Friday, August 27, 2010

Probate Records

Sorry, lost my internet now you get the condenced version on my blog.

Groveland Big 8... 50/50 on Probate

Levi Dunn b. 1773. Yes, will
Simeon Dunn b. 1774. No.
William Dunn b. 1776. No.
Albert Acker b. 1760. Yes, will
John Harrison b. 1773. No.
Isaac Keyser b. 1767. Yes, will. Ohio
Pat Nixon b. 1760. No.
Benjamin Parker b. 1776 Yes, wife probate.

4-Yes. 4-No. 50/50. I love probate records because they identify relationships. I want higher odds!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

..a big family

wow, Isaac Kiser and Elizabeth Adams had a big family. And then their children had big families. I am plugging away at them today. I have added some of the detail from "Oft Told Tales" by Nora Dell Smith Gumble to my PAF file. Time to go make dinner.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Interesting Historical Biography of William Dunn Family

Well, this morning, I went walking, logged in films at the family history center, and then went with Julie to see the movie, Inception, at our new local movie theatre. It was a good movie and thought provoking, I liked it. Julie leaves on Wednesday to go back to BYU, we will miss her.

Paula sent me a note to the link below. (thanks Paula) I have spent the afternoon reading this history. I think it gives a good insight into the history of the times as well as the Dunn family.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Just going over a few things tonight.

When Simeon Adams Dunn had his brother James Dunn sealed to Martha Clorinda Hosmer, he stated that James Dunn was born 27 Jun 1810 in Canada West! Hmmm.....if this could possibly be true...that the family moved from Groveland to Canada West....and that Simeon (b. 1774) was killed there....(possibly in the battle of Lundy Lane)...this would provide at least a plausible explanation of how Simeon b. 1803 could have been raised by the Haggai Skinner family who lived in Canada. Now, the age old problem, how to find some kind of record.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Two Down...John Harrison

I have completed my research for the family of John Harrison b. 1773. Many of his descendants stay in the Groveland area. I think the town historian, Larry Turner, comes from this line. I have updated all the descendants on new.familysearch and reuploaded my rootsweb file.

Perhaps you saw Cameron's comment about the moment in Revolutionary War history called Groveland's Ambuscade. It is their moment in history. thanks, Cameron

Here is another good site for researching in Groveland: or Google Livingston county Historian
Scroll down to County Historian's Record Index. Put in a surname. My favorite is to scroll through the just look at the deaths and poorhouses. I just find the poorhouse records interesting. The deaths are very helpful putting families together.

Albert Acker's Headstone

One Down...Albert Acker

I have completed what research can be done reasonably from home on the family of Albert Acker. I have added what individuals I have to new.familysearch. I hope someday there is an easier way to add the documentation. Because for now, I am not doing that.

If other family members wish to help with the ordinance work, please contact me.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Big Eight

Today, I am back to researching the Big Eight. These are the eight men and their families who Simeon Adams Dunn did temple work for in 1877, and who were founding fathers in Groveland, Livingston, New York. They are: 1) Simeon Dunn, 2) Levi Dunn , 3)William Dunn, 4) Alber Acker, 5) John Harrison, 6) Isaac Kiser,7) Pat Nixon, and 8)Benjamin Parker.

Simeon b. 1774, Levi b. 1773, and William b. 1776 Dunn are all siblings, presumed children of Simeon Dunn b. 1751 and Ann Gustin. Levi's residency in Groveland is well documented (County Histories, Multiple Family Histories, Census Records, Cemetery Records, Land Records, Probate Records, Tax Records, and Military Records.) The only evidence of William living in Groveland are Tax Records for years 1813 and 1816, and probable War of 1812 Service Record. And of course, as you have heard, there have been no documents located to provide evidence of Simeon living in Groveland....our continual hunt.

Albert Acker is the husband of Sarah Hart, a half-sibling to the brothers above, as we believe her parents to be Ann Gustin and a Mr. Hart. (contact me if you need an explanation of sources to this assumption.). Albert Acker's residency in Groveland is also well doumented (Family Histories, Census Records, Cemetery Records, Land Records, Probate Records, and Military Records). Supposedly Albert and his son, Silas, also served in the War of 1812. At the moment, I am trying to figure out if they served in the same regiment as the Dunn brothers above, and why or why not was Simeon also there.

