A woman in Isabella County, MI, put on the Misabel site an offer to do lookups in the 1870 Isabella Co. census. I knew my grandfather and his mother, known as Grandma Howarth, had come to Isabella Co. from Delaware Co. in 1870. I requested that she check for Pecks and Howarth. The woman found an Amaretta Peck, an Ophelia (spelled Ofilla in the census) Peck, a George Peck, and a George Howarth. George Peck had to be my grandfather but either Amaretta or Ophelia would be his mother -- but who was the other Peck? Next, an employee of Central Michigan Univ. put on line a publication from 1885 entitled Prominent Citizens of Isabella Co. I found George Howarth listed and married (2nd) to the former Amaretta Kimball of Colchester, Delaware Co., NY. I then sent a query to the Kimball web site and found her family and her 1st husband with wedding date and place. She had married my g.grandfather, Chauncey
Peck, in Andes early in 1858. Knowing she was a Civil War widow, I sent for her pension file which had the following info.: Ophelia was my grandfather's older sister about whom none of us knew a thing (she had died in childbirth in 1885, 3 yrs. prior to the birth of my grandfather's 1st born); Amaretta's 2nd husband was John Waite of Isabella Co. from whom she was widowed again, and Amaretta's 3rd husband was George Howarth, from whom she was widowed a 3rd time. She had had a 2nd son by John Waite, and 3rd & 4th sons by George Howarth. The pension file also had the info that Chauncey Peck had volunteered in Co. D, 101st Regiment NY Volunteers Infantry, in Dec., 1861, (although I think I got that info from another source and probably needed it to get the pension file) and died in Apr. 1862 of typhoid fever at Washington, D.C., where he is buried. Chauncey was a descendant of Deacon William Peck, one of the founders of New Haven Colony in 1638. His ancestor Samuel Peck settled in Lexington, Greene Co., in 1790. I have traced the Peck's back to John Peck, b. 1129, Belton, Yorkshire. I've traced the Kimballs to the mid 1300s in Suffolk.
One of these days, and I dare not wait too long, I want to get back there to the Catskills, about which, when I was young, I heard quite a bit from my mother and her sisters who'd heard it all from my grandfather and (great)Grandma Howarth. - Gordon Marion, Hacienda Hts., CA
For all of the new researchers out there, I would like to relate this little story. For two years I have been searching for my husband's great grandfather in the 1880 census. He went by the name of Frank or his initials E. F. None of his living descendents knew what his first name was. In the 1920 and 1900 census I found him under E.F. or F. E. I finally, through a fluke, found him in the 1880 census listed as Alexander F. All of his
family was surprised to find this name, and it didn't explain why he used an E. for his first initial. A few weeks ago we accquired an affadavit of birth for Frank's oldest son that was signed by an unknown person, but with the same last name as our family (WILSON). I also found that this same person had signed a death certificate for a W. D. WILSON, but unknown relationship to our family. Through some investigation at the LDS library yesterday, I found W. D. WILSON in the 1870 census. And, there, listed as his brother, was Ellis Frank WILSON. Evidently in the 1880 census when the census taker asked his name the reply was Ellis F. WILSON. With the heavy Georgia accent Ellis probably sounded like Alex. and the census taker wrote down Alexander! The moral of this story is this: say the names out loud in various accents that your ancestors may have had at the time. You may find that the name you have been searching might be something else! - Sharon Wilson in CA, June 13, 2000
Submitted by Lodema Jenkins, May 12, 2000
Last winter at about 10 in the morning, I received a rather frantic call from the principal of the school where I teach. He wanted me to come to the
office immediately to help dismiss. Considering the problems that have occurred in some American schools of late, my stomach knotted, and I asked tersely, "Can you tell me why?" He responded, "Lodema! Haven't you looked outside! The grass is almost covered with snow!"
I spent my unexpectedly free afternoon researching, of course. At the end of a post, I went off-topic and mused to the entire List that I didn't think a Delaware County school ever closed because the grass was almost covered with snow.
I received many private responses including one who gave her address as West Kill. I asked her if she had ever heard of my aunt, Lela DUBOIS and her husband, Harry KIRK from Spruceton, a hollow outside of West Kill. Since both were born in the late 1800s I didn't have much hope. But, not only did she know of them, she knew their daughter: a cousin I only suspected to exist from notations in my deceased sister's diary. My newfound cousin and I talked on the phone, and I will visit her this summer. She tells me her mother kept notebooks of newspaper clippings and had lots of pictures! Can you imagine? ...a living breathing relative, family pictures, and newspaper clippings all because I was amused by Jersey snow paranoia, and went off-topic.
I thought some of the Delaware County researchers might be interested in the following: The recent "crackers and milk" sideline on the Delaware Mailing List introduced me to two cousins, one of whom sent me a mountain of information, including bible entries and photos of portraits of my relatives... all because I emailed someone privately about MY crackers and milk memories. You never know what will spark a contact. -
Ginny Garrison, April 18, 2000
The following story was sent in by Renee Hendry Greene. Renee apologized for its length but then went on to say "it proved a point to me... NOTHING, not even FICTION about a family is worth the scrap heap. They are ALL clues".
A "story" in an English surname I was researching was that a Prince of England, 1500's, was riding his horse in the forest and the horse bolted. Two young men came to his rescue and saved the Prince from harm. Later, upon the King's learning of this, knighted the two lads and gave them lands in Devonshire. [This is, of course, the SHORTENED version of the story - GRIN]
We couldn't find ANY evidence of this actually occuring and it drove us nuts.
Years later, we bumped into a Peruvian visiting in the US with the same surname. KNOWING we were not related, my mother giggled as she told an even briefer form of the story to the foreigner. She barely started her legend - when he excitedly FINISHED the story - and with more detail than
SHE had heard.
He, then, told us that his brother had bumped into a South African with the same surname visiting South America. The same thing happened.
The STORY became the link to the worldwide connections of a lost and scattered family. We ran a skimpy version of the story in various English papers - and within three months, had located 80 relatives. And EACH family with that surname assumed they were the ONLY ones left.
The story? Total fabricated. Was conjured in the 1600's when pretenders to their ancient line were running amok. It was used as a TEST. The actual letters among known ancestors were found explaining the entire scam. Even the phoney document with the "King's seal" is now in the archives in England. -
Renee Hendry Greene, May 30, 1998