Discover your inside story with AncestryDNA®

April 29, 2019

Online New Netherland New York Church Records

Do you have ancestors who settled in New Netherland (New York) in the 17th Century? If yes, you won't want to miss these free online church records

Olive Tree Genealogy free church records  Records of Baptisms of the Reformed Church at Machackemeck (Deerpark), Orange County New York 1716-1827 [New May 2008]
Olive Tree Genealogy free church records  Reformed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam/New York -- Baptisms 1639 to 1801
Olive Tree Genealogy free church records  Reformed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam/New York -- Marriages 1639 to 1801
Olive Tree Genealogy free church records Membership Lists of the Reformed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam/New York 1649-1701
Olive Tree Genealogy free church records  Records of the Reformed Church at Conewago - Marriages 1789 to 1793
Olive Tree Genealogy free church records  Flatbush RDC Consistory Books, Kings Co. Long Island NY - Coordinated Records of Marriages and Baptisms from the Flatbush RDC Consistory Books And the Registers of its Daughter Church at New Lots Kings County, Long Island, New York, Baptisms 1792-1872 and Marriages 1787-1872
Olive Tree Genealogy free church records  Reformed Dutch Church of Flatlands, Long Island Baptisms 1747-1802
Olive Tree Genealogy free church records  Reformed Dutch Church of Gravesend Baptisms 1715-1805
Olive Tree Genealogy free church records  Reformed Dutch Church of Gravesend List of Members 1763-1805
Olive Tree Genealogy free church records  First Reformed Dutch Church of Newtown, Long Island Communicants 1741, Baptisms 1736-1845, Marriages 1835-1846
Olive Tree Genealogy free church records  Baptisms for St. George's Church Hempstead, Long Island, New York 1760- 1763
Olive Tree Genealogy free Reformed Dutch Church of Woodstock, Ulster Co. New York records  Reformed Dutch Church of Woodstock, Ulster Co. -- Baptisms 1805 to 1889
Olive Tree Genealogy free Grace church Jamaica Queens New York  records  Grace Church, Jamaica (Queens) Baptisms 1710-1731
Olive Tree Genealogy free Grace church Jamaica Queens New York  records Grace Church, Jamaica New York Baptisms 1780-1810
Olive Tree Genealogy free Grace church Jamaica Queens New York records  Grace Church, Jamaica (Queens) Burials 1710-1731
Olive Tree Genealogy free Grace church Jamaica Queens New York records  Grace Church, Jamaica New York Tombstone Recordings
Olive Tree Genealogy free Grace church Jamaica Queens New York  records  Grace Church, Jamaica (Queens) Marriages 1710-1731
Olive Tree Genealogy free Grace church Jamaica Queens New York  records Grace Church, Jamaica New York Marriage Records 1769 to 1810
Olive Tree Genealogy free Grace church Jamaica Queens New York  records  Miscellaneous Church Records from Jamaica, Flushing and Newtown New York. Communicants 1791-1794 | Baptisms 1790-1802 | Marriages 1790-1810 | Deaths 1790-1795
Church Records of New Netherland/New York on the Olive Tree Genealogy

April 26, 2019

FInding Nancy Longstreet Part 5 (The End)

The online family tree I was using for clues to further research had John Longstreet's death as 14 September 1868 in Erin, Wellington County Ontario. There were no sources provided to support this and since this date is before mandatory registration of deaths, there was no death registration to be found.

My next decision then was see if I could find some proof of his death. For that I could search church records, burial records, cemeteries, and wills.

Agricultural Census

I also thought I'd take a look in the Agricultural census for 1851 and 1861 for John Longstreet in Caledon. John wasn't found but his son Henry was found living on Concession 6, Lot 10 in Caledon Township in 1861. So I could also have a hunt in the online Land Records for Ontario and see if John was there and when he first bought land.

Fields: Name, Concession, Lot #, Total Acres, Acres cultivated, Acres with crops

Land Records

I would need more time to find the Abstract Indexes to Deeds for Lot 10, Concession 6 in Caledon on the online Ontario Land Record site, so I headed out in another direction. It was beginning to feel like I was floundering around so I decided to just do some Googling, see what turned up when searching under John or Nancy's name. I'd mull over what I'd found so far and where to turn next while doing some simple searches online.

