Vincent Van Nest

Van_Nest_Vincent_burial_1911This week of #52Ancestors lead me to Vincent Van Nest, whose birthday is 25 April 1837 and who joins the family tree by marrying Margaret Ann Mount, older sister to my direct ancestor Mary Jane Mount (1844-1917).  The Van Nest surname can hide in records as Van Nest, VanNest and Vannest, making it a bit tricky to find them.  Also I discovered this family marrying Mounts in many generations.  But the really interesting discovery happened when I tried to document Vincent’s parents.

Vincent Van Nest, born 25 April 1837, was one of two sons of Abraham (1799-1871) and Harriet Chamberlin Dye (1799-1872) Van Nest.  Vincent married Margaret Ann Mount (1840-1900) on 17 January 1861 at East Windsor and the couple had four children: Harriet, Hiram, Catherine, and Susan.  Margaret preceded her husband in death on 12 February 1900, and Vincent died 12 November 1911.  Vincent’s obituary remarks that he was “one of the best know and most respected me of this section” and he certainly had to take on quite a bit of responsibility at a young age.

Once I opened my searches to include all the possible variations on Van Nest, I was able to discover a bit more about Vincent’s family. His father was Abraham Van Nest, born 27 November 1799, in Hightstown, New Jersey (part of Middlesex County at this point).  He married Harriet Dye (born 3 December 1799, nee Chamberlin), who was the widow of Vincent Dye.  I find this naming pattern intriguing, as I don’t know many men who would willingly name their son after their wife’s dead spouse.

Abraham and Harriet Van Nest have two sons: Vincent D. Van Nest and Abram Bergen Van Nest.  I am not sure what happens to Abram Van Nest.  He appears in the 1863 Civil War draft records but by the 1870 Census his wife and son are living with Abraham and Harriet.  And the wills of both these people are fascinating.

Abraham Van Nest prepares a will in 1868 in which he divides his estate between his “beloved wife” Harriet and his daughter in law, Sarah E. Van Nest and her son Richard.  Everything is to go to his son Vincent upon the deaths of these two women.  The language about Abram is odd, mostly directing Sarah E. to receive income only if she remains married, otherwise the money reverts to Richard W. and is controlled by Vincent Van Nest, son and executor.  The will is probated on 15 February 1871.

Harriet Van Nest dies shortly after her husband on 1 November 1872.  Her will disposes of various bequests and then leaves the bulk of her estate divided between her son Vincent Vannest and her daughter in law Sarah E. Vannest “now or late the wife of my son Abram B. Vannest.”  She does not mention her grandson Richard W. Vannest at all, so possibly he has died.

This would be a case where the public record leaves me with little understanding of the family dynamics and there must have been some.  But Vincent should be remembered on his birthday and so I wish you a Happy Birthday, Vincent D. Van Nest!

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Joseph Huddell Roach

This week in #52Ancestors another “oh, this one will be easy, look what a unique name he has!”

Joseph Huddell Roach was born 17 April 1822 to Isaac (1786-1848) and Mary Huddell (1788?-?) Roach.  He was raised in Philadelphia and attended the University of Pennsylvania between 1836 and 1840. He married Eliza Walter Jones (1820-1894, daughter of Walter Moore Jones) on 15 April 1846.  They had two children, Joseph Chandler Roach (1847-1888) and Mary Huddell Roach (1848-1912).

This was one research project that irritated.  It is hard not to project my 21st century sensibilities onto this family but the men were mostly coasting on the previous generation’s income and the women barely get mentioned in any records, including obituaries!  Mary Huddell Roach does not even merit a mention in husband Isaac’s death notice, although none of his children do, either.

stpeters-epis-yardJoseph Roach is listed in records as a merchant, but I can find little to document what and where he did business.  He is more likely to get mentioned for his memberships in the Schuylkill Skating Club or the Social Art Club (later the Rittenhouse Club).  He also served in Captain John Cadwalader’s Artillery Company in 1844.  In 1876 he was elected to the vestry of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, but he died a month later on 16 May 1876.  He is buried in St. Peter’s Churchyard, but don’t look for his wife there.  After much searching, I discovered that she was Catholic and was buried in New Cathedral Cemetery, at 2nd and Butler Streets.  Although I found cemetery record books that show this and also show her buried near her son Joseph Chandler, he appears to have a monument near his wife, as well, in St. Denis Cemetery, Haverford.

