Sunday, January 12, 2020

52 Ancestors #3 Long Line of Pedigree Collapse - Long Island Quakers

Part 1
My great grandmother was born in Westbury, Nassau County, NY. Her father was William E Hawxhurst (May 1838 -Feb 1908) farmer and surveyor, son of Ephraim Cock Hawxhurst (1793-1859) and Charity Titus (1802-1877) 
Wm E Hawxhurst
Her mother was Marianna Hicks, daughter of Isaac Hicks (Aug 1815-Mar 1900) and Mary Fry Willis (Jan 1817-Feb 1898).
Both families descended, without straying, from the longest line of Quakers who settled Long Island. [In case your wondering, Marianna’s grandfather, Isaac Hicks, helped fund a cousin, Elias Hicks, in his ministry as a Public Friend early in the 1800s]
Marianna (Hicks) Hawxhurst
A Long Line.
~Imagine you were born and raised on an island with a tiny population.  
~ Imagine that for religious reasons you married only people in your religion & you were prohibited you from marrying outside your religion.  
~ Imagine moving this island, with acres and acres of rich farm land, surrounded by wonderful fishing opportunities, so it adjoins the most powerful & prosperous city of the Western Hemisphere.
This explains who these Ancestral Long Island Quakers were.

How Did They Preserve Community?
My Long Island Quakers married safe people, most often collateral cousins (cousins of cousins).
Their repeated and extensive remarrying in a small geographic area led a LONG LINE of “pedigree collapse.” 
When researching when I need to add (yet another) “Titus” or “Hicks” or “Willis” always I pray for dates and /or parents’ names to get the right person.

Here are the last names of my ancestors going back to the earliest English settlers on Long Island which appear in this (largely) Quaker family tree:
Hicks, Willis, Fry, Rushmore, Doughty, Powell, Kirby, Allen, Alsop, Birdsall, Bowne, Washburn, Carman, Carpenter, Cock(e), Cole(s), Cornell, Doughty, Eme/ory, Feeke (Feake), Haight, Hallet, Hauxhurst (Hawxhurst), Hallowell, Loines, Jackson, Moore, Mott, Noble, Oakley, Pearsall, Powell, Reddock, Rodman, Rushmore, Seaman, Seaman, Sering, Smith, [Spicer, Tilton], Titus, Townsend, Underhill, Valentine, Williams, Willet, Willets, Wood, Wright

The good part of this is whenever I see historical document on Long Island from 1850 or earlier, I can bet my mother’s family has a common ancestor. The difficulty is making the right attribution (which Thomas Powell was this?) 

Part 2
I cannot get away from the long arms of the Long Island Quakers. 
Case in point: Spicer & Tilton.
These names appear in my mother’s FATHER’s lineage. I used to consider them the “Pennsylvania” group. I was wrong. Just a tiny bit of digging and I found out that they came from New Jersey, moving to PA after the Civil War. Oops.
My mother’s father’s family was mostly from New Jersey. But—New Jersey isn’t far from Long Island. It’s here where we reconnect the two ends of my mother’s family.
--Spicer and Tilton began on Long Island
Susannah Spicer was the daughter of Thomas Spicer. 
She was born in Long Island (Flushing), and married Henry Brazier. Susannah (Spicer) Brazier and Henry Brazier remained on Long Island.
Their daughter, Rebecca Brazier, married Peter Tilton (son of John Tilton and Mary Pearsall—there is another Ancient Name of Long Island).
--Brazier-Tilton Move
Rebecca (Brazier) Tilton and Peter Tilton moved to Monmouth, New Jersey. (They were still Quakers).
--Tiltons in New Jersey; and back again.
This Tilton line remained in the New Jersey area (and remained Quaker) at least until 
William Henry Tilton (B. 9 May 1820 Monmouth Co, NJ) and his wife Sarah A Conover (B 12 Aug 1831 of Monmouth Co NJ; D. 5 Jul 1895 in Brooklyn, NY).
They moved to Brooklyn, sometime before 1850 (US Fed. Census).
--Off to Pennsylvania
From mid-1800s the Tiltons lived in Brooklyn, then Henry Addison Tilton and his wife and family moved to Pittsburgh PA.  Since then the Tilton family claimed Pennsylvania as their own. 
--Ultimate Irony
It was ironic for me that I should find out that the Tiltons of Pennsylvania had first settled down in the New World on Long Island, NY.