An exhaustive internet search turned up a little tidbit of information on a message board where an individual said that Abigail Longstreet Snyder was named in her father John's will. No other details were given. No sources, nothing. But.... a possible will!!?? My spidey senses tingled. I decided to drop everything and go on a hunt for this will if it existed.
 
I didn't think that the family tree notation of John dying in Erin, Wellington County made sense, so I went to the Archives of Ontario website to look at what was available for wills in Peel County. It made more sense to me that since some of John's children stated they were born in Caledon, and John was last found in 1861 in Caledon, Peel County, he may have still been there in 1868.

Surrogate Court Records

From Archives of Ontario website I learned that if John had a will it is probably found on the following film: GS1, Reel 563. That covers Estate Files 1-80, years 1867-1868. Archives of Ontario Peel County Surrogate Court Records also suggests it is wise to look up the application in the Docket Books on microfilm GS 2, Reel 146. The estate file number will be listed at the top of the application.

These films are not online and since I cannot access the Archives myself I hired my friend Sue de Groot at researchbysue@sympatico.cato look for me and copy a will if she found one.

Bingo!

John's will was found. The microfilmed Docket Book shows us that John's will is #67 on GS1 Reel 563

"10 October 1868. John Longstreet, late of the Township of Caledon in the County of Peel, farmer, died 14th day of Sept. 1868"

Executors were Noah Herring, farmer, and Francis Longstreet, labourer

John's will was quite long and rather than transcribe it, I have extracted names and bequests as follows:


To Francis Longstreet, my son, the 5 acres I now occupy, with house and all personal property on 5th Concession W.H.S. Township of Caledon. Westerly corner of the Southerly Quarter Lot 10. Also 5 acres of land on the 6th Concession between the lot I deeded to Wm. Long and that hereafter willed to my son Henry Longstreet.


To my son Henry Longstreet, 25 acres of land on 6th Concession of Caledon, W.H.S. being part of the Southerly quarter of Lot 10 on condition that within 5 years of my death he pays to my son Francis Longstreet $200.00


To my daughters Matilda Smith and Mary Long each $5.00. To my sons Samuel, Richard, and John each $1.00. To the remainder of my daughters Nancy Ann Fisher, Betsy Ann Lawrence, and Abigail Snyder each $1.00

6. My son Francis to take good care of, and maintain, my beloved wife during her life and also pay her funeral expenses at her death.

John signs with an X for his name

Inventory




There are several other legal papers and documents with John's will. All in all a total of 12 pages of documents is in the file.

Conclusion

Nancy Fisher's father has been found. She is named as the daughter of John Longstreet in his will dated 1868. It is possible that her mother was John Longstreet's second wife whose name is thought to be Mary aka Phoebe Bear. But finding proof of the second wife is another research project for descendants to tackle.

Now let's look at the summary of theorized children of John Longstreet which I prepared for Part 4 Finding Nancy Longstreet. We need to see which children are now proven by John's will.

Samuel Longstreet IN THE WILL
Born ca 1814 USA (some records indicate he was born 27 Feb. 1814)

Richard Longstreet  IN THE WILL
born ca 1816 USA (New York?)

Sarah Catherine Longstreet NOT IN THE WILL
We must not assume she is not a daughter just because she is not in the will. She may have died before 1868. She may have been disowned. More research would be required by her descendants.

Henry Longstreet  IN THE WILL
born ca 1823 (29 March 1823?)

Nancy Ann/Elizabeth Longstreet IN THE WILL
born ca 1823
married George Fisher

Betsy (Elizabeth) Ann Longstreet  IN THE WILL
born ca 1825
married William Lawrence

Abigail Longstreet  IN THE WILL
born ca 1835
married Calvin Murray Snyder

John Longstreet s/o John & Mary (Phoebe?)  IN THE WILL
born ca 1836 (25 October 1835?)

Mary Longstreet d/o John & Sarah  IN THE WILL
born 1839
Married William Long

Matilda Longstreet probably d/o John & Sarah  IN THE WILL
born 11 May 1843
married Jacob Smith

Francis Longstreet s/o John & Sarah  IN THE WILL
born 22 May 1845

I hope my readers have enjoyed following along with me on my quest to find Nancy Longstreet Fisher. If you found my research or the process I used helpful, please consider a donation to support my continuing to bring free genealogy online for all.


