Monday, April 30, 2012

Ruggles - Massey Marriage Certificate

Visiting in Colorado to help take care of my mom while my sister and brother-in-law have an anniversary trip, I was going through an interesting old box. I believe it was some kind of combination make-up and jewelry box with mirrors, drawers and many little compartments. It came from my mother's step-father's family.

Kenneth Massey Branchflower married my grandmother Ada Grace Colby Werst on 22 May 1944 after a long courtship. Their families lived on farms on opposite sides of Old Yamhill Road about 2 miles outside of Newberg, Oregon.

I believe the box either belonged to Kenneth's maternal grandmother Lutharia Ruggles Massey or to his mother Cora Massey Branchflower.

At the bottom of the box, folded in sixths, was this wedding certificate. It reads:

Marriage Certificate
This Writing is to Certify
that on the 2 day of November A. D.
1870 at the house of Stanley Ruggles
in Marion county, Wm P. Massey and Lutharia Ann Ruggles were by me united
in the bonds of Wedlock, in due accordance with the forms of law
and the ordinance of God.

Mary J. Long
Elizabeth Massey

J. C. Knight
Pastor Congregational Church

I decided to post this information on my blog to see if we could find descendants interested in the Marriage Certificate so it could be returned to the family.

We always considered Kenneth Branchflower to be our grandfather "Poppy" and he did not have any children of his own. His grandparents William Pleasant Massey and Lutharia Ann Ruggles had six children. I don't believe that sons William S. A. "Ad" Massey, Ira Massey or Harley Massey had children. Harley was married to my grandmother's sister Madge Colby. Daughter Emma married a man named Wilmot O. Cooper and they had at least three children. According to a family tree on, daughter Lula married a man named Wiley Milton Wilson in 1907. That tree does not list any offspring.

Hopefully, a descendant of Wm. P. and Lutharia will see this posting and comment.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Celebrating Pauline Nelda Haas' and Edward Ebert Kelly's Wedding Anniversary

I hope April 25, 1947 was a beautiful spring day in Philadelphia. This young couple certainly looks happy and full of hope and they deserved to have a beautiful day for the wedding.

Edward Ebert Kelly was born in Philadelphia 03 April 1926 to William Joseph Kelly and his wife Alice Mae Hanna. The 5th child and 2nd son in the family, Eddie was supposed to have been named after his maternal grandfather, Edward Everett Hanna, but someone made a mistake on this birth certificate and he became Edward Ebert.

Eddie's father William Joseph Kelly had been born into a family of liquor merchants, or at least they had been liquor merchants until prohibition. William started his career as a shipbuilder at "Hog Island" in Philadelphia and felt confident enough in his position to marry 17 year old Alice Mae Hanna. Unfortunately, the shipbuilding was ended by post World War I negotiations, so William became a tapestry weaver. He was killed in 1939 when Eddie was about 13.

William's daughter, Marie Kelly Beaumont, used to relate that everyone in the family had to work to try support the family after her father's death. Aunt Marie said the family moved frequently because they could not afford to pay the rent. She left the impression that Eddie quit school and went to work but he states he had "4 years of high school" when he enlisted in the U. S. Army on 21 Jul 1944. He lists his occupation as a pressman and "plate printer" probably at the Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper.

Eddie was never sent overseas. He spent his tour of duty at Fort Ord, Monterey County, California. When we were stationed at Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey in the 1970s, Pauline visited and commented on what a beautiful setting it had been for an army base.

Ed was back in Philadelphia in late 1946. We assume he went back to work for the Bulletin and evidently had saved enough to get married by Apr. 1947.

Pauline was the first daughter and second child of John Haas and Maude Hannah Stump.  She was born in April 1928 and grew up in the multi-generational home of her paternal grandmother and step-grandfather Paul Schick (shortened from Schickendantz) and Thusnelda Hoffman Schick. Thusnelda had been born in Switzerland and Paul's father and mother were from Germany. She was named Pauline Nelda for her grandparents. Paul was a conductor for the street cars in Philadelphia.

Pauline was a bright young woman who competed and won a place at the prestigious Philadelphia High School for girls. She graduated from Girls' High in 1946 and got a job in a bank.