John Harrison owned the property next to Levi Dunn. The current town historian, Larry Turner, is related to this family I believe. Lots of documentation (Histories, Census, Church, Land, Probate, Court, etc.). Here is where I will start to loose you in understanding the connections. John's son, Reffard Harrison, marries Ann Kiser, the daughter of Isaac Kiser and Elizabeth Adams. Elizabeth Adms is another half sister to the Dunn brothers above, her parents being James Adams and Ann Gustin.

Isaac Kiser arrives on the Groveland scene a bit later than the rest. While the others are in Groveland by 1800, Isaac and Elizabeth Kiser seem to have had a few of their children in Sussex, New Jersey then moved to Seneca, Ontario, New York before arriving in Groveland by 1830. They did not stay long, and had moved on to Ohio by 1840 where they spent the rest of their lives. Remember one of their daughters, Ann, marries Reffard Harrison. Two of their other daughters, Sarah and Catharine, marry two of Albert Ackers' sons, Nathan and Samuel. All of these folks were neighbors, and marrying people who you lived near was the norm in these days.

Benjamin Parker was another neighbor. He was the step son of John Smith one of the original surveyors in Groveland who decided to stay and live there. Simeon Adams Dunn did his temple work in 1877, but to date I don't see a way that the families tie together. Again this family's residency in Groveland is well documented (Histories, Census, Land, Court, and Probate records.)

And last, Pat Nixon, who we know very little about. Probably a neighbor. Lived in Groveland according to the census from 1800-1830 near Levi Dunn. He appears to have moved there from Sussex, New Jersey like many of the other people the Dunns knew and associated with. Simeon did the temple work for Pat and his wife in 1877, but little else is known.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Western New York

In September, Carl and I are going to Western New York. We fly into Buffalo and head over to Groveland, Livingston County, from there.

Range 7, Township 8

From these two old maps of Ontario County, New York, we are able to identify the Township of Groveland as Range 7, Township 8.
These are FHL fiche #6079752 and fiche #6079769


Above are two maps of Groveland landowners from 1852 and 1858. We are able to identify the Groveland township boundaries and see the areas where different farmers lived. Levi Dunn's property was near that of the Harrison family.

Groveland Maps Today

Above are some modern maps of Groveland. Highlighted are the borders of the Township of Groveland. On the map sent by Larry Turner, he has circled the area of Williamsburgh, the Hermitage, and land previously owned by Levi Dunn.

Simeon sometimes reported that he was born at Williamsburgh. But I am beginning to doubt he was actually born in the original village built by Charles Williamson for his hired German road builders adn settlers. What do you think?

As far as the Hermitage, there is one reference with in Lockwood Doty's "History of Livingston County" about Levi Dunn. It states: "Samuel Magee, who came in 1796, says the Hermitage, about a mile north of Henry Magee's farm, on the main road, was a small collection of houses where were residing Captain John Smith, surveyor; his brother, Geroge Smith; Alexander McDonald, a distiller, Thomas Hovey, blacksmith; James Butler, book and shoe maker; Scotch John Smith, Joseph Roberts and family of grown up sons, Hector McKay, Robert Wilson, a tailor named Templeton, Nicholas Beade and Levi Dunn."

I do think Levi Dunn owned farm land adjoining the Harrison property.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This afternoon, I have been scrambling trying to scan, print, and tape together all kinds of maps. I will try to post them over the next couple of days. I think I am getting pretty close to identifying down to the lot where several of the original Groveland settlers lived who Simeon did temple work for. This would include (Levi Dunn, John Harrison, Albert Acker, Isaac Kiser, John Smith/Benjamin Parker, Pat Nixon, William Dunn....and in theory our elusive Simeon Dunn).

Looks like what I don't figure out before my trip, I should be able to sort out while I am there. Hopefully I will be able to take some pictures of their farms. It is still pretty rural.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Second thoughts

so as usual, I am rethinking the Dunn line. Yesterday, I decided to go back and look at the "James Dunn" book from the church archives (MS1701 1). This is by James Dunn b. 28 Jun 1793, the son of Samuel Dunn b. 1753. The brother of William b. 1745 and Simeon b. 1751.

