Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Find that strange place my Ancester is from
Today though it might be a good idea to discuss those strange sounding places the ancestors were supposed to live in. By now you should have a bunch of notes about the old folks and very possible some documents -marriage license or birth record even old photo's with notes on the back. Before we can get down to searching Vital Records or church records we should know were they lived. Now my specialty is New York State it was the bridge between the new England states and the west so thousands of our ancestors went thru this area.
I am not sure of the other states but I assume they also had a book called "Gazetteer" in new york we had a series of them first one was in 1813, then with the growth of the nation another was issued 1825 both of these are authored by H.G.Spafford, and a very rare and expensive but also very important they list every small hamlet shows number of churches,mills,other types of manufacturing, population and detailed description of land,streams and topographical and statistical tables. It is laid out in Counties, by townships, this is important for the genealogist as the boundaries keep moving and a family living in one town might not move but the title of the area can, which in many cases happened over again every few years.
By 1830 another Gazetteer is issued by Nellis and another by Barbour & Howe in 1844.
The counties are being cut up and boundaries changing so fast that another was issued in 1860 this one done by French and by this time the Towns and cities are well established and most of the counties are surveyed out . this is without a doubt the best New York State Gazetteer and all the small crossroads are using the names that we know them as today. Then in 1870 another one came out by Barbour and Howe.
by using these you can find were that strange town was that you ancestor came from and you will see later how important it is to know everything you can about the spot were you relative lived as well as the physical description of the location relative to his home and the church that they attended. These are going to be your keys to work with so keep tract of the funny sounding places you have been told about.
Now a little bit about the photo remember the log camp photo of a few days ago well this is the lady Margaret Jane LaVallee Genereau Alias Cummings Notice her shoes they are indian moccasins .,was she part indian ? Born in Quebec Ca. 1859 appears in first 1861 Census Canada Hastings as a infant father was Michael LaVallee and mother Marie Haren we are not sure if she was native Canadian or not.
Margaret's mother died in 1867 her father died 1878 there story will follow later. Margaret was married 1857 her father had remarried and the new wife was Sophie Genereau it was Sophie's brother Anthony Moses who married Margaret in 1857.
Margaret lived with Moses in the Hastings area and had 8 children up until 1887--then her husband and we will tell that story in a later post , took of 6 years and left home, Margaret with no income gave the children out to other families during this 6 year period then in the winter of 1895 Moses wondered home, with a new name "Cummings" he gathered up the family and they went south to Spring Cove,N.Y. were he was a blacksmith and Margaret was cook for the lumber camp. They took up were they left off and had 5 more children in the Spring Cove area. All of the children were loyal and used the name Cummings Moses and Margaret they lived together until there death which was about a week apart in 1932. Despite the problems they had they seem to have been able to cling together which is a lot better than many families to day.
If you have gathered up any material and want to drop my a note will try my best to get you started-email me