Saturday, September 20, 2014

Common and Uncommon Surnames

Searching for a Johnson ancestor is not easy, so I turned to Winterton, the related and less popular surname.  I found an older will from 1785 in New York City for William Winterton.  William is a popular given name in my Winterton tree.

The will provided some great information.  William Winterton was a mason in New York City.  His wife was Ann.  His children were William Winterton and Jane Winterton, wife of John Johnston.  The surname Johnston jumps right out at me because in my documented tree, Sally Ann Johnson (1802-1882) and Samuel Winterton (1800-1877) were my 4X great grandparents.

I googled Jane Winterton and John Johnston and came up with a few sites with their transcribed marriage record:  June 21, 1773 in New York.  This fits the time frame, but I can't rely on transcribed records.

The New York Marriages collection at provided a slightly different date for the marriage of Jane Winterton to John Johnson:  July 8, 1773.  The church was provided:  Trinity in New York City.

Trinity Church offers its records in transcribed format for free on their website.  There is an entry for John Johnson marrying Jane Winterton on July 8, 1773 by Samuel Auchmuty.

Within the Trinity Church website, you can search for baptismal records of possible children of this couple.  I found three potential children of John Johnson and Jane Winterton:  John Harriot Johnson, born 1789; Jannett Clark Johnson, born 1791; and Henry Johnson, born 1797.  The given names and sponsors should provide some leads to help determine if these are indeed children of John Johnson and Jane Winterton.

In the newspapers, I found another mention of a lawsuit, one year prior to the Winterton versus Johnson suit in 1855.  Here we have Joseph Riddock suing Samuel Winterton, his wife Sally Ann [Johnson], John Johnston, and his wife Anna.  Is Anna really Jane Winterton, the aunt of Samuel Winterton?  Or is Anna actually Sarah, the mother of Sally Ann?

So I have two questions to be answered at this point.
1- In the will of William Winterton, probated in 1785, he mentions a son, William.  Is this son the same person as my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, William Winterton (1767-1814)?
2-  Is there a relationship between John Johnston/Johnson, the husband of Jane Winterton, and Sally Ann Johnson (1802-1882), the wife of Samuel Winterton (1800-1877)?

Using Cemeteries to Track Moves, Part Two

This post expands on the prior piece about using cemeteries to track the movement of ancestors across generations.

In this blog post, I focus on one of my great-great-great grandfathers, John R Winterton,
his parents, and his four grandparents.

My 3X great grandfather, John R Winterton, was born in New York City around 1831.  He had removed from New York City by 1855, when he married Sophia T Walling in Raritan Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey.  When John Winterton died in 1896, he was buried at Green Grove Cemetery in Keyport, New Jersey.

John's parents, Samuel Winterton and Sally Johnson, also lived in Keyport, but were buried in Brooklyn, New York at Green-Wood Cemetery.  So we must look in New York for their records.

Death certificate for Sally Ann Winterton.  She died October 1, 1882 in Keyport, New Jersey.
Burial at Greenwood Cemetery, New York.  Parents- Johnson.

Burials at Green-Wood can be searched on the cemetery's website.  A search for Winterton burials produces several people in two different lots.

I organized the burials by lot.

Samuel Winterton and his wife, Sally Johnson, are in lot 10313.  Joseph was a brother of Samuel.  Caroline and Mary were daughters of Samuel and Sally.  That leaves us with three people, Ellen, Samuel, and Sarah, all "buried" on the same date, April 29, 1857.  I do not know who these people are at this point.  This date may be when the lot was purchased or when the record was created.

Lot 6558 contains the mother of Samuel Winterton, Mary, buried in 1862.  This is Mary Bartlett, born about 1769.  Buried with her are three of her children, Mary, Ruth, and William.  We can use the dates of burial to locate death notices in the New York papers.

Before living in New York City, William Winterton and Mary Bartlett resided in Newburgh, Orange County, New York.

1810 United States Federal Census
Newburgh, Orange County, New York

William Winterton, the husband of Mary Bartlett, is not buried at Green-Wood.  He predeceased her by almost 50 years in 1814.  His burial record is not online on FindAGrave or a cemetery's website.  Instead, a mention of his headstone can be found in older books online under the topics of Newburgh, New York or Baptist churches.

