Friday, February 28, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 weeks #9 Rhoda Hopkins Warner

Dear Great Grandmother Warner,
According to the information published in The Descendants of Andrew Warner by Lucien C. Warner in 1919, today is the 245th anniversary of your birth. It is said that you were born in Mansfield, Connecticut, the daughter of Elisha and Druscilla Conant Hopkins and baptized Rhoda.
This map of Connecticut from shows
Tolland, County  highlighted  in orange and Mansfield in red.

There was a good deal of unrest in Connecticut in 1769, as settlers began to chafe under the increasingly restrictive English rule. No written records of where your father stood at this time remain. As the father of five young children, Elisha was probably more concerned with supporting his growing family. No record has been found of a trade that your father practiced so it is assumed that he was a farmer. In the fall of 1777 he was drafted into the militia. It must have been tough on your family for your father to be away, particularly at harvest time. As the oldest of the children, did you help with the harvest or caring for the younger ones?

Williams-Salter House built about 1711 in Mansfield
from Historic Buildings of Connecticut
Was your home similar to the Williams-Salter House which remains standing today?

What did you know about your heritage? About the same number of generations separate us (you are my 4th great grandmother) as separate you from Giles Hopkins who came to Plymouth on the Mayflower. Were you aware of the Pilgrims in your background? Your mother Drucilla Conant was the great great granddaughter of Roger Conant who was arguably the first Governor of what would become Massachusetts Bay Colony. 
Statue of Roger Conant founder of Salem, Massachusetts
There are so many questions for you. When did you marry Thomas Warner?  The extended family seems to have relocated to  Otsego County, New York about 1800. Thomas' father Eleazer is listed as living in Burlington in the 1800 Federal Census. Your family is living in nearby Pittsfield. Thomas died in 1833 however a will or letters of administration for his estate have not been found. Had the farm already been passed on to one of your sons?

Just wanted you to know, that we are continuing to look for clues to the rest of your story.
Cecily Cone Kelly

PS. For Family Members
Our descent from Rhoda Hopkins
Thomas and Rhoda Hopkins Warner's daughter Joanna Warner married Naaman Cone
Their son William Warner Cone married Eliza Utley;
Their son Frederick Naaman Cone married Helen Brown Newton;
Their son Charles Newton Cone married Hazel Bynon Allen,
Their son Charles Newton Cone married Betty Lorraine Werst
I am their daughter. 

52 Posts in 52 weeks - Week 1Lieutenant Jonathan Lyman

Dear Grandparents,
Another geneablogger challenged each of us to write something about a different ancestor each week during 2014. Traveling to Salt Lake in both January and February has put me behind in these posts, but I am determined to catch up. Your stories are all so interesting that I could have spent the rest of the year trying to decide who to write about. In the end, I arbitrarily selected an ancestor who had a vital event (birth, marriage, death) during that week.

Lieutenant Jonathan Lyman

Jonathan's ancestry can be traced to High Ongar, Essex County, England. His great grandfather Richard Lyman was baptized there 30 October 1580. Richard, his wife Sarah Osborne and their five children left Bristol, England August 1631 on the ship Lion, mastered by William Pierce, bound for New England. At the mercy of difficult winds, they landed first in Long Island before arriving in Boston November 2nd. Among their fellow passengers were Martha Winthrop, 3rd wife of Governor John Winthrop as well as his eldest son and family.
This map, from, shows the location of High Ongar.

The son of Richard and Elizabeth Cowels Lyman, Jonathan was born 01 January 1684 or 1685 in Northampton, Massachusetts. At age 12, Jonathan and his family relocated to Lebanon, Connecticut.
Lebanon is highlighted in red on this map from
He was admitted to the Lebanon Congregational Church in 1707.  Jonathan married Lydian Loomis sometime before 1609. Born in Hartford 15 April 1686, Connecticut she was the daughter of Deacon Joseph and Hannah Marsh Loomis. They were the parents of eleven children, six boys and five girls.

