Friday, January 19, 2018

Chasing Charles Luther Across the Globe

Charles Luther is a possible brother of my great great grandfather, Herman Lutter (1860-1924). They were both born in what is now Germany.

Interest in this relation was renewed with a DNA match at

Charles Luther may have lived in Newark, New Jersey with Herman in the 1880s. Charles relocated to Chicago, Illinois and lived with Alexander Lutter, who may have been another brother. Alex Lutter witnessed Herman's marriage to Clara Uhl in Newark in 1888.

In Chicago Charles married Theresa Doanow in 1887. That marriage record did not provide the names of parents. (I wrote to the church but have received no response yet.)

Charles and his family moved to Wisconsin and then to Brooklyn, New York. The final census entry I found for him was the 1915 New York State census.

In 1920 federal census for Brooklyn, Charles' wife, Theresa, was remarried to Frederick Brink. 

The New York City marriage index gave 1917 as the year of Theresa's remarriage.

So I searched for a death record for Charles Luther in Brooklyn from 1915 through 1917, but found no match.

Charles' death record may contain the names of his parents, necessary to show the relationship to my branch.

I ordered the marriage application of Theresa Doanow/Luther and Frederick Brink through the New York City Department of Records and Information Services. (The index was made available through actions of Reclaim the Records.)

I'm glad I ordered this record. Theresa Tornow (morphed from Doanow- remember that spelling is inconsistent) divorced from Charles Luther three days before marrying Frederick Brink.

The records sent included a copy of the divorce decree. The copy is not great, but here it is.

The date of death for Charles Luther is not limited to the date of his wife's remarriage. I need to keep searching in Brooklyn and anywhere he lived or his children lived. He may have married again, too, which would be great because his parents should be on such a record.

The family tree now looks like this:

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Marriage Found

For years the union of my fifth great grandparents, Jonas Long and Elizabeth Merrill, circa 1816, has eluded researchers- until now.

Thanks to cousin Chris G, we have a record of this marriage. The couple was not married in Middlesex County, New Jersey, as was popularly claimed. They were married in Staten Island/Richmond County, New York, at Saint Andrew's Church, on October 13, 1816.

Chris G found this entry in the transcript of the records (viewable at a Family History Library) of Saint Andrew's Church, Staten Island, New York, which still exists.

Merrills were abundant in Northfield in this time period. The Longs were not. Jonas Long was probably from neighboring Middlesex County, New Jersey. His parentage is still a mystery, but a clue is in the naming of a son Jacob Van Pelt Long.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Life of Elizabeth Duryea, born 1836

While collecting marriages of Duryeas in New Jersey, I happened upon a record for Elizabeth T Duryea. She remarried to Augustus B Palmer in 1885 in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey.

This explains why Augustus B Palmer is on the monument for Elizabeth's first husband, children, sister, and mother at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Queens, New York. Elizabeth herself has no inscription and the cemetery found no record of her burial, so her date of death continues to elude me.

Augustus B Palmer was born in Maine around 1843. He probably relocated to New York City in the 1870s. His death in 1891 was reported in The City Record; he joined the police in 1877.

An brief mention in The Evening World newspaper told of Policeman Palmer's death in Maine on April 19, 1891, where he was on sick leave.

Augustus B Palmer also has an inscription on his family's monument in Dover Cemetery in Dover-Foxcroft, Piscataquis County, Maine. His residence, career, and wife in New York City may easily have gone unconnected.

I do not know what became of Elizabeth after the death of Augustus. She does not appear as his widow in the New York City directories.

One year before Augustus' death, Elizabeth was in the 1890 Veterans Schedule at 304 East 125th street in New York City, the same address as the city directories. Closer inspection of her entry shows "Palmer" scribbled next to her name.

Elizabeth's life was not easy.

She was born in 1836 in New York City after the death of her father, John H Duryea. She joined a sister, Catherine Jane. Their mother, Sarah Moffitt, remarried to Joseph Scott.

In 1854, Elizabeth married Joseph Jones in New York City; they adopted the last name Henley. Joseph died during the Civil War as a prisoner in Texas, making her a widow with two children. Any other children had died.

Elizabeth and Joseph had four known children. None had surviving issue. They used the surname Henley.
-Frederick, born about 1855 in Michigan; died 1887 in California.
-Lambert Scott, born about 1858 in Ohio; died in 1861.
-Augustus B, born about 1859 in Ohio; died in 1931.
-Florence May, born about 1863, died in 1864.

I do not know why the children were born outside New York or New Jersey.

After discovering Elizabeth's marriage to Augustus B Palmer, I wonder if there was a prior connection between them that caused her to name a son Augustus B.

Elizabeth's sister, Catherine Jane, first married William Leander, then Harry Abraham Lockwood. These unions produced no known surviving issue. Thus, this branch has extinguished.