bawling kid in the picture.

The next photo is in front of the Polish Pavilion, picture is marked 1939 the couple is my Mother and father. I can recall some of the trips we went several times, my dad loved to drive and was always ready to take anyone with us so in order to get everyone to the fair he only had a car full at a time, that way he could make extra trips. We lived about 180 miles from the city.

It must have been difficult for the Polish government to staff and maintain this display, which I think was open a couple of years, If my memory is correct Poland had been overrun by Germany in 1938. The day this photo was taken, in addition to the Polish Pavilion we had to go see the "Rockets" My grandmother had a niece who was a preformer, We never did get to see her, guess we were not a V I P, of course my grandmother picked out one girl who she thought was Lenard Cummings daughter and watched her every move.
My Mom had a couple of photo books full of pictures and cards from the fair but I can not find them, the only other item I have is a miniature "pickle" from the Heinz display, guess everything else got thrown away that stuff wasn't worth saving then. My grandmother was the only immigrant in the family, coming from Canada in 1898 , then Julia married my uncle, Guess that is why we sort of adopted Poland as our place to visit.

Now its back to finishing the Olyer and Cumming genealogy book

Sunday, November 2, 2008

WW 11 Proud Moms Katherin Pratt Olyer

Katherine Pratt interesting genealogy was born 27 Sep 1888 in Ray Brook, Northern New York, probably had no idea of the things life would burden her with. Her childhood has eluded me so far and my earliest record is her marrying Ross Raymond Olyer, in 1906 at Plattsburgh, New York. Ross as you may recall worked for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, worked his way up to Fireman on Steam engine. They were doing fine, living in North Elba, Essex Co. New York In 1910 Katherine gave birth to a daughter Thelma, it would appear she died shortly after, there was a lot of Influenza during the mid 1900's and she is not listed in 1920 census.other children came along, in 1913 Rolland was born, two years later Stanley, then Carlton in 1918, and the last child Lionell 1920. Things were going well, the family had a above average income and with the Rail Road policy of furnishing free travel to its employees and there dependents, Katherine, with the children getting a little older, was able to travel around the state and visit relatives. The depression did not effect them to much, by the mid to later part of the 30's the boys all had found work locally.Rolland met and married Virginia Brown 10 Feb 1933, Stanley married J. LaBlanc in 1936, Then 1 day in April 1940 without giving it a thought Ross jumped from the cab of the engine to help the crew uncouple a car. The latch was stubborn, Ross a big guy grabbed a crow bar and with his weight pried on the latch-it released throwing him to the ground, landing on his neck and back across a rail. Everyone made a joke of it and went back to work. For the next 5 days Ross was getting worse, he reached the point were he was bed ridden and on the 1st day of May passed away.
The war in Europe was beginning to heat up, Rolland had moved to Vermont, Stanley was struggling with marriage and Carlton enlisted in Army Air Force. Shortly after this Lionel enlisted in the Air Corp. and went to Bradley field, Windsor Lock, Conn.
Katherine was alone, she went to live with her eldest son Rolland in Fair Haven Vermont.By now Stanley also enlisted in the Army Air Force, divorcing his wife enroute.
Now for a strange twist all three boys went into the air force, they all attended food service training and all made rating of Sargent. In the fall of 1942 all three boys on three different air bases were promoted during the same week to Master Sargent status as Mess Sargent's. Lional at Air Squadron, Bradley Field,Windsor Lock, Conn.Carlton Chanualt Field, Campaign, Ill. and Stanley Knob Nostar, Mo. Stanley was in charge of all the mess halls in 2nd Air Command. This required him to visit the other bases to inspect the mess halls, a few days before Xmas his plane crashed with 5 men aboard no one was killed but they were all badly hurt, Stanley was only one able to walk and was able to reach a highway and summons help.
Carlton made the Air Force his career spending years in Alaska, he is buried at Crestview in Florida. Lionel married Beatrice Lewise in 1945 and lived in Solano, California. Stanley tried marriage again with Mildred Smith in 1943, they had on daughter "Kayo" born 1944, Nine years later he is married to Jesse Rankin Finette
and they had two boys Ross Raymond and Gary Duan, Stanley was in the restaurant business with his wife, but died in Wyoming. his children live in Texas.
Rolland stayed in Vermont taking care of his mother until she entered Richards Nursing Home,Fair Haven, Vt. were she died 18 Oct 1948

Wonder as you uncover these bits of history "what if" Ross had remained in the cab
would this family have remained together living out there lives in northern New York, or are we meant to travel to new places starting the family over again-

If you notice a relative in this post please contact me with any information you have
the history of the Olyer family is about ready if you are interested in purchasing a copy let me know, it will have over 360 descendants of Philip Olyer, plus photos and the Ancestry of his wife Phyniath Smith for 10 generations

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Compile,Print,Bind your Family Genealogy

Well it has been a few days since I picked my way across the key board but I have good reason--
Over the years have built up a very large data base and after posting some items about the Olyer family, some members have asked if the information is available well it will be shortly, I am publishing a book Philip Olyer

In my pile of stuff I found a software program I must tell you about it is called Gen-Book most programs this old are ready for disposal but this one still works. If you want to publish your family records and all the extra money went with the stock market. Take a few minutes and read on.
This program is still available it cost about $59.00. Rex Clement the Author is a great guy any questions and he will explain things in detail. I called him several times, it did not seem like the program would work but it was my lack of confidence not the programs ability, but he was really patient with me your only other cost will be some paper and ink I am going to tell you how to do this with the only investment is your time and the $59.
First you have to make a ged com file of your ancestors, descendants or both. then you have to go on line and download a free copy of PAF 4 from the LDS Family Research center. it has to be Paf 4 I told you this gen-Book software is a little old, I do not think it will work on Vista, I used Windows XP 2000

You have the Paf 4 program take your ged com file which has to be made to use with Paf 4. load the ged com file into Paf 4. Now be sure and go through the data base and make any corrections, this is not going to work if you have bunch of errors, it will be a lot easier if your spelling is reasonably correct your can run spell checker afterward but that will be labor intensive.