April 24, 2019

Revolutionary War Graves Lost and Found

Bones from as many as 11 unmarked graves have been found so far in an empty lot in the Adirondack village of Lake George, 55 miles north of Albany.

Two uniform buttons found appear to be from a Pennsylvania soldier in the 1st Pennsylvania Battalion. It is quite possible that the 11 soldiers died of smallpox at St. George.

Soldiers who went north to fight in Canada in 1776 were sent upon by a smallpox breakout, and were sent back to St. George to recover if they fell ill.

If you had ancestors from Pennsylvania who fought in the Revolutionary War, you might want to Google for more articles as archeologists uncover more details.

April 22, 2019

FInding Nancy Longstreet Part 4

My decision as to what to look for next was made. I wanted to try to piece together the family group(s) for John Longstreet born circa 1796 in New Jersey.

The Known

First I listed what was known:

Source: 1861 census

John married Sarah

Children by unknown wife:
  • Matilda born ca 1843
  • Francis born ca 1845
Who was Erastus? When was he born?

Was Henry, born ca 1823 another son?

Source: Online Family Tree

by wife #1 Ann Page:
  • Samuel b 1814 New York
  • John S. b 1815 New Jersey <--I am troubled by the placement of this individual as a son there is another John born ca 1836 who I am able to trace. It also seems odd that the family would be in NY, then NJ briefly then NY
  • Richard b 1816 New York
  • Henry A. b 1822 New York <--agrees with 1861 census
  • Elizabeth Ann b 1825 Ontario
Note that all later children show as born Ontario (Canada West aka Upper Canada) on the online Family tree

by wife #2 Phoebe Baer

  • Sarah Catherine b 1828
  • Abigail b 1833
  • John b 1836 (see FN1)
  • Nancy Ann b unknown
by wife #3 Sarah Lawrence
  • Mary b 1840 (see FN2)
  • Matilda b 1843 <--agrees with 1861 census
  • Francis/John b 1845 <--agrees with 1861 census. Also see FN3
Finding Birth, Marriage or Death Records to confirm children

My next step was challenging. There would not be birth records unless I could find a family bible or church records, as the births were too early for registration in Ontario. So I turned to marriage and death records. Here is what I found:

FN1. John Longstreet, 24, born Caledon, married Jane Eagles on 26 Oct 1859. He gaves his parents' names as John and Mary. He fits the John born 1836 to John and Phoebe (I noted the discrepancy in first names for further research)

FN2. Mary Longstreet, 21, married William Lang on 10 Aug 1859. She gave her parents' names as John and Sarah. She fits the Mary born 1840 above.

FN3. Francis Longstreet, 89, died 13 September 1934. His parents' names were given as John Longstreet and Sarah Lawrence.

Many of the deaths of these individuals from the family tree were too early for parents' names to be recorded. So we may want to check other resources such as land records to see if the father left land to son, or sold land to son.

What do the Census Records Tell us?
  • The 1861 census for Windham, Norfolk, Ontario shows Samuel Longstreet born ca 1814 in USA. This agrees with the online tree.  
  • The 1861 census for Oxford, Ontario shows Richard Longstreet born ca 1816 in USA. This agrees with the online tree.  
Summary

As readers can see, this family is very large and complex. It took me quite awhile to researcj each individual listed as a child in the online tree. Rather than go into the details of what I found for each and how I found the information, I'm going to jump to a summary instead. Remember that an online tree is only good for clues to further research.

I invite my readers to use the brief summary below to do their own research. In my next article I'll share the proof I found which verifies some of John's children. This summary below is my theory/suggestion of John's children.

Samuel Longstreet
Born ca 1814 USA (some records indicate he was born 27 Feb. 1814)
Died 6 April 1878 in Princeton, Brant County Ontario
Married Sophronia Lorinda Robinson. He may have had more than one wife

Richard Longstreet
born ca 1816 USA (New York?)
died 18 Feb 1872

Sarah Catherine Longstreet
I suggest she may be the Sarah born ca 1818 USA who married Robert Markle. This does not agree with the online family tree

Henry Longstreet
born ca 1823 (29 March 1823?)
died 13 June 1894 Michigan. Death cert provides father's name only
married Elizabeth Laurence

Nancy Ann/Elizabeth Longstreet
born ca 1823
died 29 January 1890
married George Fisher