I keep thinking that there should be more out there on this whole family, but I think I will have to pay a visit to a few archives in Philadelphia to fill in the blanks.  Int he meantime, Happy Birthday, Joseph Huddell Roach!

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Sabrina Hine Hines

Hine_Sabrina_ArzillacropMy first introduction to Sabrina Arzilla Hine was in 1990 or so.  I was visiting Dad’s cousin Edith Hine in Athens, Pennsylvania, and she handed me an envelope and asked me to take good care of the contents.  Inside were some family letters to Sabrina from her brothers written during the 1860’s.  How cool! And how honored I was to receive such a gift.  And so it is with pleasure that I share these treasures this week of #52ancestors, especially as she is an aunt although not maiden one!

Sabrina Arzilla (or Arzeally) Hine, known as Brina, was born 4 April 1845 to Henry W. (1806-1868) and Mary Craw Frost Hine (1808-1889).  The Hines are from New York, but it’s the part of New York that is called the southern tier, and the boarder between Bradford and Tioga counties didn’t mean much to the farmers, loggers and merchants who settled the area.  Sabrina was the youngest of six children and the two closest to her age were Erasmus Percival Hine and Harlow Augustus Hine.  Wonderful names.

Camp SceneSabrina’s brother Percival joined the 141 Pennsylvania Volunteers at the start of the American Civil War, and served in Company D along with many friends and neighbors.  This was the war in which the Americans would learn that while on paper the idea of serving with your brothers and neighbors might look like it would inspire bravery, but in reality it destroyed whole communities when their young men were wiped out in a single battle.  Percy’s letters comment on his comrades, many of whom Sabrina knew, including their own father.

Although she lost her brother to typhoid fever on 30 Dec 1862, Sabrina was proud of her family’s military heritage.  I recently found the record of her Daughters of the American Revolution application under her maternal connection to Aaron Frost who served as a private in the Connecticut militia.

Sabrina married Joseph Hines, a local drug store owner in Athens, on 31 December 1863.  They had no children.  Sabrina died on 2 March 1914 and both she and Joseph are buried at Tioga Point Cemetery in Athens.

I hope that both Sabrina and Edith know that I am taking very good care of their legacy and that they would be pleased that I am sharing their story with you today.  Happy Birthday, Sabrina Hine Hines!

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Chester Van Syckel Dilley

This week my #52Ancestors post takes me deep into a side line of the Van Syckel family.  The Van Syckels test my genealogical mettle every time I try to organize them and they have taught me more about not following a straight line of succession than any other group.

In trying to get a handle on my great great grandfather Chester Van Syckel, I ended up researching all of his siblings, as many seemed to name a child after him.  Interestingly enough, he seems to have been a bit of a tartar and so this “honor” fascinates me.  This brings me to Chester Van Syckel Dilley.  Chester was the only child of Samuel (1827-1852) and Mercy Van Syckel Dilley (1820-1875). He was born on 25 March 1847, and raised in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.  On 20 September 1873, he married Anna Besson Thatcher (1845-1925) and they proceeded to have five children: Mary Chester Dilley (1874-1946), Sylvester Van Syckel Dilley (1876-1950), Robert Thatcher Dilley (1877-1958), Samuel C. Dilley (1879-1880) and Joseph V. Dilley (1881-1933).

