William Carrell and his three daughters

One intriguing find during my research/writing last year was more information about the Carroll family, as in the parents and siblings of Mary Elizabeth Carroll, wife of Benjamin Jones.  I was able to track so much more once I unraveled her complicated life but I have reached another brick wall and would love some help from the Burlington County genealogy hive mind.

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Cropped view of 1858 Burlington County map

First off, this case story is nowhere near the Genealogical Proof Standard, but I have starred notes, suppositions and geographical propinquity galore. And for the purposes of this essay I will use the spelling “Carroll” but know that there are so many different spellings in the records that it is extremely hard to be certain of anything. I found Carrell, Carrel, Curl, and Curel. Also, there are several family trees published on the web that have really sketchy information which completely disagrees with what I have found.  I am hoping that this generates some feedback. So here is what I think I know!

William Carroll was born 25 July 1805 in New Jersey, possibly Burlington County. He did not have any occupation I can find beyond “laborer,” however given his general location as Juliustown this could have meant worker in a tannery, railroad yard or other rural industry.  I rarely find him in the census.

Carrel_ElizaF_grave_1899Sometime around 1838, he married Eliza F. Cox.  She was born 6 October 1815 in New Jersey. Burlington County is rife with Cox’s but I have yet to find parents for her. The couple appears to have had three daughters: Anna P Carroll, Mary Elizabeth Carroll , and Martha Carroll.

I know a little bit about the daughters:

Anna P. Carroll was born 17 June 1839.  She married Joseph T Scroggy (1841-1904) and they appear to have raised Lillie Jones (daughter of Benjamin and Mary E. Jones).  Sadly this couple did not have any children before Anna died on 26 July 1902.

Mary Elizabeth Carroll’s life is pretty well covered in this previous blog.

Martha Carroll was born 12 September 1843 and married Thomas Cross on 29 May 1861.  They had five children: Ellsworth Cross (1861-1863), Eliza Fenimore Cross (1866-1919), Anna Cross (1869-1936), Gertrude Cross (1872-1873), and Lydia Cross (1868-?). Intriguing fact: Lydia Cross, who went by Lidie, married Joseph T. Scroggy after Anna’s death in 1902. She married her uncle. Not sure how legal that is.

One of the tricky bits about tracking daughters, especially ones who are born in the 19th century and who marry early, is that you often find out more about the husband than the woman you are researching.  The link is clearly there with Lillie living with Anna and Joseph Scroggy. And Eliza Carroll is listed with Lillie in the 1895 census within the Scroggy household. I think most of the spelling changes are likely due to pronunciation and the 19th century.  

Carrel_William_grave_1886I also know that both William Carroll and Eliza Cox Carroll are buried in the United Methodist Church Cemetery in Pemberton, near their children.  William died from a stroke on 1 May 1886 and Eliza died on 26 July 1899.

 

But I would love to know more: Who were William Carroll’s parents? Does the F in Eliza’s name stand for Fenimore?  Why did the family miss every census between 1840 and 1870?

John Van Syckel (1786-1864)

Rarely do I find a will which so clearly outlines family ties for two generations!  And details the location of the family graveyard on the homestead! This week’s #52ancestors find is a real treasure.

John Van Syckel was born 12 November 1786 in Hunterdon County, NJ. He was the oldest son of Aaron Van Syckel and Catharine Opdyke Van Syckel. On 20 October 1808, he married Rachel Larison (1791-1851). They had four children: Catharine Van Syckel (1809-1890), Keziah Van Syckel (1811-1884), Elijah Van Syckel (1814-1891), and Lucinda Van Syckel (1816-1895).

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from the Library of Congress: Cornell and Van Derveer, 1851.

He was a farmer with extensive land holdings in and around Bethlehem township. Three of his children settled nearby, and the reason for this appears to be that he loaned them the use of the farms on which they lived.

John Van Syckel died on 21 April 1864 in Hunterdon County, N.J. and is buried in Bethlehem Baptist Cemetery in Pattenburg. His will (dated 1859, with codicils in 1864) is one of the best family tree outlines I have yet to see, showing once again that will records have many uses.

The will starts with the usual legal establishment of who the executors are: “Bennet Van Syckel and Joseph Van Syckel, sons of my brother Aaron.” The will goes on to distribute his land holdings, each time identifying the person and how they are related to him.  This is exceptionally helpful as the names are generously repeated through each sibling line: John Van Syckel my grandson, my son Elijah Van Syckel, my daughter Catharine wife of Adrian Kinney, my daughter Keziah Warn, my son in law Stephen Warn, my  daughter Lucinda wife of Peter S Sigler, my grandchild Hannah Phillips daughter of my daughter Keziah Warn, my grandson John Van Syckel, son of my son Elijah Van Syckel, John V Kinney and H W Kinney children of my son in law Adrian Kinney, Rachel Van Syckel and James Van Syckel children of my son Elijah, Rachel Sigler daughter of my daughter Lucinda, John V Sigler, son of my daughter Lucinda, and Phineas Van Syckel son of my son Elijah.

And then the piece de resistance: “I hereby except and reserve from that portion of my homestead farm devised to my son Elijah’s use all that grave yard in the orchard on said farm wherein my wife Rachel is buried…” Although now many of the family, including Rachel Larison Van Syckel, are buried in the Baptist Cemetery in Pattenburg, clearly there may have been a grave removal project at some time.

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John Van Syckel Will, Hunterdon County, 1859, p. 43

A codicil dated 19 March 1864, states that Adrian Kinney has departed this life. Yet another clue to follow up.