Betsy (Elizabeth) Ann Longstreet
born ca 1825
died 1881
married William Lawrence

Abigail Longstreet
born ca 1835
died 1894
married Calvin Murray Snyder

John Longstreet s/o John & Mary (Phoebe?)
born ca 1836 (25 October 1835?)
died 1913
married Mary Eagles

Mary Longstreet d/o John & Sarah
born 1839
died 14 Sept 1907
Married William Long

Matilda Longstreet probably d/o John & Sarah
born 11 May 1843
died 23 April 1938 in Manitoba (her death record could be obtained)
married Jacob Smith
Francis Longstreet s/o John & Sarah
born 22 May 1845
died 13 Sept 1934
Married Janet McDonald

Stay Tuned!

I'll leave my readers to do some research on their own if they are interested, and also to think about what proof I finally found to verify many of John's children. That will be my last blog post about my process in finding Nancy Longstreet Fisher.

April 21, 2019

Easter Bunny Returns!

This was announced previously on Olive Tree Genealogy blog but I felt it was worth repeating!

 
Easter Bunny's Family Tree Found! 
 
Breaking news - yesterday a little girl named Alice was playing in the garden of an old house in England when she fell down a large rabbit hole. Before climbing out she made a unique discovery. In a small wooden box under a pile of rabbit fur hats Alice spotted a yellowed letter. The letter was addressed to "Dear Easter" and signed "Uncle Wiggily", and it provided details of an interesting family tree!

The complete letter has been transcribed below:

Dear Easter,
Easter Bunny's Family Tree Found!I'm glad you asked about your family. Time is getting short for me and I think I'm the only one left who knows the stories of our family.

Your great-grandfather, Bugs, was one of three brothers (Bugs, Peter and Brer). The brothers left their home and sailed for America in the late 1800s. The ship they were on was caught up in a terrible storm and the brothers had to tie themselves to the mast. The ship sank but Bugs, Peter and Brer were lucky enough to find a plank and they climbed up on it and drifted for several days until they were rescued by the SS Lollipop.

When they got to Ellis Island, the customs officials changed the brothers' last names before allowing them to leave the ship, and so the three branches of our family began.

Bugs, Your great-grandpa, kept his Bunny name. Peter's was changed to Cottontail and all his descendants have kept that name. Brer's name was changed to Rabbit and it is from his line that our famous cousins White and Velveteen descend.

Great grandpa Bugs later met and married your great-grandmother Bunny Fufu. I don't know anything about her parents. My cousin Willy Bunny has photos and her family bible but he is stingy with the family information and refuses to share. Apparently Bunny Fufu's family bible was tossed into a fire by Indians when they attacked the settlement where she and her parents lived, but Bunny's father leapt into the flames and saved the bible. I wish Willy would not be so secretive with the information!

It gets a bit confusing, but Velveteen Rabbit, your mother, was your father Energizer's second wife and his third cousin once removed. It wasn't unusual for cousins to marry each other, but it does get confusing as we all seem to have large families.

Velveteen's father (your maternal grandfather) was Peter but I don't know too much about your mom's side of the family. I did hear there was an Angora in there somewhere way back. Some say she was a Princess and Peter rescued her from pirates!

Of course you know your grandparents - Buster and Trix. One day you should ask your grandma Trix why she calls your grandpa Buster by his nickname "Hassenfeffer" whenever she is mad at him, it's a cute story.

I've done some research on our family but am stuck on your great-great-grandmother. That would be your Great-Grandpa Bugs' mother. Great-Grandpa Bugs' father (your great-great-grandpa) was named Cadbury but I think your great-great-grandma was left by aliens. She is my brick wall. I know Cadbury called her Flopsy and they had 54 children but even though I've searched everywhere, I can't find what her SIRname was.

I guess I should tell you about the family scandal involving your Great great grandpa Cadbury Bunny. My Aunt Babbity told me she heard the grownups whispering about this when she was little. It seems that Cadbury's father fell in love with a chicken and Cadbury was the result of that love match! This might explain Cadbury's strange behaviour....

Well Easter, I think I've given you enough details to confuse you, but I hope I've gotten you interested in learning more! I know where some of the graves are of your ancestors and will take you there one day if you want to go. It's just a hop, skip and jump away.