My mother’s father (Chas Tilton) died in 1987 and was not a Quaker. 
Might he be shocked to find out he and his wife had this in common: Long Island, NY and Quakerism?

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

52 Ancestors # 2 Too Many Favorite Photos!

A Favorite Photo!?

That my great-great grandfather was one of the few photographers of Gettysburg (he & his brother Isaac had a photo studio there), would, seemingly make this an easy choice for me. I'd put in a famous photo such as this (NARA and the Met have some of his) which was taken as the crowd gathered on that day to commemorate the Battle at Gettysburg and Lincoln delivered the "Gettysburg Address"
At Lincoln's Gettysburg Address ~ Chas & Isaac Tyson (Nov 1863)
~ MB Walmer Collection
Or, maybe one of his son, Chester J Tyson, with several US Presidents in Washington DC. Gathered as part of a group spearheading food aid to starving communities in post-World War 1 Europe?
Taft, Wilson, Hoover, etc, Chester Tyson (2nd frm R) in Washington DC post WW 1 ~ MB Walmer Collection
Or, this  AMAZING shot from 1869 of the Westbury Friends (NY) outside their Meeting House. I have the key & the names of each person.
The man on the far left is my maternal great-great grandfather, William E Hawxhurst.
1869 Westbury (NY) Friends Meeting - some members. WE Hawxhurst,far left. ~ AC Johnson Collection
But, perhaps because of my weird sense of humor, I love my father's mother's photo here.
Catherine (Barnwell) Higgins and four of her children about 1945 ~ AC Johnson Collection
When I first saw it I thought "Why would she label the snow?" Did she have a weird sense of the ridiculous.
But because I've taken the time, I know a bit about why this photo is here. 
When my father was in college (he was the eldest), his family's house caught fire and everything was lost. YES. That means all their photos.
Extended family members sent them their copies to help them fill out their collection. A small pile for such a large family, but it's better than nothing.
Here's what I believe happened and why the photo is labeled:
My grandmother and grandfather were both from New York City.
They had moved to Sullivan County (NY), 100 miles away & it was the ends of the earth for them.
I believe she had sent this photo to a sister (or mother) in NYC . 
She labeled the children, then added herself.
Then (if she was feeling tired or a bit tipsy) went on and added "tree" and "snow" and so on.
After the fire, the silly photo came back to her,but at least she had photos of her children. And so do we!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

52 Ancestors #1 2020 Firsts - First Post that ends in -20

Beginning Another Decade: 2020

I enjoy reading 50 years ago, and 100 years ago today in our daily paper. Jan 2020 starts the first full year of the decade of the 20s. What happened to the 0's? and the 10s? they barely registered.

My mother's sister, long deceased, was a genealogist who published genealogical books, answered inquiries (sent by mail), and did research. Margaret B Tilton lived in an ancestral house, in an ancestral community (while her siblings lived elsewhere), and she also had access to the family genealogist who preceded her, her great uncle, her maternal grandfather's brother, Edwin (Ned) Tyson. 

Margaret was not born in her ancestral area, but in Philadelphia. However, during the Depression, as their belts grew tighter, her father finally registered (though he was not a youth) for the newly formed US Air Corps (Air Force).  At last, a chance at a steady income. 

My aunt Margaret and my mother (both in high school), their young brother, and my grandmother packed up and moved back to Adams County, specifically to Biglerville, Pennsylvania. 
In addition to the nuclear family came my grandfather's long-widowed mother, Flora (Bancroft) Tilton, and their cat. 

My grandfather Charles B Tilton, at some point, was posted in England as an intelligence officer for the bombers over Europe (a job he felt ill-equipped for, he admitted later). 

My mother and Margaret both graduated from Biglerville High School. (Their brother's education took some interesting twists before he graduated in the 1950s).

Here is a look back at Biglerville, PA nearly 100 years ago from the files of the "Gettysburg Times." I'm not sure when the paper printed these (probably 1960s). 
I found the clippings in the files of my Aunt Margaret Tilton, Researcher Extraordinaire.