Like many of his contemporaries, Jonathan made his living farming. He was also involved in the defense of his community. Connecticut records reveal that he was established and confirmed as "Ensign of the North Company of the South Society in May 1726. Though today, the position of Ensign is confined to the Navy and Coast Guard, town militias were organized in Colonial Connecticut under company officers; a Captain, Lieutenant, Ensign, Sergeant and Corporal. These leaders would be responsible for training the men of the community to protect the area. By 1729, Jonathan was promoted to Lieutenant a title he used the remainder
of his life.

Certainly Jonathan will be happy to know that many of his descendants followed his example in service to their communities.

Cecily Cone Kelly

For family members, our descent from Jonathan:
Jonathan and Lydia Loomis Lyman's daughter Anna Lyman married Isaiah Tiffany;
Their daughter Anna Lyman Tiffany married James Clarke, Jr.
Their son James Augustus Clarke married Parnell Champion
Their son John Champion Clarke married Lydia Hornell;
Their daughter Mary Elizabeth Clarke married Charles Shepard Newton
Their daughter Helen Brown Newton married Frederick Naaman Cone;
Their son Charles Newton Cone married Hazel Bynon Allen;
Their son Charles Newton Cone, Jr. married Betty Lorraine Werst;
I am their daughter.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

New York Ancestors

Dear Grandparents,
My sister will be visiting the finger lakes region of New York for a family wedding this summer and asked about the areas where you lived. I'm not certain she realized that each of our eight great grandparents had family members who lived in New York. Today I'm beginning a series of posts that highlight our New York connections.

The red highlighted area on the New York state map is Steuben County. Named for Baron Frederic William Augustus Von Steuben, the German drill master who helped George Washington turn his volunteers into an effective fighting force, Steuben county was created March 18, 1796. It covers an area larger than the state of Rhode Island and remains rural with a population of about 100,000.

Hornellsville is located in middle of the western part of the county.

Our Steuben County connections include:

Uriah Stephens (6th great grandfather) born 27 August 1730 in Canaan, Litchfield, Connecticut emigrated to Canisteo with his family in 1788 including his wife Martha Rathbone or Rathbun. Their daughter Martha Stephens married George Hornell.
Martha Rathbun Stephens tombstone from the Old Settlers' Cemetery, Canisteo, NY.
Used with permission and thanks to cousin and also 6th generation descendant Gary Goodridge.

Judge George Hornell (5th great grandfather), a native of York, Pennsylvania, settled in the area in 1793. He bought 3,000 acres and built saw and grist mills. The town was named for him after his death.
George Hornell's trunk in the Hornel Library 2012

George Hornell, Jr. (4th great grandfather) born 08 Aug 1792 was raised in Hornellsville. He became a lawyer and then a Presbyterian minister. He sold the family holdings in Hornell and became a missionary to the Indians in Michigan. He married Sarah Thacher.
George Hornell, Jr.
Nathaniel Thacher (5th great grandfather) was living in Canisteo, Steuben County at the time of the 1810 census. His wife,  Lydia Place, died in Hornell 23 September 1853. She is buried in the Hope Cemetery in Hornell. (Still would like to know why great grandfather Nathaniel died 23 August 1824 in Florence, Lauderdale, Alabama.)
Tombstone of Lydia Place Thacher
Naaman Cone (3rd great grandfather) was born 11 September 1804 in Laurens, Otsego County, New York. He moved to Hornellsville sometime after 5 October 1850 when he was listed as living in New Lisbon, Otsego County in the 1850 Federal Census. He is shown 06 June 1855 in the New York State Census with wife Joanna (nee Warner) sons Ira, Elijah, Eleazer and daughter Mary.

William Warner Cone (2nd great grandfather) born 18 October 1827 in New Lisbon, Otsego County, he married Eliza Utley 30 November 1854. They were residing in Hornellsville, when my great grandfather
Frederick Naaman Cone was born 29 March 1859.
William Warner Cone

Cecily Cone Kelly

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fort Donelson Captured from Confederates 152 years ago today.