Give my best to all the little children when you make your rounds this year,

As ever,
Uncle Wiggily
Since that exciting discovery in 2009, Easter Bunny has found more genealogy goodies!  In 2010 Easter found a family tree chart! You can see it here

In 2011 Easter was delighted to discover a Family Bible that once belonged to his great-grandmother Bunny Fufu! He's been hunting ever since, tracking down leads on the Bunny Trail and exploring every nook and cranny he can find.

April 19, 2019

Finding Nancy Longstreet Part 3

Deciding to go on a hunt for the mysterious John Longstreet born ca 1796 in New Jersey but settling in Ontario was fun. Challenging but fun!

Typing the information above into Ancestry.com search engine brought up two results. I always start with precise information and then I widen my parameters as needed. So I was eager to see the details on the two results of my search.

Online Family Trees

The first hit was an online Family Tree. I don't use online trees for anything except clues and ideas for more searching, because each tree is only as good as the person who did the research. No sources? Forget that tree! Sources are good and that allows you to double check that the conclusions drawn are correct. Don't be fooled. I have encountered trees that linked to a vital record but clicking on the link revealed that the record was NOT for the individual in the tree!

This particular tree had a John Henry Longstreet born ca 1796 in either New York or New Jersey with three wives: Anne Page, Phoebe Bear, and Sarah Lawrence. Five children were shown with wife #1, four with wife #2, and three with wife #3.

Immediately we see that I need to track down every child shown. That is a total of 12 individuals. This was going to be a very time-consuming research project! But my eye immediately seized on an Abigail Longstreet born 1833 in Caledon Township, marrying a Calvin Snyder. According to the online tree she died in 1894 in Gainsborough Township. This was definitely worth investigating. Could she be the 1851 Abigail?

This Abigail was shown as having a sister named Nancy Ann but there were no details about her birth, marriage, or death. I was really intrigued now! I had to take a little detour over to the death registrations to see if Abigail's details were correct, and what else might be found.

Death Registrations

A search for Abigail Snyder on  Ancestry.com revealed she died 31 December 1894 at the age of 61 in Gainsborough, Lincoln County and that she was indeed born in Caledon Township, which is in Peel County Ontario. That clue gave me a new location to search for Nancy Longstreet. New information that I knew might prove useful later was that her husband was a miller in St. Ann's Ontario. Remember that the original query mentioned St. Ann's, so this is interesting. Of course there's also the possibility that the original query got this information from the same online tree I found

The Second Search Engine Result


The second "hit" when I searched for John Longstreet was an 1861 census record for Caledon, Peel Township. Clicking on the image showed the following:

Longstreet, John, gentleman, born New Jersey, Baptist, 65
Sarah, born Canada West, Baptist, 55 <--agrees with the online tree showing wife #3 as Sarah
Matilda, born Canada West, Baptist, 18
Francis, born Canada West, Baptist,16
Erastus, born Canada West, Baptist, no age but a note in the column "residence if out of limits" reads "Township of Caledon"

The family lived in a 1 1/2 storey log cabin. A few names further down the page I saw

Longstreet, Henry, farmer, born Canada West, Baptist, 38 <-- Baptist religion means it will be more difficult, perhaps impossible, to find church records
Elizabeth, born Canada West, Baptist,39
Wm. Alf?, born Canada West, Baptist,18
Erastus,, born Canada West, Baptist,16
Herman, , born Canada West, Baptist,14
Sarah Catherine, born Canada West, Baptist,11
George, born Canada West, Baptist, 3?


My intuition tells me that Henry age 38 could very well be a son of John age 65. I'll need to add that idea to my theory of the family unit. 
 
Forming a Theory

Forming a theory is important when researching a challenging family. But you must be careful to remember that it is only a theory and you are going to try to either prove or disprove it. It should be based on some solid facts, circumstantial evidence or other details that can support your theory. This is where I start writing down all the scenarios that might make sense, and all the resources I might try to find to either prove or disprove my theory.

If you're not used to developing theories, you might want to read my article Never Assume - Develop a Theory Instead

I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to look for next, and I was excited to get started! There are so many different paths a genealogist could take at this point. Here are the first few that came immediately to my mind:
  • Continue gathering records about John Longstreet born ca 1796 in New Jersey
  • Track the children we found in this 1861 census record
  • Track Henry who I think might be another child
  • Track each of the children listed in that online family tree
  • Check marriage records for children who list their father as John Longstreet (and use each of the 3 wives' names from the online tree)
  • Check death records for any children whose father is recorded as John Longstreet (and use each of the 3 wives' names from the online tree)
What would your next step be?