"Adjoining the deserted church is a cemetery lot. . .  Only a few of the stones bear inscriptions. . .  Deacon William WINTERTON. . .  Feb. 15, 1814, aged 47 years."

Google Maps- Leptondale section of Newburgh, Orange County, New York
I think that the church and cemetery were located in this area, by Orange Lake.
If anyone has knowledge of this area, please let us know! mobile app
Nobody has entered any graves for the probable location of William Winterton's 1814 burial

Letters of Administration were issued in 1814 for William Winterton in Orange County, New York.  This is an additional source for his death.

The family relocated to New York City after William Winterton's death in 1814.  In the 1820 federal census, Mary Winterton is head of household in New York City.  Other members of the household are not listed by name, but rather by age group.  The numbers work out for the number of children that I have found so far, but we can never be certain who was actually represented by the enumeration.

Males, aged 10-15:  1 (Joseph)
Males, aged 16-18:  1 (Samuel)
Males, aged 16-25:  2 (Samuel and William)
Females, aged 10-15:  1 (Ruth)
Females, aged 16-25:  1 (Sarah)
Females, aged over 45:  1 (Mary herself)
Total free white persons:  6

Household of Mary Winterton, 1820 New York City

In 1822, Samuel Winterton married Sally Ann Johnson.

In 1822, people married on a Tuesday morning and a Monday evening.

This marriage notice provides a useful clue, the person who performed the ceremony, the Reverend Mr. Archibald Maclay.  He serviced the James Street, or Mulberry, Baptist Church in New York City from 1809-1838.  The church morphed into the Tabernacle Baptist Church and then the Laight Street Baptist Church.

Johnson is a common surname, so we need to significantly narrow down our search to find anything useful and plausible.  Sally Ann Johnson was likely a member of the same Baptist church as Samuel Winterton, in Newburgh or New York City.

A possible connection between Winterton and Johnson is in a newspaper announcement from 1855 of a lawsuit in New York City:  Samuel Winterton versus John Johnson and Anna, his wife.  These could be relatives of Sally Ann Johnson, wife of Samuel Winterton.

An interesting tidbit about the children of William Winterton and Mary Bartlett:  in 1836, they purchased land in Conway Township, Livingston County, Michigan.  Nobody appears to have moved to Michigan.  I do not know, at this point, why they purchased the land.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Using Cemeteries to Track Moves

Laura Winterton was one of my great grandparents.  She was born in 1891 in Matawan, Monmouth County, New Jersey to William Winterton and Catherine Dunn.  Around 1905, her family moved to Newark in Essex County, New Jersey.  In 1910, Laura Winterton married Howard Lutter.  Three generations later, here I am.

Laura died in 1962 in Newark from complications of diabetes and multiple sclerosis.  She was buried in an unmarked grave in Hollywood Cemetery in Union (Union County, New Jersey).  

Recently, I visited family gravesites for the first time in Monmouth County, New Jersey.  Although I do not live far from these cemeteries, I had never visited, probably because these graves were among the few recorded and photographed when genealogy started on the internet.  Visit and for user-submitted records.  I concentrated on visiting graves that nobody had photographed and posted online, of which there were plenty, and I uploaded my pictures and notes to FindAGrave.

Ancestors of my great grandmother
[Chart created in Excel and modified in Paint]

Green Grove Cemetery in Keyport

William Winterton (1862-1932) and Catherine Dunn (1865-1944), parents of Laura, died in Newark, but are buried in Keyport.

William's parents, John R Winterton (1831-1890) and Sophia T Walling (1835-1906), are buried in a plot shared with Cuttrells, located near the corner of Green Grove Avenue and Hurley Street.

Sophia's parents, William Walling (1803-1870) and Ellen Euphemia Imlay (1807-1895), are also at Green Grove in a family plot.

Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn
John Winterton's parents, Samuel Winterton (1800-1877) and Sally Johnson (1802-1882), relocated to Monmouth County from New York City in the 1850s.  Samuel died in Keyport and Sally in Raritan, but they are both buried at Greenwood Cemetery in New York.  Their burials are searchable at the cemetery's website.

Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan

At Rose Hill are Laura Winterton's maternal grandparents, Ezra Dunn (1821-1898) and Hermoine Dunlop (1827-1900).  This is a small cemetery.  I was able to find the graves based on the pictures already online.