Family group including Florence Lewis Wells and Helen Grace Wells

This week in #52ancestors and #52familyphotographs I thought I would try to crowd-source the identities of all the people in this photograph.

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Florence Wells and family

This image is pasted into a photo album created by my grandmother Kathryn Prince Jones Preston.  The accompanying notation says Florence Wells and family.  Most of the images in this album date from the first year of her marriage, 1924. With that clue, and a list of Florence and Moses Wells‘ children:

The only grandchild who could have been the right age for this picture would be Helen Grace Wells, b. 1916, daughter of Willard and Grace Hewlings Wells. I have no idea who the two men and the younger woman are.  Florence is on the left. Possibilities are Mattie and Samuel Horner and Willard K. Wells.  I am hoping that my Haines cousins will have some insights.

Amanda Van Syckel Hoffman

This week in #52Ancestors and #52familyphotographs I start on the process of fleshing out the branches of the Van Syckel family tree.  I wrote about Chester Van Syckel last year and at the time did a bit of research on his siblings but not enough, never enough! So this blog is about Amanda Van Syckel (28 June 1834 to 28 September 1917).

I can find very little about Amanda prior to her marriage to Theodore J. Hoffman on 22 February 1855. There’s not that much available on her after that fact either.  She and Theodore had eleven children, seven surviving to adulthood. She does not even merit an obituary, although Theodore got special accolades for being the oldest alumnus of Rutgers when he died in 1922. He was a lawyer in Somerville, New Jersey and I suppose she occupied herself with eleven pregnancies and raising seven children:

  • Alletta Hoffman (1855-1941)
  • Joseph V. Hoffman (1857-1894)
  • Kate V. Hoffman (1859-1862)
  • Mary E. Hoffman (1861-1943)
  • Alexander B. Hoffman (1863-1864)
  • Louisa C. Hoffman (1865-1866)
  • Ann E. Hoffman (1868-1868)
  • Alice V. Hoffman (1869-?)
  • Clara Hoffman (1871-1949)
  • Frank C. Hoffman (1873-1943)
  • Ogden Hoffman (1876-1948)

Amanda Van Syckel died 28 September 1917 and is buried in the New Somerville cemetery in Somerset County, New Jersey.

Wife of Theodore J. Hoffman

Andrew Jones and family

That moment when the identified photograph ends up being more confusing than the unknown? That’s this weeks #52ancestors and #52familyphotographs rolled into one!

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Andrew Jones and family

The man sitting in the plus fours is my great grandfather’s older brother.  Born Elwood Andrew Jones on 12 October 1869 to Benjamin and Mary Carroll Jones,   He may have worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad as an engineer.  In 1891 he married Amy Emmons.  They lived in Pemberton and raised five children: Inez, Paul, Oscar, Gladys and Myrtle.

I think the people named on the label are as follows left to right:

I have no idea who Jr. is.  If you do, please let me know!

 

Jean Van Syckel with Louise Tompkins

Apparently my grandfather was a genius at photographing children.  In both of these photographs you see the joy in each person for the other. #52ancestors #52familyphotographs

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Jean Van Syckel and Louise Tompkins

Jean Van Syckel was born on 28 July 1875, probably in Flemington, New Jersey, to Chester and Mary Jane Mount Van Syckel.  She was the youngest of their four children and the Flemington, She never married but the Flemington, Jersey City and Detroit, Michigan newspapers tracked her visits with her brother and sister.  Louise Tompkins tells stories about the house and garden at 182 S. Main St. where she “vacationed” as a child.  Mary and Jean kept a large garden and small orchard in the back yard of that house.  Mary succumbed to dementia on Christmas day in 1952.

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Jean Van Syckel and Louise Tompkins

#52Ancestors2018 is a wrap!

FamilytreeimageLast January 2018 I decided to try an experiment: from the birthday list generated by my RootsMagic program, I would make a list of ancestors and blog about one person per week for 52 weeks.  I knew that I would have trouble following the schedule and topics outlined in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  My job as well as various commitments would have derailed me if I had not been able to write the blogs ahead of time and schedule them to publish each week.   But the weekly inspiration from those who were following Amy were really helpful and when I could I tagged my blog with her topic.

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What I learned

  • It is really hard to write 52 fully researched, carefully prepared, fully documented and illustrated essays. But that’s not the point of the exercise, so please keep reading.
  • The birthday theme only goes so far.  Some weeks I just gave up on finding the perfect match and just picked someone I thought interesting.
  • My writing got boring. I found myself writing every post in chronological order: born, married, died, buried.
  • I really resented having to stop researching and just start writing.  I found myself saying “just one more source” way too often.  When this happened I had to remind myself that this was not “the end.”  I could always come back if I found more.
  • Some ancestors just aren’t that interesting.  “Lives of quiet desperation” aside, quite a few of my female ancestors, especially, just left me very little to work with.
  • You really can write 300-700 words quite easily if you just start writing.
  • You can have really interesting conversations with family members around what you got right and wrong (in their opinion) and learn new tidbits of information as you go.

What I want to do in 2019

  • 52 weeks of family photographs.  I am going to try to post a picture of a family member, group or dwelling place, write a short post identifying what I know and what I don’t.
  • I am also going to try to go back to all the folks I passed by on my birthday list.  This may not result in long essays but I really enjoyed giving a voice to these people, and I want to continue writing.Researchdeasktopimage