I hope someone in the family remembers the story of how their parents met. Sadly, my husband does not. They lived in the same area of West Philadelphia. Church can be ruled out as Eddie had been raised Catholic and Pauline was a Methodist.

The couple had five children, Edward William, Russel Allan, Patricia Ann, Robert Stephen (deceased), and Doreen Lynn. Unfortunately, their marriage only lasted ten years. However, today we celebrate the hope of 65 years ago and the four children, 6 grandchildren, and one great-grand-child they left behind.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Remembering Mary Wilson Propes

Today we honor the memory of Mary Wilson Propes who was born in North Carolina on 22 Apr 1822, the daughter of Richard Wilson and Sarah Hyde. She married Nicholas Augustus Propes in 1837. Not long after that the Propes and Wilson clans moved to Hall County, in the northwest of Georgia (Gainesville is the county seat).

They settled on a farm near Flowery Branch and raised a family of ten children, nine boys and one girl.
In 1860, their farm was prosperous, the census list the value of Nicholas' real estate at $4,000 and personal property at an additional $1,000.

Several of the sons served in the 43rd Georgia Infantry during the Civil War and one son, Richard W. Propes was killed at Paris, Kentucky 31 Oct 1862. His brothers Rufus and John went a.w.o.l. to bring the body back home to Hall County before rejoining their regiment in time for the battles of Shiloh and Vicksburg. Two of the boys and daughter Sarah died before they were adults.

By 1870 the economic situation of the family had changed dramatically. The 1870 census shows a real estate value of only $800 and $100 personal property. Life was so difficult after the war, that two of the boys, John Alexander and Augustus Propes took their families west to Rusk County, Texas.

The 1880 census did not provide land or property valuation. Nicholas and Mary are still living and working on the farm. Mary dies in 1890 out living her husband by 15 months.

She is the 4th great-grand-mother of my son-in-law.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beware of Lightning Strikes

The weatherman said that there were more than 3,000 lightning strikes in and around Houston during yesterday's storm which reminded me of the death of my 9th great-grandfather Humphrey Tiffany(for family members, here is the descent: Cecily daughter of Charles N. Cone, Jr.; son of Charles N. Cone, Son of Helen Brown Newton and Fredrick Naaman Cone, Daughter of Mary Elizabeth Clarke and Charles Shepard Newton, Daughter of John Champion Clarke, son of James Augustus Clarke, son of Anna Lyman Tiffany and James Clarke, daughter of Isaiah Tiffany, Son of Thomas Tiffany, son of said Humphrey Tiffany).

According to Ella F. Wright who in 1904 published a "Genealogical Sketch of the Tiffany Family",
"Squire Humphrey is the earliest Tiffany mentioned in Colonial history, and he is undoubtedly the ancestor of the majority of Tiffanys in America." (Note: this book is available at Genealogical Sketch of the Tiffany Family at  Most reports have him being born and baptised the same day at St. John's Church in the Hackney parish area of London, England. It is thought that he arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1660.

He makes his first appearance on this side of the pond in, "Records of Ancient Rehoboth. History of New Plymouth" by Baylis, Vol. 1, page 209. On "Jan. 22, 1663 Humphrey Tiffany permitted to be a sojouner and to buy and hire."  I believe a sojouner was a clothier, or seller of clothing. Later that year, "Att the General Court holden att Plymouth the first day of March, Anno Dom., 1663 Humphrey Tiffany made a complaint against an Indian for abuse received." There is no further information on the type of abuse or the resolution of the case.

Humphrey and his wife Elizabeth (surname unknown) had six children who have left either records and/or descendants, sons, James, Thomas, Ebenezer, Consider and Hezekiah, and daughter Sarah who was born July 6, 1683. They are living in Swansea by the time daughter Sarah is born.

