Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Crack in the Livingston Brick Wall?

I wonder if I have a crack in my Livingston brick wall.  Genealogists look for patterns in relationships to give them clues.  I may have found one while taking advantage of free access to some of Ancestry’s records recently.

I have been stuck on the father of my great-great-grandmother Sarah Livingston. Her death record said she was born 5 June 1910 in Ancram, Columbia Co., NY, and that her parents were Daniel and Rachel Livingston. Rachel was the daughter of Thomas and Tryphenia Boyes.  I later found Rachel and her third husband Lawrence Vosburgh living with Sarah and her husband George Winchell.  Therefore I am certain of her first name.  I found a deed associated with a Daniel Livingston, but there was no more helpful information.

I was playing around in Ancestry again and I looked up Sarah.  What I found was a death record for Catherine Livingston. It said that she was born 1815 in Castleton, Rensselaer Co., NY and her parents were James and Rachel Livingston. Castleton is in the county north of Columbia. Catherine was around Sarah’s age, and her mother’s name was Rachel. Was this more than a coincidence?

Catherine was the first wife of John Surriner.  It just so happens that his brother Uriah married George Winchell and Sarah Livingston’s daughter Henrietta Winchell. They were married 12 January 1853 in the town of Great Barrington.  Catharine was still alive.  In 1855 she and her husband were living in Lee. George and Sarah were living about 11 miles away in the town of Great Barrington and Henrietta and her new husband were living next door. (In 1850 the Winchells had no Surriner neighbors, but John’s mother was Ann Eliza Van Deusen and there were many Van Deusen neighbors.)  In 1857 Catharine died in Tyringham, Berkshire County. In 1862 in Great Barrington her widower married Lois Ann Olds.  In 1865, John and Uriah’s sister Emily Suriner, her husband John Maston and their children were living next door to George and Sarah’s son John Winchell and his family. Next door to Emily and John were John Surriner and his second wife Lois Olds.  (Oh my gosh, I just realized three Johns living in a row!)  Two doors away on the other side of John Winchell was his sister Samantha and her husband Isaac Strong. Three doors down from John Surriner and Lois was the sister of Samantha and John Winchell, Julia, and her husband Asahel Warner.  At this time it seems like this was a close family and everyone got along well.

I looked to see if there are any other people in common between the people in question. I found a mother’s given name, a surname, a geographic region (the Hudson Valley) and a time period in common. Later on I found a general geographic area in Berkshire County in common. I found two brothers connected to Sarah Livingston’s family.  Then I found the Surriners and children of George Winchell and Sarah Livingston living together as close neighbors in Great Barrington!  It looks like I just might be onto something.  I think when I finally get to the Berkshire Athenaeum, Catharine Livingston and her parents will be the first people I look up.

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