Dilley_ChesterV_obituary_The_Courier_News_Sat__Mar_29__1913_Chester appears to have suffered a heart attack on 26 March 1913 and died at home.  He is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Clinton.  There is no will, and he was a relatively young man.  In 1915, the New Jersey state census puts his widow Anna living with her daughter’s family in North Readington.  Later this family will move to Elizabeth and Anna goes with them.  It is possible that the farm was sold, as the sons do not appear to have followed their father’s occupation.

Happy Birthday, Chester Van Syckel Dilley!

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Clarence Brearley Mount

 

This week in #52Ancestors allowed me to correct a name spelling.  I selected Clarence B. Mount, whom I had mistakenly identified as Clarence Burnley.  One obituary and a few corroborating documents later, I had the correct name: Clarence Brearley Mount.

Clarence was born on 22 March 1876 in Hightstown, New Jersey to William (1848-1922) and Catherine Brearley (1853-1926) Mount. My family joins the Mount tree with Mary Jane Mount (1844-1917), my great great grandmother. Mary Jane and Clarence’s father William were siblings.

Clarence B. Mount was the oldest of seven children.  On 17 November 1898, he traveled to New York, NY to marry Fairy Mount (1879-1960).  They had two children: Erva Louise (1899-1971) and Carl F. (1903-1983).

When I first captured Clarence Mount, I found him either as Clarence B. or Clarence Bumley or Burnley.  I did not have a good read on his mother, other than that her name was Catherine.  Newly accessible resources such as the digital archive of the Trenton Evening Times allowed me to see the obituary for Clarence, which spelled out his full name, while other articles allowed me to see information about his wife and children that furthered my knowledge on the Brearley connection.

One detail about Clarence that I have not been able to gather is the fact that he married a Mount.  Fairy Mount to be exact.  Fairy Mount was also from Mercer County, and even from Hamilton township.  I tracked her back two generations from father David C. Mount to grandfather Samuel Mount and, as best I can determine, we are not tightly related, as neither of these appear on the list of Mounts we are related to, but it gave me pause, nonetheless.  Why did they travel to New York, if there was nothing to hide?  1898 is not a year known for its destination weddings.

Mount_Clarence_B_Trenton_Evening_Times_1953-05-11_4Unfortunately, the obituary (Trenton Evening Times) is how I learned the most about Clarence Brearley Mount.  He was involved in the insurance business, namely the Automobile Club of Central New Jersey and the Loyalty Group Insurance Company.  More locally, he was an overseer of the poor and a director of emergency relief in Hamilton Township.  He and his wife Fairy were actively involved in the Presbyterian Church, appearing in newspaper story after story about this church fete or that.  He was a member of several fraternal organizations: the Mount Moriah Lodge 28 (F&AM), the Knights Templar, the Masons, the IOOF, and the Railroad Square Club.  His funeral services reflect this as both Presbyterian and Baptist ministers officiated at his funeral and the Masonic Temple held a separate service.

As I add more names to the ever more complicated tree, it becomes more and more difficult to track back and fill in blanks.  Challenges like #52Ancestors are good prompts for second and third looks at branches of the tree.  Happy Birthday, Clarence Brearley Mount!

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Lois Buttles Whitney

This week in #52Ancestors brings me to a westward migration story that made me rethink some of my historical assumptions.  For those of you that had always pictured the westward parade of settlers to be young men out to seek their fortune or newly weds looking for adventure, this family definitely bucks that trend.

Whitney_SamuelandLois_cemeterymonument_Lois Buttles was born on 17 March 1782 in Granby, Connecticut to Jonathan and Lois Viets Buttles.  Even in 2018, Granby is described as a rural town, located in the foothills of the Litchfield Hills of the Berkshires…and… the outskirts of town are filled with dense woods and rolling hills and mountains. Imagine it in the 1820’s.  Lois married Samuel Platt Whitney on 10 March 1799 in North Granby and they preceded to have 12 children, all but one living to adulthood.