16 February 2014

Dear Uncle Trit,
Today we mark the 152nd anniversary of the Union victory at Fort Donelson. There were more difficult battles to come, so many of today's Americans are unaware that Ft. Donelson was the 10th bloodiest battle of the Civil War.
Our family knows about your participation in the battle while with the First Nebraska Infantry because of the letters you wrote to your mother Lydia Hornell Clarke and sister Mary Elizabeth Clarke Newton, my 3rd and 2nd great grandmothers. Your letters have been lovingly preserved and passed from generation to generation.

First page of letter addressed "Dear Sister & and Mother"
Ft. Henry Tenn, Feb 23rd 62
This letter begins;
Dear Sister and Mother,
"You doubtless have heard before this of our great and glorious victory at Ft. Donaldson [sic] but I suppose you didn't know I was there as the newspaper correspondents don't mention names. I can of course give but a meager account of the affair in general but as far as concerns myself I will tell as far as possible."

Map of the Movement from the Battle of Fort Henry to the Battle of Ft. Donelson
I hope you don't mind my including a map to help you tell the story of the Battle. Ft. Donelson remains an out of the way area in Tennessee, somewhat infrequently visited. Back to your story...

"When I wrote last we were about to start from here to go round by the river, while one division of the army went across by land to hold the enemy at bay while the river division would come up with gun boats.
When we got down to Paducah we were joined by other regiments that were waiting on steamers and five gun boats making in all 17 boats and about 16,000 men. We then started up the Ohio for the Cumberland River and arrived at the point of debarkation on the night of the 12th. We landed in the morning and started for the scene of the action. When we got there the rebels were trying to make a break and get out as they were completely surrounded."
"The country around the Fort is very broken and covered with a dense growth of brush and timber so the place of egress from the place is very narrow with only room for two Regiments to form in line and the different Regiments were guarding the pass by turns supported by batteries of artillery. We lay on the ground all night with only one blanket a piece and about three inches of room between us and the Mother Earth waiting for our time to come."

Area near Ft. Donelson where the First Nebraska
spent the night as it looked in the summer of 2009.
Underbrush is cut back within the park

"At about 10 O'clock in the morning of the 15th the order came for us to fall in and go to relieve some Ind (Indiana) boys who had been fighting all the morning. One Reg(iment) of them, the 31st Ind had been repulsed twice with severe loss. We marched down the road that leads to the Ft. to where there was a Chicago battery posted and then filed to the right down through the thick brush and halted with our left resting on the road and an Ill (Illinois) Reg. in line on our right and an Ohio Reg for reserve in our rear. I had borrowed a gun from one of our sick men and went in with my Co[mpany]." (Note: Theodore "Trit" Clarke had enlisted in the First Nebraska as a fifer, assuring his very religious mother in earlier letters that he did not intend to fire a weapon). "We hardly got into line when here they come at double quick through the bushes."

Battle of Fort Donelson by Kurz and Allison 1887
from the Library of Congress Collection
"We learned afterwards that they came with two of their crack Regiments and 800 picked men from their whole force to make a last desperate effort to capture our battery and break out. Their whole weight came onto our Reg and the Chicago Battery. As they came in sight of the Battery, one of their officer[s] (a Lieut Col) who was riding a horse back at their right pointed to the Battery and said, 'There it is boys, now take it.' Those were his last words for at that instant our left Co opened fire and he fell pierced with eight mini bullets.

The fight now began in earnest as the whole Reg with the Battery opened a most deadly fire on them at about fifty paces distance which they were not slow in returning with interest but we had the advantage of them in position as there was a slight rise in the ground in front of us that we lay down sheltered us from their fire. They stood and took it like men for twenty minutes when finding our fire too hot and no sign of growing weaker they began to fall back and finally broke and ran for their entrenchments in perfect rout leaving their dead and wounded on the ground to the number of about 300. Our loss strange as it may seem runs only two killed and thirteen wounded.