Squire Humphrey was on his way from Swansea to Boston when he was struck by lightning. Luckily a report of his demise survives in the diary of Samuel Sewell (Publications of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. 5, fifth series, page 88). "Wednesday. P.M., July 15, 1685. Very dark and great thunder and lightning. One Humphrey Tiffany and Frances Low, daughter of Antony Low, are slain with the lightning and thunder about a mile and a half beyond the Billinges Farm, the horse also slain, that they rode on and another horse in Company slain and his rider who held the garment on the Maid to steady it at the time the Stroke a coat or cloak, stoned, but not killed. Were coming Boston. Antony Low being in Town and sad. Bill was put up with (regards) of that solemn judgment of God; Fast-day Forenoon. July 15, 1685, 2 persons, 2 horses."

Another account was published in "New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A record of the achievements of her people in the making of commonwealths and the founding of a nation." by William Richard Cutter in 1915 (also available at ) Page 1160. "He was killed by lightning between Swansea and Boston, and that for a long time a metal tablet was affixed to the tree beneath which he had sought shelter. There was an inscription on the tree setting forth the incident and concluding with the following,

Squire Humphrey Tiffany
And Mistress Low
By a stroke of lightning
Into Eternity did go.

The tree and tablet are long gone so we hope for the veracity of the earlier reports.

Elizabeth Humphrey was considered a capable woman and was qualified by the general court as the executrix of her husbands estate.
Unfortunately, mother nature was not finished wrecking havoc in the Tiffany family. Son Hezekiah drowned in the Swanzey river on December 4, 1685.

As for the other obvious question... yes, the founders of Tiffany & Co. were also descendants of Squire Humphrey and Elizabeth.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The rest of the story....

When we last left Laurens Duyts, he had been flogged, had his right ear cut off and had been banished from New Amsterdam for 50 years. His wife and girl friend had both been stripped naked to the waist and publicly whipped. Things are not looking good, to say the least.

How did Laurens Duyts find himself in this predicament?

Here's what may have happened. Ytie and Laurens married in Amsterdam shortly before sailing for the new world. They became parents of three children Margariet born 1639, Jan Laurenszen, born 1642, and Hans Laurentzen born 1644. Each of the children was baptised in the Dutch Reformed Church. By 1658, Laurens is 48 and Ytie about 38. Their children, even the youngest, would have been considered adults.

Divorce was rare and largely illegal. Perhaps, the four individuals involved had decided to change their living arrangements, thinking that no one would be the wiser. Unfortunately for all concerned, Laurens talks to Pieter Jansen Noorman about leasing some land. We do not know whether Laurens or Pieter initiated the discussion. Turns out Pieter had already leased the land to Hermen Barensen and was suing him for failure to pay the rent.

In the Court Minutes of New Amsterdam in 1658 we find,

“Pieter Jansen Noorman, pltf, v/s Hermen Barensen, deft. Pltf. Says he hired his land to the deft. For the time of six years for which the deft. shall pay rent for the first year fl. 250. And every year after fl. 200 to the end of the lease according to contract exhibited in Court, but that the deft. Has not fulfilled the contract. Deft. Answers he leased the land from the pltf., when the grain was standing and he could not examine it and he afterwards found, that the land was nothing else than rocks and stone and could not make that money of it, and aided the pltf. 15 days; also that he the pltf., leased the land again for fl. 600 for four years, being willing to prove it. Pieter Jansen is asked if he has hired the land again? Answers, he has partially agreed with Lauweren Grootshoe, but has not included as he wants fl, 300, a year and Lauwerens will not give more that fl 200. The Court orders the deft. Hermen Barensen to prove on next Court day, that the plft. Pieter Jansen has re-leased the land." (The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674 Anno Domini, edited by Berthold Fernow, The Knickabocker Press 1898).
I have not found a resolution to this case but Laurens Duyts and company are shortly hauled before Peter Stuyvesant for their punishment. Perhaps, officers of the court came looking for Laurens in regard to the case and discovered his living situation.
On December 12, the court responding to the petition of John Parcel and Ytie, “two sorrowful  sinners,” for pardon and leave to marry, it was ordered that they might remain three months to settle their affairs, but must separate from each other at once. (Dutch New York by Esther Singleton, Ayer Publishing, 1968, page 216.
What exactly happened to Ytie is lost to the annals of time. But Laurens' is one of the first marriage records in the Bergen Dutch Reformed Church in what is now Jersey City. On 1 Jan 1666,  he marries Grietje Jans (perhaps the sister of Ytie Jans) and perhaps the "other woman" from so long ago.  The church was founded in 1660 after Laurens had been in New Jersey for more than one year. Perhaps it took six years for the church members to forgive his early trespasses.