April 17, 2019

Looking For Hurlburt Descendants

Charlotte G. posted about these lovely photos and I am posting them on Olive Tree Genealogy blog in hopes a descendant might read about them.

I'm hoping for some help to place a collection of Hurlburt family photos. The photos are of Heman Stanley Hurlburt taken in 1913. There is one of Horace Gordon Hurlburt with 2 others. There is a group photo of Stan, Helena, Gladys, Horace, Alice, Mary Ann, and Ann. There is also a photo of Alice, Gladys, and Helena Hurlburt with their grandparents. Research shows me that the Hurburts were in Hamilton, Northumberland and Mitchell, Perth areas in the 1800s. I'd love to give these lovely photos and letter to someone in the Hurlburt line.







If you are looking for photos of your ancestors, check out LostFaces.com

April 15, 2019

Finding Nancy Longstreet Part 2

Death Registration
I made the decision to gather all census data for Nancy and her husband George Fisher before branching out into marriage records or looking for Abigail Longstreet.

George and Nancy were easily found in 1861, 1871, 1881, and 1891 census records on Ancestry.com, still living in Lincoln County Ontario. In 1861 Nancy is recorded as "Elizabeth" so we should keep this in mind as we search - that this might be her middle name.

In the 1891 Census George is recorded as a widower so we have a timeframe for Nancy's death of between 1881 and 1891.

1861 Lincoln Co.
George 44
Elizabeth 39 <--This could be Nancy's middle name
David 20
George 16
Marian 14
Calvin 14
Alfred 8

1871 Gainsboro, Lincoln Co.
George 54
Nancy 50
Calvin 20
Harmy 18
Murray 16
Abigail 13 <-- the naming of a daughter Abigail makes me think that the Abigail from the 1851 census is even more likely to be a sister to Nancy

1881 Gainsboro, Lincoln Co.
George 64
Nancy E. 59 <---further support for the theory that Nancy's middle name is Ellizabeth
Murray 25
Abigail 23

1891 Gainsboro, Lincoln Co.
George is a widower, age 74, living with his married daughter "Abby" (Abigail) Pew, her husband and children. 

1842 Census of Canada West

I would have liked to search for George and Nancy in the 1842 census (which is a head of household only) but it is not available online for Gainsborough. There is no proof of course that the family wasn't living elsewhere in 1842 but a search of land records in that area could perhaps solve that question.

Niagara Fonds

The Ontario Archives holds microfilmed (but not digitized) Niagara Fonds which consist of the official records of the Niagara District, including Council Minutes, 1842-1853; Assessment and Census Rolls, 1828-1849; Commons School Accounts Ledger; 1842- 1844; Education Register, 1844-1850.

Fonds also includes assessment and other records from several lower tier municipalities including Gainsborough. It would be worthwhile to search for the family in these fonds. We might not find clues pointing to Nancy's father but we might find a great deal more information about Nancy, George, and their children. We should never overlook that as we try to flesh out a family line.

Agricultural Census & Land Records

I decided to search in the Agricultural census for 1851 and 1861 next. If I can find George I will learn his exact land location and from there I can search the Abstract Indexes to Deeds to see all records pertaining to that specific property. Often land was sold or given to relatives, so there could be more clues found there. The Agricultural census exists for Lincoln County 1861 but unfortunately George could not be found. This is another clue, and may indicate that George did not own land.

Death Records

I decided to do a quick jump to online death records to find Nancy's death. I knew there would not be much new information since parents' names were not recorded that early. It would be unusual for an exact birth location to be recorded but it is always worthwhile looking.

Nancy's death was found on Ancestry as occurring on 28 January 1890 in Gainsborough. Her place of birth was recorded as Ontario, and her age as 69. Her son Calvin E. Fisher was the informant. So nothing new to use as clues for our next step.

What Next?

Speaking of next steps, it was time for me to decide where to search next. I did want to search for the Abigail Longstreet from the 1851 census and the marriage of George and Nancy but perhaps it was time to branch out to the mention in the original query of "John Longstreet, b New Jersey in 1796 (moved to Ontario)". What would your next steps be?