By now you should have had faith enough in me to buy the old software, you are going to get a couple of disks and a book of about 115 pages explaining in great detail each move to make. When installed Gen-Book will open in windows as you complete each one, another opens you select if its a ancestry or decendant book, then tell program were your Gen-book program is located. then you decide if you want to use Wordperfect or Microsoft Word. both of these programs will work I personally like Wordperfect, the Olyer book is made in two parts you can combine as many lines as you wish. First 8 chapters are decendants 8 generations of one Philip Olyer, the second part is the Ancestors for 15 generations of his wife.
We are talking about 600 plus individuals plus notes. It took me about hour to read the directions and answer the questions, they are pretty simple how do you want Source notes printed what size , numbed , what size for regular notes, how you want children listed, terms you like to use,size of pages, type of index 1 2 or 3 column,the type of generations Sequential or Ahnentafel or many others-do not worry its not complicated the book explains each question and shows you the results
When you click generate in about a minute the book is all finished, then you import it into your word processor in my case WordPerfect and you can go through it correcting the spelling and adding anything, bring in photos or biographies, when done generate your list of contents and index and you are ready to do not have to go into your records and key any names for the index everything is done for you.
Simple send to the printer when you were answering the questions you told them if you wanted printing both sides or not and were to put the page numbers all these things are done for you. You can, if the market picks up, and you have a little extra cash take the disk to Staples or Kinkos and they will print it for about 16 cents per page and bind it for $5.00 or you can print it and staple it. Creative Jeans listed a library in Penn. if you send them your printed manuscript they will copy it and return a bound copy for you. This is a inexpensive way to publish your years of hard work without breaking the bank.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thomas Fina Fireman grandson Mabel Olyer

Sometimes when we research families we uncover facts that can move you to the very core.
The genealogy research on Henry Lewis Olyer family led me to Narcotics, Bootlegging,and the Welfare Trains a period when the hearts of America turned a little cold-families were driven by the inability to provide for there children to give them to others who would transport them to other parts of the country were they could be brought up in better surroundings. The idea was sound enough it started with the homeless street kids of Boston and New York City. But the inability for women to compete for decent wages in the pre crash years of 1929 left one of Henry's daughters Mabel Estell Olyer wife of Maricle Furlong, destitute married at age 17. By the age of 23 she found herself in North Carolina, abandoned with four infant children and no income-
The four children were placed on a welfare train to Kansas. One of these girls was Isabel Furlong born 1911, left on the train before 1918, one of the very fortunate children, she was allowed to keep in touch with her biological mother Mabel and when she came of age returned to Saranac Lake, New York were she married Pasquale Fina, they lived in Saranac Lake and had 5 children .
One of these boys Thomas Fina was born 12 Apr 1933, the youngest of the family.
Attended high school in Saranac, and was an outstanding athlete being well known speed skater who in 1951 won championship in the National Intermediate class. He joined the National Guard, and a member of the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

Thomas Fina age 21 years, a member of "Saranac Volunteer Fire Department" killed instantly shortly after midnight. Responding to the alarm he "Tom" jumped off the truck and with chemicals put out the fire, Then he turned and saw Floyd Burton holding a sputtering power wire away from the side of the building with the bristels of a broom. the rest of the broom not more tha 14 inches long lay on the ground, being scared for Floyd's being electicuted "Tom grabbed the broom handle and started for the wire, twisting it on the handle- in the excitement he could not hear his companions that were coming with the proper equipment. Suddenly the wire slipped and Tom instinctivly reach to stop it and there was just a gasp and he was dead. He had not taken time to put on his boots, and was standing in water. The wire carried 3800 volts. In his concern for a friend he lost his life. This could have been even more tragic, others in the growing crowd seeing Tom fall started to help him and only the quick reaction on Jim Kilroy and Fletcher Mace held others off.

The Volunteer Fire Department and the National Guard held a full military funeral for Thomas Fina. The great sacrifices made by our fire departments should be remembered by all of us each day, in an instant our lives can be changed and it is comforting to know there are individuals ready to help in our gravest monents

If you have been reading my post about this branch of the Olyer family, you might wonder why some families seem to have a full measure of tragedies.

The genealogy and history of the Olyer family is nearly ready to publish if you have any interesting stories or photos please contact me we will try to include it

Sunday, September 28, 2008

John Cumming Blacksmith & Farmer

The genealogy of John Cummings , born in 1883 in Martintown
Ontario, Canada to Anthoney Moses Genereau and Margaret Jane LaVallee. During his early childhood he lived in Martintown, a real frontier village, most of the male inhabitants worked in the woods in the winter months, and found work in the brick yard or worked small farms. When he was 7 years old his father left the family, Margaret his mother was left with 10 children. Their older ones were given to other families or had small jobs to help out, the rest stayed with her including John. They remained in Martintown until the winter of 1889-1890 when word was received that there father was in Malone, New York. It must have been hard to put aside the hurt and ill feelings and gather the family in the dead of winter and travel by horse and sled across the frozen river to New York. Once united the family name was changed, no longer Genereau, now they would be called Cummings, this was accepted by everyone and there next stop was Spring Cove, New York.

By now John was 13, old enough to begin to help out, his father was the Blacksmith and Sawyer [sharpened saws and axes] for the crew at camp #5, what a great opportunity for John

like his other brothers he would become a blacksmith helper. He worked at this trade for several years, the work at Spring Cove was closing down and John along with some of his brothers went back to farming in the Waverly area. By 1906 he had met Cristy Taillon who was born 8 Nov 1891 in Williamston, Ontario, Canada. They were married in 1909 at Cornwall, Ontario. They lived there only a short time when they walked across the bridge from Canada to the United states and went to St Regis Falls, Franklin Co. N.Y. John went back to work as blacksmith but had a bad accident, while striking a bar of hot iron a chip broke of and struck him in the eye, instantly blinding him and damaging the eye so bad he had to have it removed and replaced with a false one. The family began to grow. the first child Wessley was born about 1910 there would be 6 more children, two of which died as infants. With a growing family and the loss of the eye he went back to farming, Wessley was 15 years old, trying to help in the barn, was bit by a horse, he soon had a infection in just a few days it became so bad he
died June 1925.

The other surviving children, Lorreta, Kenneth,Shirley, and Sheldon were all married and blessed John with 11 grandchildren.

With all the adversity John had in his life, people who knew him,
claims he was a good natured, fun loving guy- like to tease the kids
with the false eye, claiming "Christy" did it, always kidding with
everyone. He became very close to his father, rather strange in a
way, during those important years from age 7 to 13 when he needed
a male model John's dad was not there.

Would like to have known John, he was a good example of the "heavier some loads are, the easier it is to carry if you have a good sense of humor"

John died 17 Apr 1954 and his wife Christy 6 March 1970.