This illustration of the type of building that might have first housed the Dutch Reformed Congregation of Bergen from
Some of the answers to the situation may lie in the translation of Court Records from the 17th century Dutch. Wouldn't it be great to have a look at the original documents.
Perhaps Laurens really was a sconderel, but perhaps he was just "pursuing happiness."
He died in 1668 and is buried in the old church burying ground. If he had a headstone, it has not survived.

Friday, April 13, 2012

More than one bad apple, Laurens Duyts

When I called my genealogy organization "One Bad Apple Genealogy", I was referring to Nils aka Nicholas Hornell, my 6th great-grandfather on my Cone side who was an excommunicated Lutheran Minister. Since then I've discovered another "bad apple" on my Grandmother Hazel Bynon Allen's side, Laurens Duyts.

Duyts? That's a surname unknown to many family members. What is the relationship to us? That's a good place to start. He is my 8th great-grandfather. The family tree is as follows: My father, Charles Newton Cone, Jr. was the son of Hazel Bynon Allen, the daughter of Ida Mae Dye, the daughter of Amon Dye, Jr., the son of Amos Dye, the son of John Dye, Jr., the son of John Dye, the son of John Laurens Dey, the son of Hans Laurentzen Duyts, the son of the said bad apple, Laurens Duyts. One can see from the lineage, that there were several spellings of the name due to inconsistency as well as translation from the Danish, to Dutch, to English.

Danish? There are Danes in our family tree? Yes, there are.

The image at left is from the LDS Family History Library film 0113198 of the records for the Nederland Hervormede Kerk Book 448-449, Page 153. Translated it reads....

28 Aug 1638

"Laurens Dyijs from Noortstrant, a laborer living at the Brouwergracht, aged 26 years, with Ytgie Jans from Amsterdam aged 18 years" intend to wed.

For those of us who have visited with my sister Trude in Amsterdam, we remember the Brouwersgracht as one of the most picturesque canals in the city. In the 17th century, it was the docking point for ships returning with spices from the East Indies, and lined with warehouses and trade buildings. It also housed a number of breweries as it was easy to transport fresh water to the site. Today the warehouses have been turned into apartment buildings.

The record says that Laurens is from Noortstrant. This probably referred to Nordstrand Island part of a chain of Islands that run from the Dutch province of Friesland north past the German coast line and along the southern part of the Danish coast. Nordstrand Island lies in the Danish Region and during Laurens Duyts' time it was part of Schlesweg-Holstein.

Why is our young Dane in Amsterdam?  During the night of October 11-12, 1634, a storm raging off the North Sea destroyed the coastline of North Friesland. Nordstrand Island sustained the most damage and more than 6,000 people drowned. If Laurens was in Nordstrand that night he was very lucky to be alive. The economy was devastated so people scattered to the places where they could find work, like Amsterdam.

A man named Cor Snabel has created a website that explains the flood and includes some contemporary accounts. Cor Snabel's Flood of Nordstrand Island 1634 It is worth a visit.

Not long after his marriage, Laurens and his wife and her sister leave from Hoorn,  Holland on the "Brant van Troygen" commanded by Captain Jochiem Pietersen Kuyter. It arrives in New Amsterdam sometime during the month of July. Evidently, he did not have the funds necessary for their passage, because on 21 Jul 1639 he makes his mark on a lease from Jonas Bronck (for whom Bronx will later be named). "They shall be at liberty to plant tobacco and maize, on the express condition that every two years they shall clear new pieces of land. Furthermore, Pieter Andriesz and Lourens Duyts bind and pledge their persons and properties for payment of what Mr. Bronck has disbersed for them on board the ship De Brant van Troyen, 120 guilders, 16 stivers, of which Pieter Andriessen must pay fl 81:4 and Lourens Duyts fl. 49:12. Done in Fort Asterdam 21st of July 1639. (from the Dye

Doesn't sound like a bad apple yet. Laurens and Ytie have three children who are baptised in the Dutch Reformed Church in New Amsterdam. But, Laurens who is often referred to as "Groet Foot or Big Foot" because of his size, seems to be a difficult person, frequently involved in quarrels with his neighbors and fellow citizens. There are many references to these problems in the Dutch manuscripts from New Amsterdam.

