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.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Orphan Trains to Kansas & Mabel Olyer

The Orphan Train movement began, mid 19th century, estimated that some 30,000 abandoned children were living on the streets of New York. In a 75 year span of the Orphan Train movement
resulted in between 150,000 and 200,000 "Orphan" children were relocated.
Not all the children were without parents. during this period there was two major depressions,
two wars and always their are single parents that just can not logistically provide for large families, especially a mother. Females were never paid enough to be the sole provider of numerous children at home. For a excellent article on the Orphan Train program see

This is the Family history and genealogy of, Mabel Esteela Olyer,[Furlong],[Guffoil] born 11 Feb 1890 at Lyon Mountain, Clinton,Co.,New York the first girl, of Henry Lewis Olyer and Josephine Sweeney. She was special, the parents had just lost a set of twins the year before, and now after 3 boys they had a girl.
As time passed she became the leader, among the children, it was Mabel that helped Isabel write the letter to Santa see previous post.
Probably around 1906 she met Marice Furlong who was born in Canada, they married and went to Vaughn, North Carolina, to live. Mabel came home to visit her mother and father July of 1907. When she returned to North Carolina she started a family with 4 daughters: Pearl abt 1907, Josie 1909, Isabel 1911, and Irena 1913.
Things at home turned bad, apparently her husband left her, she is using the maiden name Olyer, there is a death record of Furlong, in Saranac Lake 30 march 1947. Being left alone with 4 small girls she must have been desperate.
Her Aunt Mahala, was Matron at the Plattsburgh, N.Y., home for women and might well have influenced her into turning the girls over to the Orpan train for Kansas. During this period the
trains had excellent press; Children would be bathed, new cloths and hair done, a person would ride on the train with them, when the train stopped in Kansas, would take the four girls along with several others to a church or hall were the potential adopters would met them and decide which ones they wanted, those not taken were put back on train and sent to next stop.
These girls were lucky, all went to great homes, Even though they separated, all were married and we will post information about them later.

In 1920 Mabel is back in Harrietstown twp.,Franklin Co. New York as head of household with one lodger.
1923 she married William Guffoil
1938 she is living in Tupper Lake,New York were she was living when called to arrange for funeral of her brother charles who had passed away at Gen Hospital in Saranac Lake,New York

1940 Jul 5 she was living in Gabriels, New York, when her brother ross died

During her lifetime she was lucky to have the girls contact her and maintained a relationship with them.
Mabel passed away 26 jun 1966 at age of 76, a resident of Highland Nursing home, Massena, New York.

Ralph Philip Olyer Narcotics Agent 1907

It is just a little over 100 years ago that Narcotics got its boost in popularity from action of the government. March 3 1905 Congress enacted the first federal anti-narcotic law. prior to that drugs could be obtained on the open market, the addiction rate was 0.4% to 1.2% of the adult population, and no drug crimes or incarcerations, associated with use of drugs. Now 100 years of prohibition, the figures are 1 % to 2% of adults, with drug criminals comprise over half of federal prisoners, and nearly one-quarter of state criminal offenders, for grand total of about half million persons in our institutions. This is about equal to the total number of addicted population of 1900. Every year some 20 million Americans commit drug crimes, and nearly half have done so sometime in their lifetime. This has to be the nations number one crime creation program.
Job security for Enforcement, Incarceration, Judicial and Welfare.

This is the family history and brief genealogy of Ralph Philip Olyer, was born 2 Oct 1886, Lyon Mountain,Danamora, Clinton Co. New York the 3rd son of 12 children born to Henry Lewis Olyer and his wife Josephine Sweeney.
There was always lots of siblings to play with, from information I have found they had a great childhood. Early on he was called "Buck", attended school in Danamora, Clinton Co. N.Y.

Jun 7 1907, at age 20 he was accepted in the Narcotics unit, Internal revenue service, Albany New York. A fledgling organization that was set up only two year before. He was assigned
northern New York Area. His unit expanded with the 1914 Harrison Act, and other reforms brought on by the continued pressure of the Evangelical prohibitionist, and reformers. In
1920 census he is living as a single border at, Perinton Twp. Monroe Co. New York.