If you are a member of this Cummings family, would love to hear from you, trying to find as much information and photos as possible--hope to have some sort of book or pamphlet out about the family very soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Albert Cummings Drowned in Little Green Pond

Genealogy and family history of
Albert Cummings, the 11 th child of 14 born to Anthony Moses Genereau [alias James Cummings] and Margaret Jane LaVallee. Albert was born 30 Dec 1898, in a logging camp at Spring Cove, New York, not far from present Tupper Lake. His father Jim was the blacksmith and his mother ran the cook house for the crew of about 50 men. The family had just moved to Spring Cove from Canada, His brother Martin was the first child born in this country 1996.
There was not much chance for education, they did attend school but being on the move, no one was concerned when school was missed. At a very early age Albert left home following the urging of the press to "go west young man" he went to the western states and ended up in
Kildare, Louisiana.
In 1919 he came home from Kildare La. to visit his parents and brother Martin. While on this visit he met Cora Stella Mae Antoinette Jarvis, and they were married 3 may 1920 at Piercefield, St Lawrence Co.,New York.
There first child was Margaret Agnes 1921, Albert James 1922, then Chester Clifford 1925,
Ivan Ronald 1929 and Vern Raymond 1931. a son John but I do not know when he was born or if he lived.
In 1930 Albert and Cora made there home in Waverly,Franklin Co. New York. I am not sure but the census and newspaper articles indicate they might have lived in his fathers home as he [James] is living with Albert's family in census age 82. Two years later Jim died, at which time he was living with son Charles. There are a number of newspaper articles about family members visiting Jim at both of these homes.
Albert was a born woodsman, his start in life was the logging work at Spring Cove, he loved to hunt and fish. On 26 Jan 1950 Albert, Martin and Charles went rabbit hunting near St. Regis, they split up and agreed to met and return home-when night fell the two brothers came home but no Albert each thought he was with the other, instead he spent the night with only the rabbit that he shot earlier for food. Two years later just before Xmas he was with a party of four that shot a 475 pound black bear one of the largest ever taken.

His luck ran out June 1969, a beautiful morning Albert and Norman Buniell his brother in law were up early and ready for a full day fishing Little Green Pond. The morning was still very cool so both men had there heavy wool cloths and jackets on, setting in a boat all day, that early in the season could be very cold. The craft was a 12 foot aluminum row boat, loaded with cooler, tackle boxes, fish poles, etc. They rowed out to just the right spot and Albert stood up to lower the anchor and adjust his cloths when suddenly the craft tipped and everyone was in the cold water. Albert was 72 years old, so was Norm, In those few seconds no one knows for sure what happened. Norm had all he could do with the heavy cloths and boots, he was able to grasp the boat but Albert made no effort. the death certificate says he drowned, there was no autopsy, they also said he could not swim, this is not true. Little Green Pond was extremely cold, even in the late summer it remains cold, Some of the family and I agree, in the excitement of plunging into the cold water, he probably had a heat attach and involuntarily drew in water instead of air, the heavy cloths making it impossible to fight back, he went under without a struggle.
The Saranac Lake Rescue Squad, responded to the scene, he was removed to the Saranac Inn Fish hatchery. pronounced dead on arrival.

After leaving the logging trade he worked for International Paper Co. in Mooers. his wife Cora lived until 24 Aug 1999 when she died in New Port Richy, Fla.

I do not have a photo of Albert, if any members of the family that read this, would love to find photos of Albert, Leonard, Dennis, or any of the family, have accumulated so much about this very unusual family, I hope to compile a book that the history will not be lost forever

Thursday, August 28, 2008

George Cummings with Heirloom Fiddle

Genealogy and family of George Cummings was born 7 DEC 1899
Spring Cove, Tupper Lake , New York, the 12 child of 14 born to
James Cummings and Margaret Jane LaVallee. Actually he was the
third child born in the United States, his younger siblings were all
born in Ontario, Canada so his name is not found in the immigration
George was married twice, his first wife was Florence Thomas of
Basher Falls,New York, Daughter of William Thomas, they were married 27 Sep 1920, first child was Bessie, born 1924. An oils stove that Florence was using in the kitchen exploded and she was badly burned, this was about April 1929. The family seemed to gather at his brother Charles's home, several newspaper accounts list, George and his wife, Martin Cummings and daughter Shirley, and Mr & Mrs Berlin Olyer as guest 15 Aug 1931, fairly often in the late 30's
After Dorris was born 1933, and before 1943 the family broke up, they were divorced. Doris went with her mother to Massena N.Y. where we find Florence entertaining guest including my grandmother Margaret Cummings Olyer mentioned in Tupper Lake Free Press 16 Sep 1943.
From the newspaper accounts my grandmother was a frequent visitor to Mrs George Cummings, over several years.
George continued to live in Tupper Lake, N.Y. were he met Leola Borgardus , daughter of Weldon Bogardus, born in 1912, Soon they were married at the home of Mr & Mrs Clarence Hurt at Oxbow Lake, New York. 15th of July 1956. Leola had been divorced from Carl Colton, having had one son by her first husband.
George and Leola owned the Parkside Grociery & Gas station on the old road, in 1944, it was completely destroyed by fire, they were unable to salvage anything. including a most valuable family heirloom, a hand made Fiddle, Margaret Jane LaValle, his mother was a well known Fiddle player, she taught George how to play it and gave it to him. We are lucky to have a photo of George with the fiddle.

On 12 Sep 1968 George was driving for the Gold Medal Bakery, when he discovered a fire,
the recently renovated Skyline Inn, was fully engulfed, he notified the Tupper Lake fire dept,
they were able to salvage the building.

George was very active in his church and in the Masonic lodge in fact he held dual membership,
having been appointed Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, by Lloyd Cochran Grand Master of state New York, he was also Grand Lecture ,Amaranth Court 70 Visitation .
After his death Leola Cummings in a open meeting of lodge #687 presented the lodge with a new Alter given by her in memory of George Cummings.
On the 27 jul 1966 a Surprise Anniversary party was held for George and Leola at their home in Oswegatchie, New York, a newspaper account list all the relatives in attendance.It was shortly after this date that the unknown person left a note at my campsite.
I did not know George, but in researching the family I think he and Leola might have been the couple that wrote the short note on the camp site reservation "if you are looking for Cummings check Genereaux" Without that clue, I would never have been able to unravel this family, I knew there was no Cummings ancestry but had no idea what to look for. Have wished many times that it was just to bad things were so busy on week-ends I just did not have time to meet all the guest, this is one person that I would have loved to questioned about the family.

I have a newspaper account of a three week trip they took and mentioned is a son Robert
Cummings living in Ingelwood, Calif. but I have not been able to confirm that they had any children can you help?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mother of Margaret Jane LaVallee

A plea for help
Margaret Jane LaValle first appears in a census record of Hastings Township, Hungerford, Ontario, Canada as a infant age 1, born in CE. in the household of one Michael LaValle farmer age 29 CE Roman Cath. head and Mary , wife fem age 29 living in same houehold is a Martha Ann Murray age 7 servant, Peter Murray, age 4 CW, RC orphan.

This is the quest to find the genealogy and parents of Mary the
mother of Margaret Jane LaValle,Infant.