April 12, 2019

Another Ontario Newspaper Online

Porcupine Advance, 20 Dec 1912
Thanks to my friend and fellow genealogist, Gail Dever of Genealogy a la Carte, I learned today that there is a newly digitized Ontario newspaper available on Our Ontario. Thanks to the Timmins Public Library, The Porcupine Advance is now searchable from 1912-1950.

According to the Press Release "Full-text search capabilities and digital imaging permits the user to browse, search and download this information, which opens up research possibilities to a completely new level.  In addition to full-text searching, both an Articles index and a Birth/Marriage/Death announcement index exist to facilitate browsing."

A few years are missing: 1913, 1914, and January to June 1915. You can start your search of this Northern Ontario newspaper on Our Ontario.

April 10, 2019

Finding Nancy Longstreet Part 1

Lisa B. posted on a Facebook group about her ancestor Nancy Longstreet  

"Olive Jane Fisher married Joseph Rose (also born Ontario) and they married and lived in Michigan. Olive was born in St Ann's, Ontario, 3 Apr 1858 (no birth record found) to George Fisher and his wife Nancy Longstreet (Fisher). I have verified Nancy's maiden name by the marriage and death certificates of one of their other children, son George Fisher Jr. Also Nancy Longstreet is listed on several other children's marriage records. The Brick-wall - I simply cannot find the parents of Nancy Longstreet. She appears to have been born in Ontario in 1822 (possibly St Ann's) according to census records. In 1851 she is 31 years old, married, but has 20 y.o. Abigail Longstreet living in the household. This may be a sister or cousin. I have seen references to John Longstreet, b NJ in 1796 (moved to Ontario) as Nancy's father, but I have found no proof of that. There are plenty of census records on him, but nothing that lists Nancy. Any suggestions would be welcome!" 

I was intrigued. I love a challenge! So off I went on a hunt which became more and more convoluted with each record I found. Spoiler alert: I found Nancy Longstreet's father but you'll have to wait until the end of my story to find out who he was.

My first step was to gather as many records as I could find for George Fisher and his wife Nancy Longstreet (Fisher). I needed to analyze each record carefully, one at a time as I found them. Analyzing each record usually leads to more clues and ideas for further searching.

I started on Ancestry.com with census records. Sometimes relatives lived nearby families so I wanted to know who lived near George and Nancy in 1851. And I wanted to know who was in their family group, as well as ages of each person.

In 1851 they were in Gainsboro, Lincoln County Ontario

George Fisher, 35
Nancy 31
David 12
George 7
Maria 5
Calvin 2
Abigail Longstreet, 20

This census gives us some approximate years of birth. However it is important to note that the 1851 census was taken in 1850, so this throws off the approximate birth years.

George Fisher, 1816
Nancy 1820
David 1839
George 1844
Maria 1846
Calvin 1849
Abigail Longstreet, 1831

The location of births for each individual is given as "F". That representation was unknown to me so that meant a search to find out what instructions the census takers were given in 1851 for recording place of birth.

A quick trip to AllCensusRecords soon revealed the following instructions for 1851 census takers:

Place of birth. Those born of Canadian parents were denoted with an ‘F’ 

This tells us everyone in this family was born in Ontario.

Another clue we should follow is "Who is Abigail Longstreet?" She could be Nancy's younger sister. She could be a niece, a cousin, or married to a relative of Nancy. There is also the possibility that she is not related and the surname is a co-incidence. 

We can also come up with an estimated year of marriage, based on the ages of Nancy's children. This is only a "best guess" since we don't know if Nancy had other children who may have died before this 1851 census. But based on this census alone, we might want to look for a marriage record before 1840.

Next up: It's time to decide what research route to take next - more census records? Look for Abigail Longstreet to see how/if she fits into Nancy's family? Look for a marriage record? Marriages in Ontario did not have to be registered until 1869 so we would have to look for church records if we decide to take that path next. What would you do? Keep following this series to learn what I did next. 

April 8, 2019

The Smithsonian Channel Disappoints

I was enjoying a documentary on the Smithsonian Channel called Aerial Ireland on Sunday night.

It was lovely to see the beauty of various historic places in Ireland, and to learn something of its history. And then..... the narrator explained that

....1845 saw millions of Americans come through Ellis Island to America.

WHAAAAAT???? My mouth dropped. I turned to my husband and exclaimed in horror "Ellis Island wasn't in existence then! Neither was Castle Garden!"

