Samuel and Sarah Lewis

This is going to be one of those “grrrr” blogs where I don’t have the answers I want but I am going to write the essay anyway.  I may never have all the information. But I am tired of waiting for the big genealogy balloon to drop.

Herr_John_001_Crop
John Herr

I have this photograph of a man identified as John Herr. I have my father’s genealogy notes identifying him as the grandfather of Florence Lewis. Here is what I can piece together from other, incomplete resources:

Florence Lewis was the oldest child of Samuel Lewis and Sarah Herr.  She married Moses Wells and that story I have got a pretty good handle on.  Going back in time is the problem. Samuel Lewis appears with Sarah his wife from 1860 to 1885 in various state and federal censuses. As do their six children:

  • Florence Lewis (1859-1947) married Moses Wells
  • Pierce (Pierson) Lewis (1862-1926) married Clara Lamb
  • Josephine Lewis (1864-1936) married Harry Goodman
  • Ellsworth Lewis (1867-1890) married Keziah Platt
  • Colby Lewis (1869-1939) married Elsie Jackson
  • Clara Lewis (1875-1946) married William Marshall

I wonder: When did Samuel and Sarah get married? Was it a first marriage for both? Either? If Samuel is living next to John and Mary Herr (spelled Heers in the 1850 Census), why is his wife named Mary?  Is this the Samuel Lewis and Mary McKelvey who got married in 1842? Did she die and he remarried? Or is this actually Samuel and Sarah (name written WAY wrong) and they just waited 17 years to have their first child? And where does the family lore about the Herr’s potato chip fortune come into it? Wishful thinking? Or mixed up identities as there is a John Herr married to a Mary Ann out in Westmoreland County, PA. I’m pretty sure that’s not the same person.  But every family tree online seems sure that this is the case.

Mercy Van Syckel Dilley Carter

This post is a fishing expedition: I know next to nothing about Mercy Van Syckel and her two husbands but I would like to know more. Help! #52ancestors

FindAGrave_Dilley_SamuelCMercy Van Syckel was born 14 April 1820, the oldest daughter of Aaron Van Syckel and Mary Bird Van Syckel. She married Samuel C. Dilley (1827-1852) in 1846 in Hunterdon County. She had one son by Samuel, Chester Van Syckel Dilley. However, after Samuel’s death in 1852, she appears to have married Henry Carter on 12 February 1861.  I find the marriage record in Greenwich, Warren County, NJ.

My questions:

  • What killed Samuel C. Dilley at such a young age.  He was a farmer in Hunterdon County, so it could have been anything.
  • Who is Henry Carter? Life dates?

In 1870, Mercy is living with Chester on land he is farming in Hunterdon County.  However, Mercy’s worth has increased from $2500 in 1860 to $17,000 in 1870.  That’s a jump by any standard. Then, Mercy died on 24 December 1875.  Details?  Inquiring minds and all that. If you can shed any light on this at all, please let me know!

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.

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