Saturday, August 23, 2014

Planning a Cemetery Tour

I haven't gone anywhere out of my home area all summer.  And how did it get to be almost September already? My psyche can't stand it anymore.  I'm planning a cemetery tour of family graves in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. I will be looking for Winchell family members, as well as those with different surnames from the spouses they married:  Baily, Boyes, Brazee, Church, Elsden, Lee, Oaks, Schwab, Snyder, Strong, Suriner, Thatcher, Warner, and Wylie. Happily my cousin Susan plans to come with me.  I hoped it would appeal to the family archaeologist.  

I thought it would be good to have a list of who was buried where.  I discovered that I could download comma-delimited data from to create a spreadsheet.  It would be fairly complete since most of the information I had came from there originally.  As I started formatting the spreadsheet, I realized I kept missing family.  Every time I thought I had everyone, I found more, four times!  I think possibly I have all family members on Findagrave now included.

Grouping the information in an understandable manner is a challenge.  I have several generations and different branches of the family involved, too many to use color coding.  I decided to group people and use different types of lines and boxes.  

There are still relatives whose resting places are still unknown.  They may be missing from the transcriptions or, and I suspect it's more likely, they have no tombstones.  At some point I'll have to go to the two towns to ask about the cemetery records.  I know Henrietta Winchell Suriner has to be there somewhere!  

It is possible that I may find new information by consulting the records, a happy thought.  A couple relatives are listed in two different cemeteries as well.  I hope I'll be able to find out which are the correct ones.

I plan to take equipment along in case some of the stones need cleaning.  It looks like this one for my great-great-grandfather may need cleaning.

Photo by Brenda L. Struthers

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Revised Van Gilder Relationship Chart

Below is the newly revised edition of my John Van Gilder relationship chart.  It shows his relationship with the Catskill, Schodack, Copake, Salisbury and Stockbridge bands of Mohicans, as well as the Wappingers.  At one point in my research I was finding various bits of information and it helped tremendously to string them together to see the bigger picture.  I don't believe it was included in the paper that the New York State Museum published.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Van Gilder Relationship Chart

I'm in the midst of revising the Van Gilder social relationship chart I created over ten years ago.  I had to figure out how to use Open Office Drawing.  I've been able to modify it the way I wanted to and I have additional information to add.  I'm pondering whether I should add references to more deeds and the letters of chief Mohican sachem Benjamin Kokhekewenaunaunt to British Superintendent of Indian Affairs Sir William Johnson.  The trickiest part however will be putting certain lines and arrows exactly where I want them.  

The summer weather is giving me fidgety feet and it might be possible I'll be taking a trip to view family graves in Berkshire County.  A few I found by accident.  Some I've never seen.

Below is a video of the jazz classic "Fidgety Feet."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Van Gilder and Winchell Family Line

In viewing this blog, I realized that readers have no reference point for the people I write about.  Below is my Van Gilder and Winchell family line.  

1.      Awansous, husband with unknown Mohican woman.  Awansous was a Wappinger chief recorded in documents from 1680 to 1707.  He originally lived in the area of Putnam County, N.Y.

2.     John Van Gelder born about 1698, died 1758.  He married Anna Maria Karner.  The banns registered June 28, 1719, NY.  Anna (also known as Mary Karner)  was born 1700 Germany, the daughter of daughter of Jan Nicholas Koerner and Anna Magdalena.  She died before after April 1782.  They resided in the Town of Egremont, Berkshire County, Mass.

John was a farmer and sawyer at a mill located in South Egremont that he operated with his brother-in-law Andrew Karner.

3.      Catharine Van Gelder was the wife of Hezekiah Winchell Sr., born 19 Oct 1731 Sheffield, Berkshire Co., Mass., and died before April 1778 (son of Samuel Winchell Sr. and Hannah Parsons).
Hezekiah fought in the Seven Years’ War and in the American Revolution at Mount Independence.  Nineteen other male native relatives fought in the American Revolution, including three in the Green Mountain Boys and nine others in the Continental Army.

4.      Eliakim Winchell born about 1744, died before Apr 1818 Mt. Washington, Berkshire Co., Mass., and married Sarah and an unknown second wife.

      Eliakim was a wheelwright and farmer and a veteran of the American Revolution at Saratoga, along with six other family members.  He was the last known Van Gilder grandchild to retain family land in Berkshire County.  It was auctioned off in 1818 after he died in debt.