I marked the GPS location of the graves on FindAGrave.

Google maps, connected by FindAGrave

I am still working on Ezra Dunn's parents.  According to his death certificate, Ezra's parents were Nathaniel Dunn and Sarah.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Matawan

Hermoine Dunlop's father, Joseph Dunlop, was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.  This trip illustrates why you want to visit grave sites, rather than just look at pictures or transcriptions online.

In memory of Joseph W DUNLOP who died Apr 26, 1852,
aged 55 years, 2 months, and 4 days.

In the 1850 federal census in Raritan (Monmouth County, New Jersey), we have:
Joseph W. Dunlop, age 54, born in Pennsylvania;
Margaret Dunlop, age 53, born in New Jersey;
some of their children and borders.

I located a marriage record in 1824 in Monmouth County for Joseph Dunlop and Margaret Little.  I need more evidence to decide if this is the marriage record for this couple.  A trip to the cemetery makes this marriage record more plausible for fitting into my tree.
New Jersey, County Marriages, 1682-1956

I did not see a gravestone for Margaret; however, two Little graves and one Dunlop are next to Joseph Dunlop.  This placement could indicate a relationship.  You cannot see this positioning from online transcriptions or individual pictures of the stones.  (Well, now you can with my labeled picture.)

"The grave of William Johnston, son of Joseph W. and Margaret Dunlop,
died Nov 17, 1832, aged 3 years, 7 months, and 24 days."

"Frances, daughter of Robert and Margaret Little,
who departed this life April 30th, 1830,
aged 20 years, 6 months, and 8 days."

"Robert Little, a native of the Billis, near Virginia, County Cavan, Ireland,
who emmigrated to America A.D. 1807,
and departed this life October 29th, 1821,
in the 37 year of his age.  

For many years an active merchant in this place."

If this Little grave has a connection to Margaret, wife of Joseph Dunlop, then I will have a great link to the hometown in Ireland.  This would also be the first Irish ancestor found in my father's tree.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Personalized Maps

Inspired by a genealogical blog post, I crafted some ancestor maps of my own.  Using the ancestors of my father, I created two maps:  1- Place of Birth and 2- Place of Death.

2 parents
4 grandparents
8 great grandparents
16 great great grandparents
Total:  30 ancestors

The outlier in the birthplaces is my grandfather, Clifford Lutter.  He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1915.  All of his other events are in New Jersey.  A family story explains that Clifford was born in Philadelphia because his father was performing there at the time.

These maps show where to find the bulk of my recent family records.  The three unknown places of death are likely New Jersey and Germany.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Finding a German Hometown


This is the town of origin for Herman Lutter, one of my great great grandfathers.  Thank you TP for figuring this out!

The above image is from the 1888 certificate of marriage for Herman Lutter and Clara Uhl in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States.  All of Herman's other records that I have located do not provide a town; instead, his birthplace is given as Thuringia or Germany.

My other clue for locating family in Germany is from Herman's 1924 will, where he names a sister, Ottillia Michel "of Neuhaus, Thuringen, Germany."

During Herman's lifetime, Germany was unified and World War I was fought.  After he died, World War II was fought, Germany was divided, then unified again.  Place names, political control, and borders changed.

The next trick:  Where are Scheibe and Neuhaus today and what are they called?

Scheibe-Alsbach is municipality in the German State of Thuringia, Sonneberg District.  Neuhaus am Rennweg is nearby.  There are a few places in Germany using the name Neuhaus, though.

I found a map of Thuringia dated 1905.  Two towns named Scheibe and Neuhaus are next to each other.  This looks promising.

Neuhaus and Scheibe are in Rudolstadt.  Just south, in Sonneberg, is another town called Neuhaus.

The 1905 map of Thuringia has latitude and longitude grids.  When plugged into a modern-day map, the location of Neuhaus and Scheibe in Rudolstadt is now Neuhaus am Rennweg in the Sonneberg District of Thuringia.  This is where I need to look for records.  The area is in a forested mountain region, which impeded travel.  The Czech Republic is fifty miles to the east.  I hope to discover how this geography shaped the family history.

Archives for Thuringia has a website!  But in German, naturally.