  • Samuel Hart Whitney (1800-1874)
  • Lois Whitney (1802-1885)
  • Jonathan Rasselas Whitney (1804-1886)
  • Agnes Whitney (1806-1893)
  • Marcus Israel Whitney (1807-1893)
  • William Lewis Whitney (1809-1836)
  • Seth Whitney (1812-1875)
  • Nelson Whitney (1814-1836)
  • John Viets Whitney (1816-1888)
  • Lucy Susanna Whitney (1819-1828)
  • Harriet Atwood Whitney (1821-1894)
  • Lurena Whitney (1824-1909)

The family lived in East Granville, Massachusetts for most of their early marriage (the first 25 years), farming the land, attending church, and in the case of Samuel, voting in every election. Then, in 1834, they moved westward to Montville, Ohio to join Jonathan and Seth in what is now Geauga County .  This must have represented a huge upheaval for the family.  By 1834, seven of their children are over 21 years and at least four of them are married with families.  Of their children, six relocate to Ohio, and settle in or around Montville.  The 1840 Census shows Samuel’s family of four people: Samuel and Lois with one son between 20 and 29 years, and one daughter 10 to 14 years.  Seth Whitney and wife are listed on the same page and so are living nearby.   Jonathan R. Whitney is listed on the next page with six children.  Clearly moving to Montville agrees with this family.

Whitney_SilverWeddingAnniversary_Plain_Dealer_1870-04-14_2In 1870, they celebrated their silver wedding anniversary at the home of their son John Viets Whitney.  This story not only made the local Geauga press paper but also appears in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Lois survives her husband’s death in 1871 but dies just before son Seth on 19 August 1875.  She and her husband are buried in the Montville Cemetery.  Once again, I find myself discovering Ohio roots after living in that state for so many years.  I see a road trip in my future!

Happy Birthday, Lois Buttles Whitney!

 

 

Richard Jones

If there were a household I could go back in time to visit, it would probably be the one headed by Richard Jones.  This week in #52Ancestors I would like to explore the life of a person who oddly intimidates me from the grave and for whom my brother and I have many heirlooms passed down through the generations.

Jones_RIchard_portraitRichard Jones was born 21 February 1812, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Benjamin (1767-1849) and Mary Howell (1778-1836) Jones.  His birth is recorded in Quaker meeting records as one of the first five of what would ultimately be seven children.  Benjamin was in the iron business and rose from iron monger to gentleman, if city directories have any real say in the matter.  The family appears to have divided their time between Philadelphia and Hanover, New Jersey.  Burlington county is across the Delaware River from Philadelphia but my mind boggles at the idea of transporting a crowd of children back and forth using whatever transportation was available.

Richard married his first wife, Susan Ellis Gibbs (1814-1837) on 13 June 1833 and they had two boys, Benjamin Jones (1833-1896) and Joseph Gibbs Jones (1834-1895).  Sadly, Susan died in 1837.  Richard then married Alice Woodmansie Davis in 1841 and they had five children.

Jones_Richard_Patent_1869Although Richard appears to have gone to work early in the family foundry business at Hanover, NJ, he also seems to have been interested in diversifying the family holdings.  He and his brother Samuel Howell Jones established and dissolved several businesses in Hanover, Florence and Trenton between 1845 and 1870.  The pipes used in the Boston Water Works in 1847 came from Hanover Furnace.  In 1850 Richard was a principle in the New Jersey Exploring and Mining Company.  He established the New Jersey Zinc Paint Company, most likely as a result of his experiments with and eventual patents on zinc oxide extraction (1854 and 1869).  Richard was definitely something of a chemical genius but I am not sure about his business expertise.  The iron industry in the 19th century was a risky business. with many smaller operations failing due to pressures of the economy and production expenses.

By the mid 1870’s, Richard and Alice Jones are back in Philadelphia, residing at 1818 Delancy Street. Richard died here on 29 October 1890, and is buried in the churchyard cemetery at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Mount Holly, New Jersey.  Many items have come down through the family, including three lovely chairs, part of what was probably a much larger set.  I think of the dinner parties and other conversations that those chairs have witnessed over the years and wonder…

Happy Birthday, Richard Jones!

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