Note the caption on photo 1 says it was donated to the Apple Museum in Biglerville. The Apple Museum has just undergone a major clean up and renovation, courtesy of Gettysburg DAR.

I hope this "round" of 52 Ancestors is completed this year. If only with an interesting photo. And, I hope to update what I have found since I suspended my blogging.
HAPPY 2020!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Schooling and Quakers - Scholarships and College

Higher education (a BA or BS degree and above) for most of the history of the United States has been reachable to only a few: the determined, qualified and monied (or, more recently, those who qualify for student loans).

US colleges initially begun for training ministers in denominations set up the seminary for this purpose, and then they became more broadly defined.

My earliest ancestors were either Quakers or of a denomination which did not have a seminary. The Quakers taught their children (of their community) the basics: reading, writing and ciphering (basic arithmetic). Their incentive was to keep careful records of their "Meetings" (worship centers as they called their churches) as well as committee meetings and monthly and yearly meetings for business (which included aspects of approval and disapproval).

For this reason as well as their belief that men and women are equal, they instructed both girls and boys in the basics.

Generational generosity is so valuable. That's one reason I'm motivated to write personal history: it's generational (me) generosity.

My mother's father Charles B Tilton went to Penn State (State College, PA) on an academic scholarship. He wanted to do horticulture but the scholarship was for dairy farm management. He took it.

He met his wife (my grandmother) there. Her father had close connections with the college through his efforts in setting up all sorts of special programs dealing with fruit growing and transportation.

My grandmother Elizabeth C Tyson was attending college because Quakers believed in schooling for women (this was in the early 1920s) and her father got a break, or a scholarship, I cannot figure out which.

Their daughter, my mother, went to Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island on a scholarship. She loved the fine arts, but was offered a scholarship in textile design. She took it.

My mother met my father in Providence on a blind date. His parents had gone only through grammar school (about 8th grade, but probably more like a 6th grade education because the schools were poor inner city schools).

My father was able to go to college because he qualified for a US Navy scholarship. When they provided the list of colleges he could chose from, he selected the one at the top of the list, not thinking they were alphabetized. So, he chose Brown in Providence. He had a full scholarship.

My husband's parents were not college-educated. His father had a learning disability and never finished high school.

My husband visited a friend who went to college (he was in his final year in high school). He stopped by the admissions office and talked to the people there. When the interviewer asked if he was going to apply my husband told him his parents didn't have enough money for him to go to school. The interviewer told him about the World of Scholarships.

He applied and got a 99% ride, enough money for him to attend college where I met him.

Our two children both applied for scholarships--one had a small loan because he went to a college with a small endowment, the other son had  75% of his college costs covered.

My grandfather worked in WW2 Intelligence and then in the Reconstruction of Europe,
my father got his PhD in Economics, my mother got a masters in Fine Arts and works in fine arts,
my husband got two masters and a PhD in political science. One son has a Masters in Latin American Studies and the other did a double major in college and does stand up and IT.

And I'm a writer.

If you have a dime--give it to a good college's endowment fund--the generational generosity might make a huge difference!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

52 Ancestors #5/2019 DNA, DNA, DNA and more DNA

DNA - the Craze that is Sweeping the Genealogical World

If you're just browsing genealogy, it's hard not to notice the DNA craze.
What you shouldn't expect from DNA is _too_ much. DNA is like buying a lottery ticket with greater chance of a pay out: sometimes  you get nothing for your money, and sometimes you get a lot more than expected.

In my case I took the DNA test and asked my father to do so for a very specific reason. I could only go so far with genealogical records: his paternal grandfather was missing from his father's birth record. 
I thought I might find a collateral descendant (if this fellow had other children).

My father who most of the DNA hullabaloo was nonsense (except for medical research) but consented to do his DNA for this particular reason. He had received not his paternal name, but his father's mother's name (Higgins) DNA could help us crack the case.

Five months rolled by and I received a message from AncestryDNA. "You might be my cousin." It turns out that the woman who contacted me had had her own father do his DNA. 

She was able to fill in the stories and give me some leads which I can pursue in research:

She told me three of her father's great uncles immigrated from Ireland to New York City at the turn of the century. They lost contact with the family in the old country. 