5.      George Winchell (son of Eliakim and Unknown) was born after 1805, most likely in the Town of Mount Washington, Berkshire Co., Mass., and  married Sarah Livingston (daughter of Unknown Livingston and Rachel Boyes).

George was a farmer.  Sarah may be a descendant of James Livingston, who was unrelated to the patroon.

6.      John Winchell born 1829 Salisbury, Litchfield Co., Conn. married Winifred O. Ashley born 17 Jan 1830 Chatham, Columbia Co., N.Y., died 25 July 1800 Great Barrington, Berkshire Co., Mass, (daughter of Abraham Ashley, who was Quaker, and Delilah Beman).

      John was a carpenter.  During the Civil War he was a private in Company D, 49th Massachusetts Volunteers.  Winifred may be the descendant of a native man from Connecticut named Zephaniah Wix.  He was imprisoned in Robert Livingston's sugar house by the British during the American Revolution, released that December because he was one of the sickest and died on his way home.

7.      Henry Franklin Winchell born 11 Aug 1857 Berkshire Co., MA married (1) Cora Leona Thatcher born 30 Sep 1858, daughter of Alexander M. Thatcher and Huldah Bishop, died 18 Jul 1892;  married (2) Esther Haskell (daughter of Nathan Haskell and Susan Seavor);  married (3) Alice Belle Snyder 1895 Great Barrington, Berkshire Co, Mass., born 16 April 1876, daughter of John Martin Snyder and Jane Frances Hoyt died 24 Feb 1912.

Henry F. Winchell and son Earl 

Cora Leona Thatcher

Alice Belle Snyder

Henry worked as a carpenter, a clerk and in the local factories.  He is pictured in a photo of the construction crew working on Searles Castle in Great Barrington.  Alice’s great-grandmother was a native woman from Hudson, Columbia Co., N.Y.

8.     Earl John Winchell born 27 May 1892 Great Barrington, Berkshire Co., MA, died 5 Jul 1966 at Salt Point, Dutchess Co., NY.  His first wife was a native woman named Myrtle, most likely from Dutchess County.  I'd really like to find out who she was.  His second wife was Gertrude Baker, born 10 Aug 1890 Blue Creek, Paulding Co., Ohio, daughter of Andrew Baker and Margaret Gatton, died 14 Sep 1960 Amenia, Dutchess Co., NY.  Her family was also of native descent.

Earl Winchell with first wife Myrtle

Gertrude Baker, Earl's second wife and my grandmother

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Good News and Bad News

I have just discovered Iowa Old Press on the web, which seems to be a counterpart to Old Fulton NY Post Cards,  an online archive of old newspapers, mainly from New York State.  I am still trying to find out where Mary Lucinda Winchell, the wife of Rev. Ira N. Pardee, died.  It would be nice if I could document her life further, as well as her sister Georgiana Winchell, who moved west with her sister and her family.  Georgiana was known as Georgie and she married Robert Steele 11 December 1878 in Webster County, Iowa.  The bad news is there was a couple with about the same names living in the same area of Plymouth County, Iowa, Robert and Anna Steele.  Maybe that's why Georgiana changed her name.  I imagine as I puruse the files at Iowa Old Press I'll be able to sort out the news stories on the two different families.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Familysearch Tip

I just had a document in Familysearch show up in a different way.  I searched for James Gatten's marriage in the usual way just by clicking on "Search" at the top.  The transcribed record came up but not the image.  I went to "Genealogies" (which shows up on the menu under "Search" if you let the cursor hover over the word) just to see what was there.  I entered James' name and marriage date into the pedigree screen.  Instead of links for family genealogies, I received three links for the marriage, and one including a copy of the original record!  I will have to try this with other people.

Mohican Woman

The poem that inspired the name of this blog, and the only poem I ever wrote.

Mohican Woman 

No one told me I was Indian
But I heard the ancestors faintly call.
Christianity, sorority, Judaism, atheism, New Age,
Psychology, sociology,
Scottish clan, German gem├╝tlichkeit,
I answered them all.
No one was there.
Yet I heard them
From the river Muhheconnetuk,
Papskenee's Island, Monemin's Island,
Scotak, Skatekook, Kaunameek, Wachachkeek,
Gokameko, Housatunnuk, Wnahtukook,
Stockbridge Mission, Guilder Hollow,
My roots follow.
Nameless places, faceless names,
Nameless faces looking back at me.

Debra Winchell
December 1996