Since Michel LaVallee was married a second time to Sophia Genereau
9 Aug 1869 in the St Michael the Archangel Catholic church in Bellville, he must have been married to the first wife Mary in a Catholic church someplace, probably Quebec as infant
Margaret Jane was born CE in census. {think this is Quebec}

When the infant Margaret Jane LaVallee (census 1861} was married 13 Jan 1875 to Anthoney Moses Genereau in the same St Michael the Archangel church, her father was given as Michel
Lavel and mother as Maria Travin [crossed out in pencil and written above Heron]. By this time
1875, the father had already married for second time Sophia Genereau, sister to Anthoney Moses Genereau.

In a newspaper file in the Bellville Library, there is several pages covering a trial-it seems Mary LaVallee was 2 months pregnant, taken ill in May, she sent word to Michael a French laboror from the "Grove", who was working in Kingston to return home, he finding her ill, located a "Doctor Waldren" a vendor of quack medicine from London C.W. gave her oils and powders which resulted in her aborting a child. This led to her death a few days later 7 jun 1867. In her deposition, a few days before death, she states she had a miscarriage sometime before, she was the mother of five children, and was her sister Margaret Philips who took care of her while she was ill. There are pages of testimony, Dr Waldren was in jail, but do not know his outcome.

From family records we know that Margaret Jane had 2 sisters and a half brother and sister.

Margaret Jane was born 1859, Mary Agnes born 1860, Louise born 1864. the half brother must have been Peter Murray bn 1852, the half sister Mary Ann Murray 1854, These Murray children must have belonged to Mary Travin. Interesting fact the two sisters married two Kiser brothers, and Peter married a 2nd cousin Samanthia Kiser; Sure makes genealogy simple.

Berlin Olyer-family story teller, claimed that Michael LaVallee's wife had a Indian squaw come to house to visit, she laid baby on the porch and while inside home a farm animal killed the child.
He also claimed Maria, Michaels wife was Indian or part Indian.

So this is all I know about this poor lady , born about 1832 probably married to a Murray had two children, Peter and Mary Ann. Married second Michael abt 1859 and had three more children, died from medical induced abortion in 1867. The name Travin was crossed out on church entry and above "Heron". Who was she, no first marriage or baptism for her first child,
any suggestions??

Her daughter in photo above lived for years in Waverly New York, near the Indian reservation, if you notice she has on moccasins-no one can recall ever seeing her in anything but these. This
Margaret LaValle was musically inclined, she played and passed on to her son George the fiddle or violin which she used to teach him. Unfortunately his home burned and the instrument was destroyed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

William Patrick Murray Killed Store and Home Explosion

Geneolagy and family History, triumphs and disasters of
Louise Genereaux, alias Cummings, was the 7th child of 14, she
was born 10 Jun 1886 in Meadow Bay, Hastings Co. Ontario,
Canada. Her parents were Anthony Moses Genereau and Margaret
Jane LaVallee. Since her father was a Logger his work required
frequent movement, seldom over a couple of years, then on to
another log camp.
As I have posted before her dad left the family in 1890 and did not
return until 1896. During this period her mother was the sole
support for the family and some of the older children were put out to other families in the Martintown, Hastings Co. Ont. area. When the father returned the family came back together and moved to Spring Cove, New York where he worked as blacksmith and mother cooked and ran the dinning hall for the loggers. Would assume she obtained her immigration papers in 1898 when her sister also became a citizen. the family was now going by the name Cummings. When her sister Margaret was married Berlin Olyer, in 1900 and moved to Little Falls, New York-Louise followed her to Little Falls, were she worked in the mills.

About 1917 she met and married William "bill" Patrick Murray, bn 19 Nov 1880 the 4th
child of 5, who's father was Jerry Murray and his wife Margret, lived at East Main St. in Little Falls, New York, were they operated a small grocery and confection store.
Bill Murray signed up for WW1 draft registration in 1917 and gave his nearest relative as Louise Murray, address as 84 Burell St. Little Falls. the next year a daughter May was born, followed
on, 20 Mar 1920, by Jane and then Adelaide in 1923.

As a child I was close to May and Adelaide, I am ashamed to say I have lost tract of them now, I know both of them married and think they live in the Albany, N.Y. area.

Sometime in the 30's Louise and Bill took over his fathers store at east Main st. and continued to operate it, adding the convenience of gasoline for there customers. Those of you from Little Falls will no doubt remember her-about 4ft 8in. , very heavy, never saw her without a smile. As you come into Little Falls,N.Y. on route 5, first street on right had a small Sunoco Gas Station and store. She could not have made much money, she gave her profit away to all the kids, she was always passing a piece of candy to any child that looked like they had no money.

The family lived in the back and upstairs of the store, Bill had a little problem with Irish Ale, which may have led to the accident.

On 12 April 1941, the gasoline supply company filed the underground gas storage tanks, next morning the gasoline had seeped into the cellar, about 9:15, Bill thought he herd water running, and could smell gasoline, but he was a little hung over and probably not thinking, went to cellar door, opened it, turned on the light switch, the explosion blew the building off the foundation and burst into flame. A power company employee got bill out, started CPR worked on him to try and revive him, Louise and a customer Harry Jackson got out the front, the girls had already left for the day. Bill was rushed to Little Falls hospital. but lived only a few hours. How terribly it must have been for his daughter Jane Murray, a Registered Nurse, in charge at the hospital when they brought him in.

This accident is covered in the Utica Observer Dispatch newspaper 13 April 1941

The home, store and contents were a total loss, home was replaced, Louise, with her daughter Jane the Registered Nurse lived there. Louise died July 1973, and Jane Murray died 2 Jun 2006
Photo was taken in 1943, with all that had happened she still was able to smile, always ready
to help anyone. She looks just like her mother see posting Feb. 27/2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Edwin Lord "Heirloom Found" Owner Unknown

Family history and strange heirloom - in the quest of genealogy.
My grandfather Edwin Booth Lord born 4 Dec 1878 in Fort Hunter, New York son of Byington Lord bn 1844 and Josephine Johnson bn 1855- his grand parents Martin Lord bn 1817,Gertrude Van Meter bn 1844 and Elias Johnson 1818, Cathern Leanardson bn 1818.

My grandmother Anna Lee Lasher bn 1877-daughter of John "Jack" Lasher bn 1842 and Mary Sterling 1851- her grandparents George Lasher 1805, Margaret Klock, and Simeon Herrick Sterling 1813, Ada Nancy Bell 1815.

