Monday, March 4, 2013

Like Father, Not Like Son

Applications for passports are digitized and offered online through sites such as Fold3 and Ancestry.  Even if you think that your family stayed in the same place and never left the United States, search for them in the passports.

I found the passport application for my great-great-great grandfather, John R Winterton.  This provided me with his date and place of birth:  December 3, 1831 in New York City.  We are also provided with his signature!  We share a birthday!

It is important to note that "Jr" follows John R Winterton's name.  Do not assume that this indicates that John shared a name with his father.

I John R Winterton Jr do swear
that I was born in the City of New York on
or about the 3rd day of December 1831,
that I am a citizen of the United States, and am about to travel abroad.
Sworn to before me
this 12 day of June
Notary Public, New York.

The bottom of the page is the attestation from John's father that the above information is correct.  His name is Samuel Winterton.  We get his signature as well!

I Samuel Winterton do swear that I am
acquainted with the above named Jno R Winterton Jr (my son)
and with the facts above stated by him, and that the same are true, to the
best of my knowledge and belief.
Sworn to before me
this 12 day of June
Notary Public, New York.

Based on John R Winterton's use of "Jr," we can now look for a family member in an older generation with this name, such as an uncle.

I do not know if John sailed abroad.  In 1855 he married Sophia Walling in Raritan Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey.  In the 1860 federal census, the growing family was living in nearby Matawan.  (The names and borders of these locations have changed over the years and that is a study unto itself.)