According to family stories, one moved to California and died in San Francisco, and the other two brothers remained in the greater New York area.

The brothers owned a liquor store in lower Manhattan, not far from where my great grandmother worked. 

In our case the DNA test confirmed that my father and her father had the same grandparents in County Cavan,Ireland. I now know my great grandfather's name, and his parents, and so on.

We also found out that my father's last name, had they wed, would have been Cassidy and not Higgins.

My husband's sisters wanted to find out their ethncity from their brother's (my husband's) DNA. 

But DNA doesn't work that way, as some children will have a greater % of one ethnicity than the other. 
And, current DNA ethnicities are built around living data profiles of DNA, so the DNA of  a long distant ancestor is likely very different from your grandparents' of the same area. 

My all four of my husband's sisters contributed their DNA. With the DNA of 4 children (1 is deceased) of the same parents, we got about an 80% degree level of accuracy with regard to their ethnic makeup.

But, it was somewhat redundant. None of their ethnic background surprised us because we had a family tree that was filled out fairly accurately.

What's the use of DNA? 
1 Linking a family tree to a DNA test is probably the best thing you can do (unless you are looking for a missing parent).

2 Tie up "loose ends" - Take care of loose ends and brick walls. 

My grandfather's paternity was a loose end. DNA helped us find his family. 

But, my husband has a similar situation:
there is a family story that attributes a gr grandfather who died suddenly. 

He left no other children, no mark, no wedding license with his Canadian wife, and to make things worse for a researcher, his name was John Johnson of Boston. 
 That doesn't narrow the field at all. 

My husband has done a DNA test, linked his tree to it, and he has also done a Y-DNA test. 

We're still waiting for a 'tug" on the line.
And many days I wonder if his gr grandfather was John Johnson of Sweden in Boston, after all.

Monday, April 1, 2019

52 Ancestors #4/2019 Loyalists or Turncoats? Pioneers in Canada - John Savage and Ann Pratt

                             Loyalists or Turncoats?                                                         Pioneers in Canada: John Savage & Ann Pratt

John Johnson Jr at his 5th gr-grandparents' gravestones, Bromont, Quebec
 John Savage – Tory, Land Developer, Militia Officer, and JP; Canada’s Paul Bunyan

B 1740 in Ireland; 
M. Ann Pratt, probably in Spencertown, N.Y. Children: 
seven children;                  
D 27 Sept. 1826 in West Shefford (Bromont), Lower Canada, and was buried there two days later.
Ann Pratt, daughter of Elisha Pratt and Ann Porter, B 1740 New London, CT, USA and D Jun 1822 in  Shefford, Quebec, Canada  

CHILDREN: John Savage Jr 1770–1858, Abraham Savage 1770–?, Lydia Savage 1772–1852, Anna Savage 1774–1841, Rhoda Savage 1776–1845, Mary Savage ?, Olive Savage 1786–1820,Joseph Plumer Savage 1794–1868
Portion of article below by Marie-Paule R. LaBrèque

"Before the American revolution the Savages owned land at Spencertown, where they had become quite influential.In 1775 John Savage refused command of the local company of the Continental Army, despite pressure from fellow citizens and two of his brothers-in-law. 
As a result, he was considered to be an enemy, was ordered to put up a guarantee, and then was imprisoned.
Being daring and resourceful, he succeeded in escaping after several attempts and reached New York, where in 1776 he obtained a commission as a lieutenant in the Loyal Rangers. 

He was captured again, narrowly missed being hanged, and was incarcerated for several months. After being freed, he served in the British army as a spy during the summer of 1782. 
His zeal in the missions he carried out in the states of New York and Vermont earned him the highest praise.
However, republican hostility forced him to secure his family’s safety. Bearing a safe conduct, Savage and his family, with his brother James, left Crown Point, N.Y., and sought refuge in the province of Quebec in October 1783. Savage applied for lands east of Lake Champlain.

The Allen brothers, who commanded the Green Mountain Boys, were then trying to attract loyalists to Vermont, claiming that in so doing they were promoting the annexation of Vermont to Quebec.
Savage had served as an intermediary between the Allens and the military authorities in Quebec, and he supported this plan with the assent of some senior officers, despite the opposition of Governor Frederick Haldimand, who did not favour settlement near the American border. 