When the enemy had retired, Gen. Wallace who commanded the Brigade rode in front of our Reg and said, "Nebraska will be long remembered for what you have done today. Three cheers for Nebraska! and they were given with a wild, "Our boys did it ably for though the bullets and shells flew around them like hail not a man flinched for a moment but stood up to their work as if they were about their ordinary duties at home.

I suppose you will ask how I felt, well I don't like to brag on my self but I must say I wasn't a bit scared. When we were marching into line I felt a kind of nervous trembling but when the first gun fired I felt as cool as I ever did at home and was very highly complemented by our Major for taking the most deliberate aim of any man that came under his notice.

The boys of the Chicago Battery can not have to[o] much praise for their bravery for they work their guns under the hottest fire with dreadful effect as the right Co of the rebels took only 12 men off the field.

There may be a page of the letter missing here for the next page begins;

...we lay in line all day and the next night waiting for them to try 'it again' but they didn't come. In the morning preparations were made for a general charge on the enemy in their entrenchments but there came the joyful news that they had hoisted the white flag and then arose such a shout as can only come from 30,000 of the bravest men the world has ever produced and we marched in with the bands playing Yankee Doodle and Hail Columbia. We marched to the main Fort and planted the glorious old flag on the battlements while the band played the Star Spangled Banner with thrilling effect. One of the rebels, an old soldier who had fought in the Mexican War said, 'Boys that is the first time I have heard that tune for two years and it is the best tune I've ever heard.'

The rebels were very bitter against Floyd who took his body guard and ran off the night before the surrender which was one cause of their giving up as they did. It was a fine thing for us that they gave up just as they did for if we had stormed the works it would have been at a great loss and of doubtful results as they were very strongly posted. I asked a Mississippi man what they surrendered for as they had plenty [of] provisions and such a strong place. He said,'There is too darned many of you.'

Their officers had told them that we were a set of cowards and would run away if they showed a bold front but they said it was a mistake they found out to their cost. The rebels are a brave lot of men generally but they seem to be very discouraged and homesick. They were sent down the river to Cairo. I think there was about 10,000 or 12,000 taken with all their arms and stores and the strongest fortifications in the west except Columbus.

After the surrender our Reg. marched over to Ft. Henry where we're now quartered in the huts formerly occupied by the Chivalry of the sunny south. I can't tell when our next move will be but I will try and keep you posed as to our movements. I'm afraid I have tired you with my long letter so I will say good bye for this time. Write often and direct as heretofore. I remain your brother and son.


PS: I send some Jeff Davis Postage stamps I thought they would be a curiosity. I found them on an old letter in Donelson. Postage must be high for they were both on one letter from Va. I have quite a lot of trophies but they are most to[o] bulky to send in a letter. Do you get the St. Louis paper I subscribed for. I have been getting the Independent regularly. When I read them I turn them over to our chaplain he says they are quite a treasure to him."

(punctuation and spelling are as in the original letter with a few clarifications)
Theodore William 'Trit' Clarke
Reverse image from tintype in my personal collection.

Your letter tells us what the battle was like for you. It resonates through the ages. I wish we could talk to you now to know if the feelings expressed in your letter remain the same. The Battle of Fort Donelson opened the way to the capture of Nashville, the first confederate state capital to fall to the Union and paved the way for the eventual victory.

Cecily Cone Kelly

For family members, Trit was the brother of Mary Elizabeth Clarke who married Charles Shepard Newton.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Playing "Telephone" with Obituaries

Dear Grandparents,

I recently found three obituaries for my 2nd Great-Grandmother Sarah Amanda Gibson Hugunin. They are a good illustration for genealogists on how the facts can change like the messages did in the "telephone" game we played as children.

The obituaries were glued into Amanda's scrap book by her daughter Mamie Hugunin Colby and then passed to her daughter Grace Colby Werst Branchflower and to her daughter Betty Werst Cone and to her daughter Cecily Cone Kelly.

The scrapbook is old and fragile and we have had to remove pages and place them in archival sheet protectors to preserve them.

