Saturday, September 14, 2019

Ephraim Warfield in the American Revolution

I haven't had much time to work on genealogy, although I've felt like getting back to it. My mother wanted me to finish my research enough to write and publish it, along with several friends.

A cousin from another branch of the Winchell family is Officer Keith A. Winchell of the NYPD, shown here during an August 2016 promotion ceremony. He is an Air Force veteran and a first responder to the World Trade Center. I have found out something very interesting about his great-grandmother Harriet Austin Winchelll's family and I'm working on documenting the information to give to him. Goals are always subject to revision.

I have hit a snag. One of his ancestors is Ephraim Warfield, born 1 Oct 1760 in Westfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. He served multiple times during the American Revolution on the Patriot side. I have discovered that there was also an Ephraim Warfield from Connecticut who also served in the same war. I have to sort out which man served when where. There's only one local library with Fold3 so I'll have to visit there.  The Ephraim from Connecticut applied for a pension so hopefully I'll be able to read the documentation and find out where he served.  I have a feeling it might be in Rhode Island. Fortunately there's a library near work and it'll be easy for me to go there to use Ancestry. This is a good example why a person always has to be careful about people of similar ages with the same name.

Friday, June 7, 2019


I need help determining a man's early origins. I know who he is, so I don't need anyone to guess who he is. It is very important you take the questions at face value only. Below are the clues that I have.
  • He belonged to a tribal band.
  • His father belonged to the same Native American tribe and gave him land rights.
  • He signed a treaty as a member of his tribe.
  • A Native woman signed a quit claim deed giving him land.
  • His tribe gave him land.
  • He married a European woman in a Christian church.
  • He was baptized a Christian, but the baptismal record is missing.
  • A record of his membership to any Christian church hasn't been found.
  • Some of his children were baptized Christian.
  • Some of his children attended a mission school.
  • He operated a sawmill.
  • He deeded land to his European brother-in-law.
  • He had a European last name.

The question is: based on the information provided, did this man grow up in a European family? YES or NO response please.

Thank you very much for your help.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Genealogy Goals

I think it would be a good idea if I set some genealogy goals for myself.  Because work management has always been rating me and my allergies always interfere, goals don't work well in my personal life.  However, it's probably a good idea in genealogy because once your tree starts developing, you can go off any which way.

My goals:

  • Document Debra Winchell's wife to Anthony (Teunis) Brazee and if she was the daughter of Eliakim Winchell Sr.  Tricky since the Town of Egremont records burned and the family weren't church goers.
  • Find the parents of great-grandfather Alexander M. Thatcher. He probably did come from Chester County, Pennsylvania, or thereabouts.
  • Try to link gggreat-grandmother Sarah Livingston to the Livingston family of upstate New York.

Beware FamilySearch

FamilySearch provided by the LatterDay Saints is a wonderful source of documentation. However, its Family Tree is flawed and fails to promote professional genealogy standards.

Initially I created a tree on FamilySearch (FS) because I wanted to use the relative finder.  That didn't work very well because unbeknownst to me the default settings of the page lets other people contribute to your ancestral findings.  A few people made a horrible mess of my family.  Today I've discovered some people even deleted some of my entries.  Fortunately the information was still there and I was able to reattach it.  I could see how this file was abused.  I had to post a firm message.  Since there doesn't seem to be a check and balance system, this can lead to all kinds of genealogical fallacies.  This puts in mind the Victorian desire to connect families with either royalty or biblical characters.  These are still affecting genealogy!

FS is not very intuitive to use, so I may have messed up their trees to fix mine  Sorry about that.   Since then I've figured out the correct steps. In addition, if you do use one of the resources found, it's not clear to me if you're sent back to your own entry.  I think so, but it should be made clear.  A user shouldn't have to memorize all the individual codes. 

Some FS users do not know how to research common names and it seemed that they just just blithely assumed they were correct.  I'll charitably assume that's how most of this happened.  Personally I would never go so far as to physically change anyone's information.  That used to be considered rude. If you find there is more than one person of the same name in the same age group, you must research both people until you are sure which one is correct.  There were 27 possible Adam Bakers when I was looking for my great-great-grandfather.  I knew enough to know I had to have additional information to go further. If you don't know how to do that, you better look up how to research genealogical records.

