Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Revisiting Graves

My aunt gave me some pictures taken in a cemetery, probably in the late 1960s.  I recognized the setting as Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County, New York.  My grandmother, Beulah, was buried in this cemetery in 2003.  The Brewer lot (504 and 505) is the subject of the older pictures, particularly George W Duryea (1823-1864) and Rene Brewer (1824-1904).  Beulah descends from Rene's first marriage to John Evenshirer; and from George's brother, Stephen C Duryea.  George Duryea was a policeman killed in New York City.

Brewer lot (504 and 505) at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
The rails and chains connecting the posts are disappearing.
Years from now, visitors may not be able to see that all of these stones were once in the same lot.

I tried to capture the scenes in new pictures.  The sun cast deep shadows on the stones, making them even more unreadable.  Most of the trees and bushes have been removed.

The large stone on the left is for David Mann Lent (1811-1892) and Jennet Conklin (1814-1902).

My grandmother has several ancestors buried at Sleepy Hollow, making this a great stop for exploring this branch of my family's history.

Mother:  Rene Marion Duryea (1900-1943)

Maternal grandfather:  Abraham Brewer Duryea (1878-1944)

Great grandfather:  Stephen C Duryea (1814-1887)

Great great grandparents:  Ann S Cornell (1784-1871)
Rene Brewer (1824-1904)

Great great great grandparents:  James Brewer (1798-1849)
Mary Ann Lent (1796-1875)

4X great grandparents:  Solomon Brewer (1746-1824)
Rene Benton (1764-1841)
Abraham Lent (1772-1851)
Margaret Mann (1773-1844)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Unfettered Record

After supplying copies of the death certificates of her parents, I received an unrestricted copy of my mother's application for a Social Security number (Form SS-5).  The first copy blacked out the names of her parents.  The enclosed letter explained that her parents could still be living, but I could appeal the decision with proof of their deaths.  I have not been able to find any official restrictions about blocking or revealing the full application.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fifth Blogoversary

Today is the fifth anniversary of launching this blog.

In that time, I have expanded my family tree through collaboration with others, improved research skills, and online access to images of previously unattainable records.

In the past year, some of the more notable progress:

  • Discovered the town of origin in Germany for a great great grandfather, Hermann Lutter
  • Established contact with a descendant of the sister of the immigrating ODonnell ancestor
  • Found a picture of a great great grandfather, Abraham Brewer Duryea, whose face I had never seen
  • Obtained divorce records for a set of great grandparents, Howard Lutter and Ethel Laurel Winterton
  • Visited cemeteries in Monmouth County, New Jersey to further research on my Winterton, Walling, Dunlop, and Dunn ancestors
  • Found the death certificate to match the family story of my mother's uncle dropping dead while playing golf
  • Y-DNA tests done for DuryeaODonnell, and Winterton lines
  • Expanded an Irish branch by finding a cousin through DNA
  • Found a newspaper article confirming a family story that a great-great-great grandmother, Mary Campbell, was able to save the baby in her arms before she herself was killed by a train
  • Found a newspaper marriage notice for a set of great-great-great grandparents, Stephen C Duryea and Mary Ann Evenshirer, the only piece of evidence for this date
  • Contacted by my father's third cousin from the Uhl and Patschke branch, provided family heirlooms, and added him to the family DNA collaboration
  • Researched Irish records online for the first time when the town, Skull in County Cork, was provided via a DNA match
  • Acquired a picture of Duryea cousins circa 1905
  • Visited the New Jersey State Archives six times in the past year

I hope that the next year of research will further expand my family trees through research and DNA.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Y-DNA Results for Winterton

A cousin has kindly tested his Y chromosome at FamilyTreeDNA for the family's Y-DNA study of the surname Winterton.  (Duryea, Lutter, and ODonnell have already tested.)

The last person named Winterton in my line was Laura Winterton (1891-1962), my great grandmother.  A direct male descendant of Laura's brother was the donor of this DNA.  To test the Y chromosome of ancestors in your tree, you need to find a living direct male descendant of the male ancestor of interest.  This living cousin has a Y chromosome identical or almost identical to Laura's father, William Winterton (1862-1932).

The most distant Winterton ancestor I have traced to date was William Winterton, whose will was probated in New York City in 1785.  Y-DNA testing can boost research back in time, beyond this William.

235 other people "match" my cousin at the 25 marker level.  None trace their ancestry back to someone named Winterton.  One person matches at the next and highest level we tested, 37 markers.  His ancestry traces back to Little Thurlow in Suffolk, England.  I suspect English roots for William Winterton, so this is a good place to start looking for him.

When working with DNA cousins, look for the same geographical location.  Surnames will vary and change.  You have an ancestor in common with a DNA match because your ancestral lines crossed at the same time in the same place, regardless of the surname subsequent generations were called.

Only match at the 37 marker level

Most similar matches at the 25 marker level.

Map of places of origin for the most distant paternal ancestor.
Heaviest concentrations in United Kingdom and northeastern United States.

Closest matches in Europe.  Heaviest concentration in United Kingdom and Ireland.