Among the pages in the book are three obituaries and a set of Resolutions adopted by the Ladies' Aid Society of the Congregational Church in Kirwin. Unfortunately, we do not know from which papers the obituaries come, but it is supposed that they are from the Phillipsburg and Kirwin papers. Last time I visited Phillips County (February 2013) all the bound copies of the newspapers had been sent to the State of Kansas for an eventual on-line access project. I'll have to check again to see if it is finished.

Transcription follows:
From left:
Death of Mrs Hugunin
Died at Phillipsburg, Kansas, March 11, 1894 (someone has crossed out 11 and written 21), of congestion of the brain, Mrs. Sarah Amanda Hugunin, wife of Van E. Hugunin, register of deeds.
Mrs Hugunin was in apparent good health and had started with her husband to attend the social at Dr. Wallace's, when near the Baptist church she complained of being very sick and Mr. H started to take her back home. But she became worse and fell unconscious into her husbands arms. He carried her into Mr. Countryman's and medical aid was immediately summoned but she was already dead before the physician arrived.
Mrs. Hugunin's maiden name was Gibson. she was born in Memphis, Tenn., February 1, 1847, and united in marriage with her now bereaved companion on the 8th day of January 1865 in Edgefield, Tenn. In 1868, they permanently settled in Johnstown, Wisconsin, where they resided until 1877 when they came to Kansas and settled in Phillips county near the town of Kirwin, from which they came to Phillipsburg about two weeks ago, to fulfill the duties of the public office to which Mr. Hugunin had been called,
Mrs. W. W. Colby with a single brother and sister, Walter H. and Grace, are their only children, who share the deep sorrow of their father.
Mrs. Hugunin was an intelligent christian lady and an esteemed member of the Congregational church. Her death, though sudden, and unannounced, was not unprepared for. Her consistent walk as a christian attests her readiness for a change.
The funeral services will take place Saturday, March 25, at 11 a.m. from the Methodist church, Rev. Mr. Strong will be assisted by Rev. Wm. Haresnape, of Kirwin, pastor of the deceased.

Alright, I agree that is a great obituary in terms of what it tells us about the deceased, but look what happens when you read the other obituaries.

At noon yesterday news reached this city to the effect that Mrs. Hugunin, wife of Van E. Hugunin had died very suddenly in Phillipsburg on Wednesday evening. In company with her husband she was going to church, and died suddenly in his arms, before other held could be summoned. Heart failure was the cause. We are unable to learn further particulars. Miss Lillie Weaver and Mrs. H. Moulton went to that place from here yesterday.

Died - At Phillipsburg, Kan, March 21st, 1894 of congestion of the brain, Mrs. Sarah Amanda Hugunin, wife of Van E. Hugunin register of deeds.
Mrs. Hugunin's maiden name was Gibson. She was born in Memphis, Tenn, February 1, 1847 and united in marriage to her how bereaved companion on the 8th day of January, 1865, in Edgefield, Tenn. In 1868 they permanently settled in Johnstown, Wis., where they resided until 1877, when they came to Kansas and settled in Phillips county near the town of Kirwin, from which place they came to Phillipsburg about March 1st, to fulfill the duties of the public office to which Mr. Hugunin had been called.
Mrs. W. W. Colby with a single brother and sister, Walter H and Grace are their only children, who share the deep sorrow of their father.
Mrs. Hugunin was an intelligent christian lady and an esteemed member of the Congregational church. Her death, though sudden and unannounced was not unprepared for. Her consistent walk as a christian attest her readiness for a change.
Funeral services were held Saturday, March 25th at 11:00 a. m. from the Baptist church, Rev. Mr. Strong assisted by Rev. Wm. Haresnape of Kirwin, pastor of the deceased officiating.

Obviously, the 3rd obituary writer had the benefit of reading from the first even then some of the facts changed. For instance, the funeral is held at the Baptist instead of the Methodist church.

I know, I know,  one should not complain about finding one let alone three obituaries for an ancestor. I simply note the differences in the accounts of Amanda's death at age 49. Also, interesting that the four grand-daughters that were living outside of Kirwin are not mentioned. Finally, what a great surname is Haresnape!