The two children are Edwin Booth Lord bn 11 Jun 1904 and his
sister Lillian Lord 4 jul 1907

Grampa Lord was a master mechanic, working for Baily Knitting
Mills in Fort Plain, N.Y. His Machinist Chest has survived and
ended up with me, I am a little ashamed of its condition so thought
I better clean it up. The drawers are full of stuff that accumulates
over the 75 years since his death.
The drawers are all lined with fabric and most of them are really in good condition except for one that would not lay flat, something was under the cloth made a bump. I carefully loosened the fabric along the sides and lifted it up-and found--

The piece of jewelry is made from solid strip of silver and has the date 1884 with a flower type decoration on each side, excellent engraving. The rings holding the coins are silver. The pin is missing from the back. This was placed in the drawer by my grandfather, he carefully attached the fabric on the sides. But Why. I wonder who it was for, none of the dates match anyone in his family or his wife. The coins definitely do not match places that appear in our genealogy. Its a beautiful pin, cleans up niece but I guess no one will know why it meant so much to him. The coin on right is dated 1746, center coin 1827, on the left 1831. I have photographed it and will place it back in the drawer were he had it, just another of those mysteries.

My mother was a great collector of family "things", sure wish I knew the complete stories of some of them, greatful for the Blog it gives us a chance to present these family items so they will not be lost completely.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Philip Olyer Burned to Death Lumbermill 1920

A tragic story of the Family life, Genealogy and dangers of the lumbering trade at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the 20Th century.

The Olyer family settled in the northern part of the Adirondack mountains of New York state to work in the two most dangerous occupation of the time Lumbering and mining.

Our subject Philip Louise Olyer jr., was no exception. born in 1854, at Moores Fork, N.Y. the 5Th son of Philip Olyer and Lucretia Fanny Leach.

When a teenager he worked on a farm for Rollin Brown. As soon
as he was old enough he went to work for the Chateaugay Iron
and mining co. as a coal burner. A terrible job were wood is
burned to make charcoal, or in later years, coal was burned in a
process to make coke both the charcoal and coke gave off more
heat when used in the smelting furnaces. Every minute that you
were there, the air was full of charcoal dust, you are in constant
danger of explosion and fire.

Philip married Henrietta Battman about 1875, she was born in Canada abt 1858, there first child Wilbur F. born 1876, Henry 1878, Carrie 1879, Caroline 1880, Jerry 1882, Emma 1883, Maud 1884, George 1886, and Matie 1888.

About 1900 the work around the charcoal dust and fumes were just to much for Philip and he went back to farm labor, he was approaching 50, the coal burning had taken it toll.

Henrietta passed away 1912, in Rochester, New York ; Philip now in his 60's had brother John Vernon Olyer, who's wife Charlott Scutt, had brother, Leslie Ulysess Scutt, operating a saw mill in Long Pond, Main. Philip is offered a job.
The saw mill was water powered with a line shaft running on the ceiling full length of mill, from this, pulleys and belts, ran all the saws and conveyors. As a log came in on a dolly it passed by a 48 inch saw and a slab was taken off one side, the log was turned to rest on the flat side and by another dolly passed a Gang saw blade that cut it up, into either 1 inch or 2 inch planks. As these fell off they dropped on a conveyor and went to another saw were the edges were sawed off- then out the door to a yard crew that stacked them to air dry. This operation created a lot of waste material -saw dust and slabs with bark edges. Running below the saws was a series of conveyors that carried these waste items to the main belt this went out the side of the building in a 300 ft long conveyor, two ft wide, to a point about 30 ft above the ground. At the top, as the chain went over a pulley, it dropped the load into a huge pit that was kept burning continually, to get rid of the scrap, several foot deep and about 30 ft around of burning wood. The photo is a
modern conveyor, presently the scrap material is not burned.
Philip's job was to watch the dozen or so small conveyors to be
sure the material was not falling off and was dropping on the main
belt. You can imagine the noise inside this building with a dozen
or more saw blades wining through the logs, plus the noise of the
belts and drive lines.
Some how Philips jacket got caught on the main conveyor. His
cries for help could not be heard, he was carried out the door, up
the ramp incline-just before he reached the top, the fire tender saw him coming-his attempt to shut down the chain driven belt was hopeless and Philip was dropped into the burning pit, with saw dust and slab wood. According to newspaper article, by the time they could get him out all of his clothing was burned off, he probably died within seconds, burning sawdust and slabs would ignite immediately when they hit the burning mass.

There are several family stories about this accident but the end result is the same-this was taken from newspaper account in 1920 Oct issue Chateaugay Record.

Today this would not happen, now the sawdust is contained in pipes, the slab wood is ground into chips and all the material is reused to produce other wood products. see photo

This was a very dangerous occupation, So far in my research, I have not found any of the Olyer family members still working in this field.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Anthoney Moses Genereau alias James Cummings.

This is the story of Mose Genereau, his family history and ancestry.
Born in Thurlow, Hastings,Ont. Canada 13 Sep 1855 to parents Dennis
Genereau, and Clare Dupuis, Christened at St Michael the Archangel
Catholic church of Bellville, Ont. 16 Sep 1855, parents Stanislas Genrio
& Clare Dupuis, witness Robert and Agath DeMereichiel.
When he was 19 years old, he had made friends with his Sister Sophia Genereau's sep daughter , Margaret Jane LaVallee, 16 years old, daughter of Michael LaVallee and Maria Travin [Herin]
They were married at St Michael Catholic church 13 Jan 1875. He was a French Laboror, his parents listed as Dennis Genereaux and Claris Dupree, wit., Thomas Sullivan and Elizabeth Genereau.
His lifetime position, the main requirement being hard work, in the winter he worked in the woods lumbering. In the summer , when the ground was to wet to skid the logs, he worked in the mills or brick yards. A break came along when he got to help a blacksmith, in few years was able to follow this trade becoming one of the best saw and ax sharpeners in the area.
Moses came from large family 14 children and he was the last one. I know two of his sisters one Sophia, bn 1845, married Charles Michael LaVallee, as his second wife.
Another sister was Minerva, born 1 jan 1853, she married Octave
Allaire, this family went west to Addington, ont. The photo is
Minerva and Octave, parents of 10 children.

The father known as Dennis and Stanislas Genereau, came from St. Elizabeth, Joliette, Quebec. This family and his wife C. Dupuis, are both from well established families tracing there roots to France in unbroken lines. a complete genealogy linage is on my data base which you can access by clicking on name Genereau in the list to the right.

Moses, and his family moved a lot, the first five children were born in Bellville, Ontario, the demand for laborers dictated were they would be, John the 6th child was born in Cornwall,1883-
by 1885 when Louise was born they were in Medow Bay, Ont., staying in Medow Bay until

Joseph born 1887. Then they were off to Martintown, Ont. were Moses was spending more time with his working buddies at the local tavern. Margaret Jane was home with 8 children oldest one was Alex age 16, and due to deliver the 9th child James in summer 1890.