October 8 1921 he was placed in charge of the Narcotics Unit of Internal Revenue in Franklin County. Right around this time he met and married Estella M. Bagley, she was born in Canada
in 1889. from a previous marriage she had a daughter Daisy, born 1914, and a son, Loren W. born 1917.
Ralph is mention many times in the northern New York newspapers for apprehending and arresting many offenders of the Alcohol, Drug, and tobacco laws.
In the census of 1930 the family was living in East Rochester, Monroe Co. New York
shortly after the census, Ralph retired from the enforcement agency and moved to Rock Forest, Canada, were he died 1 may 1945.

It must have been a strain on his relationship with his three brothers that were breaking the very laws that he was dedicated to enforce. Might mention he had a uncle Miles Owen Olyer, that served as a Immigration Officer, in the Malone area at about the same time period.

Since Ralph moved to Canada, I have not located a lot of material about him, if you knew him or can help fill in please contact me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

100 Year or More of American Independence

Adah Nancy Bell, born in a independent American nation on 13 Nov 1815, in Mohawk, Montgomery Co. New York , who's grandparents fought in the revolution and grt grandparents served in the Colonial Wars.

She has always been of interest to me, probably due to the fact she was the first
one I really had to engage in old fashioned genealogy research. Once the dusty
records in Montgomery County archives had been searched, a trip into the
field was necessary. Shovel, broom, paper, pencil it was off to the abandoned
home site. Her father Rowland Bell had been a tenant farmer,a indentured land servant, when the son took over the title, rents were raised and nearly all the tenants burned there homes and barns and moved on. It took several trips before the old foundations were found, and with them the family cemetery plot. After rubbing the stones, to bring up the dates and names,
several family members were added that did not get into the archives years ago.

I also found several pieces of broken china, these are the same pattern as a Flo Blue syrup picture and plate that has been handed down for over150 years.

Adah Nancy Bell married Simeon Herrick Sterling, grandson of two Revolutionary War soldiers, 10 Oct 1849, they lived in Sammonsville, New York. Adah and Simeon, were the parents of my great grandmother Mary Sterling, born 26 Jul 1851.

Adah died Christmas day 1908, at the age of 93. She only had the one daughter Mary Sterling, died age 94 in 1941, she married "Jack" Lasher Civil War veteran who's ancestry includes many of the noted patriots of the revolution, loescher, Klock, Nellis, Saltsman, Dillenbeck

I selected Adah, whose ancestry includes the basic individuals, the foot soldiers, who fought and gave there lives for our independence, as all of her descendants have since .

Independence and longevity has blessed this family for generations.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ross Olyer D & H Steam Railroad Enginier

The Family History and genealogy of Ross Raymond Olyer first born son of Henry Lewis Olyer and Josephine "Jessie" Sweeney, of Lyon Mountain, New York. The Olyer family started out as lumbermen and miners with this generation all of Phillips grandsons are turning to the railroad.

Ross Olyer was born 9 jun 1884 in the mining community of Lyon Mountain. N.Y.

I have not yet found information about his childhood but he married at Plattsburgh . New York, 1906 Katherine Pratt, born 27 Sep 1888, Ray Brook, New York. Worked for D & H Rail Road as fireman and Engineer for 36 years

We first find mention of the family in 1910 census Essex Co., North Elba, New York, were Ross is listed age 25 ,his wife 21, and there daughter, Thelma four months.

His draft card shows birth date 9 jun 1884 , age 34, med hgt.,blue eyes, light hair, employed by D. & H. Railroad.
The 1920 census has the family living in North Elba, N.Y. and have added Rolland, 7; Stanley 5; and Carlton. 1 yr 3 months. Before 2 jun 1925 they moved to Lake Placid. Ross was still with the Delaware and Hudson R.R.and must have been on the road a lot. There are many trips and family obligations that fell upon Mrs Ross Olyer as reported in the Plattsburgh Sentinel.