On November 25, 1658, Governor General Pieter Stuyvesant sentences "Laurens Kuyts, of Holstein, for selling his wife, Ytie Jansen, and forcing her to live in adultery with another man, and for living himself also in adultery, to have a rope tied around his neck, and then to be severely flogged, to have his right ear cut off, and to be banished for 50 years."

As Paul Harvey used to say... tomorrow the rest of the story.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Huguenin Property in Purrysburgh, South Carolina

In searching through the South Carolina Digital Archives last month, I found this wonderful description of land our ancestor purchased in Purrysburgh, South Carolina.

David Huguenin (age 60), wife Susanne Jacot (age 47) and their children Danl (age 14), Marguerite (age 12), Abraham (age 10) and David (age 8) appear on "A List of the Germains and Switz Protestants under the Command of Collo Purry qualified before his Excellency Robert Johnson Esquire Governour of this Province on the 22 and 23 dayes of December 1732." They arrived at the port of Charles Town, South Carolina. David evidently was concerned that his children have title to the land he had purchased on the east bank of the Savannah River. The document above shows the plat of land he places in the names of his children. The document transcribes as follows:

So. Carolina
The above plat (here pictured to the right) represents the shape and marks of two hundred acres of land situate in the Township of Purrysburgh in Grainville County. Bounding to the north on Jean Baptist Bourgoins land, to the E on Leonard Franks to the south partly on the Glebe Land & partly on David Geroud Land and to the west on the River Savannah. Admeasure & laid out to Daniel, Abraham and Marguerite Huguenin Minors pursuant to a receipt dated the 23d day of Feby under the Honorable the hand of James St. John, Esqr. Certified the 7th Day of June 1733.
B. J. Ouldfield

We do not know the exact date of David's death but both he and Susanne are listed on the 1743 census of Purrysburg. There seem to be two listings for David Huguenins, so I am assuming that one is the father and one the son. The two older sons Daniel and Abraham go north to Kinderhook, New York where Abraham marries Christina Van Valkenburgh in January 1747. The youngest son, David stays in South Carolina and about 1782 purchases Roseland Plantation which has been confiscated from a Tory after the Revolutionary War. Some of the southern branch of the Huguenin family still retains that property.

David Huguenin is my sixth great grandfather. The descent as follows: Cecily Cone Kelly, daughter of Betty Werst Cone, daughter of Grace Colby Werst, daughter of Mary Elizabeth "Mamie" Hugunin Colby, daughter of Van Epps Hugunin, son of Richard Hugunin, son of David Huguenin, son of Abraham Huguenin, son of David Huguenin and Susanne Jacot.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finding Family in the 1940 Census

With the National Archives release of the 1940 census yesterday, the hunt is on to find family members in the census. Since the census has not yet been indexed, it is easiest to find those who are in the same place as they were in the 1930 census. Here is the census record for Ed's mother, her siblings, parents and paternal grandmother. Thusnelda Schick is listed as the head of household at age 65, Widowed. The Census lists her as having been born in Pennsylvania but she was actually born in Switzerland.
Living in the household are her son John Haas at age 48 who works as a roofer for a contracting office. His wife Maude, age 33, with no occupation. Their children Donald, age 15, who though attending school also works shining shoes, and daughters Pauline age 11 and Louise age 9 who are attending school.
The family is living at 6062 W. Girard Avenue, the same house where they lived until John Haas aka "Pop Pop" lived until he died.

The photo above is how the 3 bedroom, one bath house looks today. It must have been crowded with six people living there in 1940. I never thought to ask Pauline about the sleeping arrangements. Pauline Nelda was named for her grandparents Thusnelda and Paul Schick. Paul died on 24 Apr 1939, just about a year before this census was taken 13 Apr 1940.
It will be much harder to find Ed's father and his family in the census as their financial situation forced them to move frequently.