Moses, probably under the influence, became possessive of a red head Ann Macarthy-a fight developed and drawing a revolver, Moses shot a colored man. The shot severed a artery in the upper leg and he died in just a few minutes. In a frontier town justice is swift-Moses and the girl are stripped of there cloths and tied to fence rails, someone got a tar bucket and painted them, someone else dragged in a old feather mattress and rolled them in feathers- then they were main attraction in a parade through town, ending at Moses's home on the outskirts. They cut them loose and tossed them in the creek. Old Moses jumped up and yelled "Best Dam Ride I ever Had",

The crowd dispersed Alex, Moses son, helped them into the kitchen. The rest of the night was spent with Razor, Scissors, and lamp oil removing the mess-hair-tar and feathers. Alex made the comment "she was a pretty young thing, dressed in tar and feathers"

Before daylight the two of them left town as ordered and went to Battle Creek, Mich. They both

thought they had what they wanted, the long days in the woods was no picnic for Moses, Ann's only way to keep busy was the tavern, in a few years, Moses tired of this and the urge to be with family became to much, Ann was out of his life,. He can not go to Canada so he selected, Malone, N.Y., lots of work in the woods. From here, contacts his wife Margaret, things are worked out and she crosses the St Lawrence in January 1896 with the family and belongings, they go to Spring Cove, New York, were Margaret is the cook and head of the dinning room for lumber camp, Moses, who calls himself James Cummings, is the blacksmith.

From this point forward he is known as James Cumming, all of his children knew about the name change and all of them except Alex used this as there last name.
The family continued to grow, Martin born 1896 was first child born in U.S. , followed by 4 more for a total of 14 children.

Despite this short vacation in 1890-1896 the family remained very close. James and Margaret both died in 1932 only a few days apart.

Jim had a very bad temper and excellent vocabulary of 5 letter words-one night the horse was making a uproar in the barn, Jim grabbed the whip and with a string of curse words went to the barn to teach the horse a lesson. Sometime later he returned ashen white, claimed he saw the devil- he never exhibited any temper and never again uttered any bad language.

The details of this account were told to me by Alex who was 96 years old, living in the home of Moses or Jim in 1969, when he was introduced to me by Cpl I.A. Miller Provincial Police, Martintown,Ont.Canada.

Secret around this name change was protected by my grandmother for years, the last trip she made just before her death in 1965 was to Martintown,Ont. to see Alex-I feel that Alex might not have betrayed this secret, had I not been presented by the Provincial police and maybe his taking a liking to me helped him unload this well kept story. All of the children that came to this country became citizens as Cummings, they did however avoid the census taker for a few years.
The name James Cummings came from the owner of the brick yard in Martintown.
"Maggie" my grandmother was a proud lady, how sad that she could not enjoy and share the deeds and traditions of the families Genereaux and Duprey.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Oscar Olyer Barn Burner Strikes Altering a Life Forever

Genealogy and family history of Philip Olyers', grand son, Dean Jesse Olyer born 28 dec 1886 in Chazy, Clinton Co. N.Y. the 7th child of 9 born to Oscar Alexander Olyer and his wife Sarah Lucretia Daniels. Dean married 2 Apr 1906, Harriet M. Smith, of Ellenburgh Center, New York.
Life did not deal, Dean Olyer's family a happy start.
First child George S. was born 5 Apr 1907.
18 Oct 1907 infant twins were born and died at birth, and a son died at birth 1908.
Perry Olyer was born 6 July 1909.

None of my research has turned up why or who it was that was bent on destroying Dean-
Sept 28 1909 Dean lost a horse, died during the night in the barn no apparent reason.

Oct 2 1909 put his horse in barn about six p.m.-dusk-and went into the house, ate his supper and read a little in the paper. He
then went to the barn and saw that his horse was eating grain. Knowing that he had not fed him any, he made an examination and found the grain saturated with paris green [Arsenic] He telephoned to some neighbors, but all efforts at saving the animal's life was unavailing and he died at 11 p.m.. this was the second horse he had lost.
Oct 4 1909 after sunset Mrs Olyer went out to the wood yard with a lantern and observed a man, [Barn burner] near the barn. She returned to the house and told her husband that there was a man out near the barn.
He strapped on his revolver, went out the back door and crept up and saw the man trying to gain entrance to it. He opened fire with the revolver, but all the effect he produced was to
make the man run .
Sunday evening at dusk he went to the barn to do chores, saw the
man again going out the other door, with the hay on fire. He shot twice
at him but did not hit his mark, turned his attention toward trying to
save barn from destruction, his efforts, aided by his neighbors, were
unavailing and by 9 p.m. it was completely destroyed. There efforts
were rewarded by saving the live stock and some of the farm utensils. Sheriff Nash was notified, bloodhounds were unable to establish a trail which had been trampled and obliterated while fighting the fire.
a reward of $100 was offered for capture and detention of guilty party.

They must have been very discouraged, their lively hood had been destroyed and Harriet was
5 months pregnant with Sadie Lucretia, born 5 Mar 1910. A week later Mar 18 1910 Dean Olyer moved his family to Mooers forks, stayed there until April 28 1911 when the family moved to Chateaugay., Work as a farm labor was hard, Two years later Dean went to Beekman to work, to be joined by the family shortly. and by July 1914 they were living in Plattsburgh, N.Y., were Homer Olyer was born 8 Sep 1914.
In 1916, 7th Aug a son Morris was born to them. World war 1 required his registering, this shows he was age 31 ,born 28 dec 1886, white, tall, med built, blue eyes, light hair, farm labor, wife Harriet, living R.D. Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Two years later Pearl Helen, born, 15 Apr. 1918. Sometime around this date , two other daughters, Ruth [Doolittle], and Gertrude [Fitt] joined the family.
5th Aug 1921 twins were born, both died, the girl on the 26th and boy Aug 3oth.
Dean left the farm labor pool and went to work for Irona Creamery, he was injured in May 1924 but the Compensation board, ruled against the Creamery, but made no monetary award, two weeks later the case was adjourned with an award of $121.43, on 12 Jun 1925 the case was closed with an award of $100.95.
Information about the family is vague after this date they are not in the census after 1910. but it appears they moved to Livingston, South Lima, N.Y. area. Harriet Olyer died at home, following illness , 29 Mar 1957, she had moved to South Lima, N.Y. some 12 years ago from Honeoya Falls, N.Y. , she was born in Ellenburg,N.Y., 5 Mar 1884. She left a husband, two daughters Gertrude Fitt, Ruth Doolittle, four sons Perry, George, Morris, Homer. she was interned at Mt Pleasant Cemetery,York.
her husband who survived her, Dean Olyer age 80 , of Livingston, South Lima, N.Y. was injured Thursday in Auto he was driving, collided with another car on route 36, he died the following Sunday. Isn't it strange, his father was killed at age 72, when hit by motorcycle 1915.
How difficult it must have been for this family, just starting out, lost several children-someone took there lively hood away by killing there horses and burning there barn. There marriage seem to survive and they were able to bring up 6 children, wonder how many of us could carry this load.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