There is a setting under a user's profile to turn off contributions as FS calls it.  I could eliminate all but one.  I assume it's a corporate address.  I let that user know I didn't want any messing around with my files.  I might have to confess to accidentally messing up other people's files in reply, but at least I will be able to point out the design flaws.  Even though I'm no longer working in an information technology department, I can still break applications.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Using Amazon a Different Way

I just realized there's another way to use Amazon as a perennially cash-strapped researcher.  I can compile a bibliography of books I want to read and then borrow them through inter-library loan.  In addition, if the authors are still alive, I am also able to contact them to ask for suggestions on resources. 

It is not easy trying to research ancestors when I live hundreds of miles from here they did.  There is no web site that has all the information you could ever need from any area.  Research is even more difficult when your ancestors were sociopolitical minorities in the area. 

I've been trying to find where my great-great-grandfather Albert Galatine Gatton came from for years.  He was born about 1819 in Ohio and Native American.  He died of pneumonia in Corinth, MS, while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, so there is no death certificate.  His marriage record to my great-great-grandmother lists no parents.  I was able to find a record for his first marriage to Hannah Wyckoff on 15 March 1838 in Muskingum County, Ohio, still with no parental information.  It still doesn't mean he was born there, either. 

James Gatton and his wife Rosannah Canner lived in the area with their family.  Tantalizingly one of their sons was named Galen.  I don't know if they were related or not. Even if they were, I would still have a Native American ancestor to find.  I think it's most likely it was a Native wife. 

Fortunately in this time period there weren't that many people in Ohio to research.  There is one core Gatton family. It has a son named Greenberry Gatton whose history goes unrecorded.  I don't know if that's because he died young or if the family lost touch after he became an adult.  The only way I can think of proceeding is to read about the early histories of Native Americans and Europeans in Ohio.  I think it's possible that Albert's father was trading with Native people and met his Native wife that way.  With any luck there might be an early record with Greenberry's name on it.

I have another mystery ancestry in the same area, Solomon Hise.  He is my mother's ancestor.  He was Native American.  He belonged to the United Brethren church.  That sect was the only one that Native people in Ohio trusted.  I don't believe the parents that people have documented for him because it shows no Native ancestry.  I really haven't worked on his background very much yet.  I hope to.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

New DAR Member

Friday after work I was absolutely amazed to find I'd been sent in the mail a certificate of membership to the Daughters of the American Revolution, with my member number.  I had given up hope completely that I would be able to get my Mohican-Wappinger-German ancestor Eliakim Winchell recognized as a patriot soldier during the American Revolution.  I thought the facts that the town records burned, he didn't go to church, didn't need to pay taxes and was illiterate were ones that the DAR couldn't accept.  I was wrong.  I was given no explanation, though.

I think I am still a little too radical for the DAR.  My main goal was to have Eliakim recognized.  I'll have to wait and see.  I may want to apply under a maternal ancestor in memory of my mother, though.  It would only be fair.

Maternal American  Revolutionary War Ancestors

Berryman Brown
Richard Brown
Samuel Brown
Noah Hayden
William Hayden
Edward Houchins
Christopher Peavler
Cornelius Vanderveer
Richard Wells
Sampson Wickersham
Nathaniel Wilson

It's possible a Daniel ancestor served, too.  I have my choice, don't I?  I think it should be under Nathaniel Wilson or Cornelius Vanderveer.  It's difficult to document Wilson's service because he signed so many applications as a judge for other men! 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

New Thatcher Information

For years I've been stuck on the parents of my great-grandfather Alexander M. Thatcher. It appears he was born in 1818 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. I've been researching for 24 years. Today I've finally found something useful on Ancestry. It's a census of Chester County in 1779 listing all the Thatcher men. It also has wills of Thatcher men in Pennsylvania. I'm sure not all the men had wills. I can use this information to research these men to see what sons they may have had in the county later on, who would be potential fathers or grandfathers of Alexander Thatcher. I wonder what I will find.