In 1784 and for some years thereafter, Savage was living at Alburgh, south of the border, on what had been the seigneury of Foucault. The Allens, however, became supporters of Congress, and tried to make him take the oath of allegiance in 1791. Along with a number of other loyalists, he was forced to move to Caldwell’s Manor, a property in Lower Canada belonging to Henry Caldwell.

On 16 July 1792 Savage petitioned for the grant of Shefford Township. Like most of those signing petitions, he completed the many formalities at great expense: securing permission for a survey, drawing up a list of associates, taking various steps with the commissioners, as well as making several trips to Quebec, Chambly, and Missisquoi Bay. 

Once he had taken the oath of allegiance in 1792, he busied himself opening up roads and completing the survey of the township, always at his own expense and even though he had no title to the land.
His family had to make do with a log cabin, and in the first winter he lost nearly all his livestock. 

Quarrels between Governor Robert Prescott and the Executive Council were to paralyse land granting for some years. Tired of parading his service record and demanding fair compensation for his losses during the American revolution, he joined other dissatisfied people, among them Samuel Willard, in sending an agent to London to plead their cause. 

In February 1800 Samuel Gale presented a report on their behalf, which caused some commotion in high places at Quebec. On 10 Feb. 1801 the letters patent for Shefford Township were formally granted; Savage and his 38 associates, a group including his son John and three of his sons-in-law, were then able to divide up about 34,000 acres. 

To ensure financing for his undertaking Savage had engaged in real estate transactions even before the official grant was made, and he continued to make deals afterwards.

In 1805 Savage received a captain’s commission in the 2nd battalion of the Eastern Townships Militia.
The following year he obtained a commission as justice of the peace for the district of Montreal, which was renewed in 1810 and 1821. His home was long the scene of the principal events in the township; even religious services were held there. Anglican minister Charles James Stewart came to Shefford in 1808 and met Savage and his family. 
Later he never failed to visit him when making pastoral rounds, and he held Savage in high esteem.

Despite his 72 years Savage wanted to play a part in the War of 1812. When on 10 Jan. 1813 Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Johnson created the Frontier Light Infantry, Savage obtained a captain’s commission in the regiment.
On 13 August the Frontier Light Infantry was attached to the Voltigeurs Canadiens, under Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry; it formed the 9th and 10th companies in that regiment at the end of the war.

By then, Shefford Township had a population of about 500. There were still no roads, despite efforts by Savage, who had cleared the first path from Missisquoi Bay in 1792. 

In 1799 he turned his attention to the construction of a road to Montreal through Dorchester (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu) or the seigneury of Saint-Hyacinthe. Government grants would allow the construction of real roads, which Savage supervised, around 1816.

The establishing of regular religious services and the building of a church meant a great deal to Savage. 

Early in 1818 he told Stewart of his plan, and on 14 Oct. 1819 he gave him four acres near his home for a church, as well as 800 acres worth £200. 
Savage, who by then was 80, supervised the construction of the church in the summer of 1820, and he supplemented with his own money the small grant from the Anglican diocese. Perhaps he was too generous, since on 20 March 1824 he was taken to court by Saint-Hyacinthe merchant Joseph Cartier, who as his supplier since 1801 was claiming £42 from him. Savage could only give him two heifers in payment, and on 4 July 1825 two of his lots were seized by the sheriff and sold.

Like a true patriarch John Savage passed away in the midst of his family, a son and five daughters, their spouses, and 47 grandchildren all born in Shefford Township.

Savage had identified himself with this corner of the country which he had made his own by enterprise and perseverance. He had never swerved from his path, and his name remains associated with a lasting work."

 FROM:  -Marie-Paule R. LaBrèque - © 1987–2019 University of Toronto/Université Laval
Marie-Paule R. LaBrèque, “SAVAGE, JOHN,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 6, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed March 22, 2019, Permalink:
Author:Marie-Paule R. LaBrèque
Publication:Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 6
Publisher:University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:1987
Access Date:March 22, 2019
Location of Concord in Columbia Co, NY, USA
1790 John Savage Claim (front)
1790 John Savage Claim (back)
Home of John Savage in Bromont, Quebec, Canada

Death Record, John Savage