HOPS All but disapeared today

An occupation that has disappeared from the towns and villages now, once a family occupation
Hop Pickers Fort Hunter
Before the 1930's and the advent of mobile refrigeration, most beer was produced at home or in local breweries, were it could be made and consumed before it spoiled. There was no way to ship it as they do today.
One of the main ingredients was hops, so this was a item that had to be harvested in the summer months. The photo is of a group from Fort Hunter, New York. No doubt the hops are destined to go to Amsterdam, New York. The only person I know is my grandfather Edwin Booth Lord far upper right with X.

notice the dog looks like he has two heads, guess he just could not set still long enough for photo.
from the size of the straw hats it must have been July or August, the women look like it was very warm and uncomfortable job. They are all dressed much differently than present laborers, who harvest our crops

Monday, July 21, 2008

Unidentified Messenger Shatters Family Secret

My carnival ride on a 30 year mystery, solved by unidentified messenger, leaving five words, hurriedly scribbled on registration form "looking for Cummings check Genereau"

Berlin Olyer was the family story teller, taking great enjoyment in relating the tales of the Olyer and allied families, whenever there was a gathering, which took place every Sunday that I can recall in the late 1930's until his death in May 1943.
There was one story he never got to finish, a story he started enough
times in the 8 to 10 years, that it stuck in my mind, more than if my grandmother, Margaret Cummings Olyer would have let him tell it.
"One Saturday night Maggis father Jim went to the tavern"--a commanding word from kitchen "Berlin that is enough"
She had made a promise to her father to keep his secret and she never
betrayed that trust.
The photo is "Maggie" and me about 1943.
When my grandfather Berlin died in 1943, my interest turned from the family to other things graduation, military service, marriage--when the dust settled and life followed a pattern, I started to work on genealogy again. Man! no one knew anything about any of there ancestors, but my mom was, "in it with me". Her mother Margaret Cummings would not tell us why she stopped the story about her father.
Of course my mother knew him, in fact the photo to the right is her father, James Cummings holding me, in 1926, according to my grandmother her father was Jim Cummings and her mother, Margaret Jane LaVallee.

She insisted for years that this was the truth, LaVallee was correct.

For some 35 years I researched the Cummings family in Canada, of course there was no Cummings that ever married a LaVallee.
In the 60's "Maggie" would avoid me if I got on the subject of family,
so I knew she was hiding something. I was not working with the truth.

In 1963 she left our house upset after talking about the Cummings family, no one could find her, after a few days we got a call from her in Martintown, Ont., she was sick and had to have her son Vern come and get her.

My mother, was sure there were none of her mother's brothers or sisters living in Martintown, mom thought she knew all of her uncles and aunts. My grandmothers list of relatives had a Alex, but no indication of wife or family.

In 1965 both my mother and my grandmother passed away, just a few days apart, in July, now I would never know, about the family.

In August someone in a small motor home spent the weekend in our campsite, On Sundays in a
amusement park, I was very busy and whoever this person was they left a penciled note on the registration form, "looking for Cummings check Genereau". I did not see this person and my attendant could not remember them, so I have no idea who it was-must have been a "genealogical angel."
As soon as the park was closed in the fall, I analyzed what I knew-My grandfather Berlin, said Jim cummings had done something in a tavern??, the only place I found a Jim Cummings was Martintown, Ont. and that is were "Maggie" went when she was upset with me. Now we know there is a Genereau involved. I called the Provincial Police Dept in Martintown. Ont. talked to a Sgt. I.E.Miller told him what I knew, he knew what I was talking about, said it might be best if I come up and talk to a man named "Alex" who was 96 yrs old. I left then and was in his office next day about noon.

Sgt I.E. Miller, had me follow him to Alex's home, little white house next to small creek on outskirt of Martintown. He went to door with me, I was about to have the experience of a life time. The officer left and I was invited to have a chair and I was so excited, do not remember asking any questions, he just started talking family, first the story of who Jim Cummings was=Moses Genereau, 20yrs older than Alex, Moses had killed a colored man in a bar room fight over a Ann MacCarthy, towns people stripped them naked, tied him and girl to fence rails, poured pine tar over them and rolled them in a feather mattress, then paraded them about town, dropping them off in creek outside the dinning room window. Alex helped them into house spent rest of night in the kitchen, picking tar and feathers of , had to use a razor and lamp oil he remarked "she was quite a eyeful dressed in tar and feathers". in the morning Moses and girl went to grand rapids, 7 years later "Alex" went to work in Spring Cove, N.Y. there was Moses, the blacksmith, but being called Jim Cummings, wife Masrgaret LaVallee and family.

I was so excited did not have composure enough to ask him about his family and what his relationship was- he told me Moses and he worked for Jim Cummings in the brick yard in summer and in woods in winter, that is were the "Jim Cummings" name came from. My mother list of uncles did not include a Alex, he must have been first child and stayed there in Martintown, and is the person my grandmother went to visit, knowing I was getting closer she probably tried to enlist him in protecting the family secret.

Alex knew names of all of Jim's children, who they married and most of there children. He said he lived with "Jim" in his house at Spring Cove, remembered "Maggie" helping her mother in the dinning hall.
I was right in Jim Cummings house and did not know it, Every time I look at this family, there is so much I should have asked, thankful for what I have, but oh how I wish for more.

It was 1890, he was a French man, in a English environment, his crime of killing a colored person did not demand as great a punishment as if it were another French man or Englishman , for which he probably would have been hung,Racial equality was way in the future then.
With the correct information- Baptisms and marriage records were found in, St Michael the Arch Angel Catholic church in Bellville, Ont.

I do not believe in ghost, but how did someone know I was working on the genealogy of this family and had to have the information Cummings was Genereau---

Why would this person leave a note instead of finding me???

Nothing in our records showed who it was or were they came from. ?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Beatrice Olyer-Potter-Berney

Photo has been taken from the group reunion taken in 1941,
Genealogy and family history of my Aunt Beatrice Olyer , 5th daughter, of 10 children, born to John V. Olyer and Charlott Ellinor Scutt. She was born in the hamlet Chazy, Clinton Co., New York. 13 Aug 1891
the second daughter, oldest girl living at home in the 1900 census. The family moved about 1902 to Little Falls, New York. All of her brothers moved, that they might be closer to there work- the New York Central railroad.