[Right roundhouse were engines were turned]

In late June Ross assisted one of the train men in coupling a particular hard lock, as it snapped together he was thrown to the tracks and hit his back and head, other than being real painful and a bit hard to walk, nothing was thought of it. As time went by it became worse and he was unable to work, being confined to bed. He died on 5 July 1940 from the injuries to his spine and head.

He left wife, Katherine, 4 sons, Lional, of Rouses point; Carlton, of Lake Placid; Stanley, of Rouses Point; Roland of Rochester; two brothers Gerald, of Saranac Lake and Ralph, of Rock Forest, Quebec.
Four sisters Mrs Isabella Rice, of Whitehall; Mrs Bertha Caswell, Lyon Mountain; Miss Winfred Olyer, NYC;Mrs Mabel Guilford, Gabriels,N.Y.

Ross like so many of Philip Olyers grand children , turned from lumbering to Rail Roads, Henry's children went with the D. & H. and John's 3 boys joined the NYC .

As a child I would listen for the whistle of the steam engines as they came thru Nelliston, N.Y.,
the steam engine had a distinct sound not at all like the electric diesels, Usually I could get the the hill overlooking the tracks and watch the the gleaming black engines with steam, smoke,
and noise. If the engineer saw me he would wave or sometimes activate the whistle, man how I wished I could run one of those, do not think the modern trains are that alluring. At the time I did not realize I was observing the end of an era.

Harry Olyer "Pocket Bootlegger"

A brief genealogy and family history of The third Son, of Henry Lewis Olyer and Jessie Sweeney, of Lyon Mountain,New York. born the 22 Oct 1892 . The first public record is his "draft card 1917-1919 from Wilmington Essex Co.,New York. age 26 med. hgt.,med build,black eyes,dark hair- right eye missing, Occupation -Lumberman, notify mother Josephine Olyer, Lyon Mountain, New York."
Henry was not called into service due to the missing eye.

April 6th 1923 Lake Placid newspaper reports Harry crushed his middle finger left hand when a sled ran over it.

Sept 20th 1923 he received an award of 30 weeks compensation at $14.42 week for total of $432.60. Employer Hurley Bros.,Lake Placid.

By 1927 he joined his brothers in the fast money game of bootlegging. the following article from Lake Placid News: Local man held on liquor charge Harry Olyer, taken into Custody Saturday for "Pocket Bootlegging"Harry Olyer, 45, of Dorsey Street,
Lake Placid, was taken into custody last Saturday night by Officer McCann of the
local police force and Corporal Benjamin, Troop B., State Police, charged with
"Pocket Bootlegging" Olyer, it is said, carried his business with him in the form of a portable drinking equipment consisting of some alleged alcohol in a bottle, a glass, and a funnel. He was arraigned and held under bond $2000, for action of Federal court at Binghamton, New York. Unable to post bonds, Olyer was confined in the Malone jail.
a man said to be Charles Olyer, also of Lake Placid, reputed to be brother of Harry's was captured a short time ago with a load of liquor.

If you have been reading these postings about the 3 Olyer boys, Charles, Gerald, and Harry
all arrested for violation of the prohibition law, yes I agree the law is the law, but these three were caught very quickly and the justice seemed rather harsh when you compare it to other violators of the time. They also had a older brother who was a Narcotic Official.

Harry was not married, seemed to be hard worker, living a single life. There are a number of run ins with the local police force.
June 1937 Harry came up missing, no one had seen him at the familiar watering holes, and he did not come home.
On Tuesday evening at about 6:15 he was found floating face down in Mill Pond, apparently he fallen over the guard rail in the dark and stumbled into the pond.

7 Oct 1937 his sister Mabel L.Gulford, as Administratix of Harry Olyer's Estate entered a negligence suit against the village of Lake Placid for the death of Harry for $10,000.

Could find no children or spouse for Harry.