Yes my friends, the Smithsonian Channel got it wrong. Castle Garden, the receiving station for the port of New York, opened in1855. Ellis Island replaced Castle Garden in 1892.

The dates for various receiving stations, and when there was no receiving station in New York, are:

1624-31 July 1855: no receiving station
1 Aug. 1855-18 Apr. 1890: Castle Garden
19 Apr. 1890-31 Dec. 1891: Barge Office
 
1 Jan. 1892-14 June 1897: Ellis Island
15 June 1897-16 Dec. 1900: Barge Office
17 Dec. 1900-1924: Ellis Island  (FN 1)


You may think I am over-reacting but I'm horrified that the Smithsonian Channel could get the facts so wrong. And it has ruined my previous enjoyment of the documentary because now I am wondering what else they got wrong in this program.

Why oh why is there not some kind of quality check on documentaries like this?

(FN 1): hhttps://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/tousa_ny.shtml

April 5, 2019

Miscellaneous Naturalization Records USA, Canada, NZ, AUS


An often overlooked resource for ancestor searching is Naturalization Records.

Naturalization records can help you find the date of immigration, ship's passenger list, port of arrival, and the place of birth for your ancestor. Some naturalization records include occupations, names and ages of minor children and more 

 Many years ago I set up a website devoted to Naturalization and Passports. If you haven't been there, you may want to check it out.

NaturalizationRecords.com contains links to as many online naturalization and passport records I could find for USA and Canada. It also contains some transcribed records for those topics.

Here's a few naturalization records links to start you off. This particular set for America is pay-to-view records. NaturalizationRecords.com  also has links to free databases for America and Canada:

U.S. Subject Index to Correspondence and Case Files of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1903-1959

U.S., World War I Soldier Naturalizations, 1918

U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)

U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995

U.S., Naturalization Records, 1840-1957

Upper Canada and Canada West Naturalization Registers 1828-1850

Citizenship Registration Records for the Montreal Circuit Court (1851-1945) 

New Zealand, Naturalisations, 1843-1981

New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Naturalization, 1849-1903

April 3, 2019

Naturalization Records V-W


An often overlooked resource for ancestor searching is Naturalization Records.

Naturalization records can help you find the date of immigration, ship's passenger list, port of arrival, and the place of birth for your ancestor. Some naturalization records include occupations, names and ages of minor children and more 

 Many years ago I set up a website devoted to Naturalization and Passports. If you haven't been there, you may want to check it out.

NaturalizationRecords.com contains links to as many online naturalization and passport records I could find for USA and Canada. It also contains some transcribed records for those topics.

Here's a few naturalization records for states V-W to start you off. This particular set for America is pay-to-view records. NaturalizationRecords.com  also has links to free databases for America and Canada:


Virginia, Federal Naturalization Records, 1901-1938

Vermont, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1790-1954

Washington, Petitions for Naturalization, 1860-1991

Washington, Naturalizations, 1853-1980

Washington, County Naturalization Records, 1850-1982

Wisconsin, Federal Naturalization Records, 1848-1992

Wisconsin Oshkosh Area, Naturalizations Index, 1840-1970

West Virginia, Naturalization Records, 1814-1991




April 1, 2019

Naturalization Records S-U


An often overlooked resource for ancestor searching is Naturalization Records.

Naturalization records can help you find the date of immigration, ship's passenger list, port of arrival, and the place of birth for your ancestor. Some naturalization records include occupations, names and ages of minor children and more 

 Many years ago I set up a website devoted to Naturalization and Passports. If you haven't been there, you may want to check it out.

NaturalizationRecords.com contains links to as many online naturalization and passport records I could find for USA and Canada. It also contains some transcribed records for those topics.

Here's a few naturalization records for states S-U to start you off. This particular set for America is pay-to-view records. NaturalizationRecords.com  also has links to free databases for America and Canada:

South Carolina, Naturalization Records, 1868-1991

South Carolina, Passenger Lists, 1906-1962

South Dakota, Federal Naturalization Records, 1904-1928

Texas, Naturalization Records, 1906-1989

Texas, Naturalization Records, 1852-1991

Tennessee, Naturalization Records, 1888-1992

Utah, Federal Naturalization Records, 1906-1930

Utah, Naturalization and Citizenship Records, 1858-1959