Beatrice married Cerill Leroy Potter, I do not have this marriage date but assume it was
after 1910 when she appears living at home age 19, and 1920 when she is living with her sister Nora and Frederick Berney. listed as Beatrice Olyer,age 28, along with her mother Charlotte age 67. This is no doubt how she met Herb Berney.

Herkimer, New York, 30 June 1923 she married Herbert Berney, born 2 Apr. 1887, brother of Frederick, both boys sons of Martin Buraugh, born in canada 1848.
Must mention "Herb" Burney, who I had opportunity to meet
several times as a young boy. He would set and talk to me , tell me
stories of his being in WW1 . an enlisted man in the United States
Navy Submarine unit. His submarine was the "Dubuque" in 1910
census he is listed, location Dubuque, Bluefields, Nicaragua, Military & Naval Force age 19. When I knew him he was in his 60's and still a robust strong person, his face was continuous smile, looked like he never new how to be anything but happy.
The interior sub photo, was in his collection, pretty close quarters, think I prefer the air force. He was actively engaged in WW1 of coast of Africa. "Herb" was not in the Olyer reunion group photo. Had he been there he would have been near my dad, they were good friends.
Herbert Burney died 9 feb 1959. left wife Beatrice, 2 brothers Fred of Hartford and Ivan T. of Richmand Va. and sister Mrs Eve Cross.
I do not have a record of any children born to Beatrice, in either marriage, and I do not recall there having any family.
In the 1930 census Herb and Beatrice are listed as living in Frankfort, Herkimer Co., N.Y. , he is employed as a private chafer.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Henry Lewis Olyer Early Resident Lyon Mountain

The last few post have been about this man's family history lets take a look at Henry's genealogy and life in upstate New York.
Henry Olyers father was Philip Olyer bn 1822 Dannamora,Clinton Co. son of Philip Olyer [olier] born in France according to census records. The mother of Henry, was Lucretia Fanny Leach born 1825, Plattsburgh, Clinton Co. her father was Henry L. Leach, born abt 1800 New Hampshire., mother Phyneth Smith, born 1803, Rutland, Vermont. The photo is the Railroad station at Lyon Mountain

Henry's father was a carpenter, his net worth in 1870 was $100, this was pretty good at the time. Wages at the mine was $2.25 a day for a 10 hour shift for foreman, only $1.00 day for drill boys, so the carpenters did pretty well. our Henry was the third son of nine children born to Philip.

Working life of Henry started probably at about age 14, he went to the iron mines as most males did at the time. He lived at home,in the 1880 census he has advanced to being a engineer with the narrow gauge railroad called Chateaugay Ore and Iron Railroad. Most of his time was spent hauling ore from mine to breaker building. As time passed this railroad evolved into the Delaware and Hudson, but Henry became a machinist, working in the
round house [turntable were the engine could be run onto and then the whole unit moved to turn the engine around, to send it back in direction from which it came.
Also buildings were constructed that the engine could be run in under cover to be worked on in bad weather.
The one in the photo is located in Colonie, New York and is
probably were Henry worked. a position that let him live in Dannamora, instead of being on the road.

24 Sept 1881 he married the 17 year old Josephiene Sweeney, daughter of Joseph Sweeney and Lauraette ["Lois"] Kingston, of Canada. The family lived in Dannamora, were they brought up a family of 11 children. Harry 1883, Ross 1884, Ralph 1886, Mabel 1890, Winifred 1892, Richard 1894, Isabel 1897, Roland 1901,[died infant], Bertha 1902, Charles 1904, Gerald 1906

Something happened in this family just before 1920 census.

In this 1920 census Henry is living in Dannamora, Clinton co, with his son Charles S. 16, and son Gerald age 14. but Josephine or "Jossie" can not be found in 1920 census, or 1930.
1923 she is living at 22 Dorsey St., Saranac Lake, New York, from there she has been motoring with Mr & Mrs Joseph Jock, to various places in the area including the County fair.
July of 1929 Josephine Olyer has serious operation at, Elizabethtown Gen Hospital.

In the same period, we find Henry in the 1930 census, living in home with his daughter Bertha Olyer Caswell, and her husband Allen, no mention of Josephine. Instead we find Josephine in the 1930 census living in Franklin Co.,Saranac Lake,N.Y. [looks like Dorsey st.] age 63 Div. Rooming house $5,000 bn NY father Ire., mother Eng.
also having one male boarder

I have not found a Obit for Josephine but she is casually mentioned in newspaper account of Henry's Obit 16 Sep 1938. "Mrs Olyer died 7 yrs ago [1931]"

There was a lot of upheaval in the family from 1919 until 1930 things that would be difficulty for a family to handle, one son went to war and came out with deep emotional scars causing him to take his own life. A daughters failed marriage resulting in grand children being separated from family,sent on the Orphan train to Kansas.
Josephine had some serious medical problems her self, and three of her sons involved with fast money of bootlegging, combined it might have been to much for her to handle. We can only assume this, based on the public information that is available now.

Newspaper account states the Henry was 99 years old and worked 62 years for D & H. I think this is incorrect.

In two census records 1870 and 1880 his parents indicate he was born 1854, in the 1910 ,
1920 census he gave information to census taker and said he was born 1854. sometimes we find errors in the census but this is four consecutive census, were the information is in agreement.

In the 1930 census he is listed as 79 years old making him born 1851. I am inclined to think the four census dates of 1854 are correct and a error was made in the 1930 census. so he would have been 84 years old when he passed away.
I am not sure of the D & H Railroad but the New York Central R.R., had policy of retiring there employees at age 65, if this was their policy Henry would only have been able to work from age 14 until 65, making his record only 51 years.

There is another contemporary Henry Olyer, but he lived in Champlain, N.Y. and perhaps some of his dates are confused with our Henry.
It has been handed down that Henry voted for Lincoln twice, In order for him to have voted in 1859 for Lincoln he would have to have been born 1838 he would have been 32 in 1870- census
but his parents gave his age as 15. The error seems to be, who it was that voted for President Lincoln, off hand would say it was his father Philip, who was born 1822 and was in the 1880 census as being 58 years old, could have been possible for him to vote in 1859 and 1863.
Another story, he was to young for Civil War, that is correct if born 1854, he would not be 18 until war was over-we can not have it both ways, two young to enlist but old enough to vote for President Lincoln.
There is almost always a grain of truth in family legend's but occasionally they need a little adjusting. You do not increase your popularity when you challenge family lore, but I feel it is just as interesting if we can adjust them with proof.