The point being that from James perspective: Samuel is his father. And his Dunn uncles (father's brothers) would be: William, Thomas, Simeon, Samuel, Levi, Joseph, (and perhaps James). His Dunn aunts (father's sisters) would be: Esther, Hannah, Molle, Sarah, (and perhaps) Anna.

In the book, he mentions the following aunts and uncles:
Thomas & Suzy Dunn
Joseph & Rachel Dunn
James & Sarah Adams
Why or how he knew or mentioned these ones and not the others, I have no idea.

Just to make it more complicated, he describes his Uncle Simeon and Aunt Ann as:
Gfather Simeon Dunn
Gmother Ann Dunn
In reality, his grandparents are William & Esther Dunn. They are the documented parents of his father's siblings.

I'm not sure we will ever sort it out. But that fact that he mentions Simeon and Ann makes me think I had better put them back in the equation.

Last note: James adds in his book "The above I have been baptized for." (This includes Simeon, Ann, Thomas and Suzy, and others. Where is this work in the IGI?"

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blogs go the wrong direction

So I am having a struggle with the direction of blogs. I often keep a journal on my computer as a word document. When I want to add a new entry, I scroll down to the bottom on the file and add a new entry. So the journal reads chronilogically from top to bottom.

But blogs don't work that way, they go bottom to top. I am struggling to accept it. I can't see how it will make sense if you haven't read what it under the latest blog. Nevertheless, I am plowing forward, and will try to discipline myself to just add another entry at the top.

End of day. A few finds. I found the wife for Ebenezer Sanders and have added her to my file. I think this is still a good bit unsaid or undocumented here, but it is a start. Still no sign of Lodewick's wife.

This is my sense of the Dunn/Sanders family today. At the moment, I think John Sanders died in New Jersey. So I think all the Sanders kids headed north into New York. They may have somehow had bounty land (although it doesn't appear so) or purchased someone else's claim in Ulysses (Lodewick, Mary, Margarget, Ebenezer and spouses). Ruth and William may have been around for awhile, but I think by 1810 they were in Groveland, New York. The 1810 Census entries for Dunns in Groveland are pretty wild. There is a Levi Dun and a Levi Done. I think some combination of their household might account for William Dunn and Levi Dunn. As they stand, neither really account for the correct children. But it is certain that Levi is there. William is listed right next to Levi in the 1813 tax list and paid taxes on real estate.

At the moment, I still think William and Ruth Dunn could have been Simeon's parents.

Tired, I am going to have a bowl of cocoa pebbles and go to bed. Well...I might read a twinge more about NJ probate first.


Okay, I've been a good girl and done my work for the day (gas in the RAV, Sams, grocery store, picked up the chicken salad from Chelseas, sort of assisted Julie in finding her glasses in the RAV, fed Crystal a kiwi and Melissa a bowl of cereal when they stopped by on their way to the beach, thought about what pictures of Helen's I'd like for the family room, cleaned the downstairs including both bathrooms, etc. etc.) now it is time for fun. I will need to go cook dinner in an hour, but then I'll be back.

So this morning, I worked a speck on John Sanders and his children. In 1910 (Census) four of his five children (Lodewick, Mary, Ebenezar, and Margaret) are all living in Ulysses, (then Seneca County, now Tompkins County) New York. Mark Putman tells me a more accurate description of the pace in Applegate Corners, which I found on my street map of the finger lakes region.

I suspect that John has died, but that his widow, Mary, is living with the oldest son, Lodewick, as there is a female over 45 years in his household. I am wondering if they were able to obtain this land as a result of a revolutionary war pension to his widow.

I am going to look again to see if I can find a pension file for John Sanders. If not, I will probably order the land record film and see if I can find them on that.

I suspect that John may have died in New Jersey before the family moved. I have already spent some time today trying again to understand how the wills/probate records for this time period are organized and who the repository is. I have more work to do here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010...where next

Okay, here we go again. I had written this morning's thoughts...then got distracted looking for a picture of "Applegates Corner" to add to it and my internet froze and I lost the entry. Not up to typing it all out again.

Maybe it will show up somehow.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yea, I have finished my work and now have some time to do family history. I don't have to cook dinner tonight because we are going to eat at Casa Ole where Julie has been waitressing all summer. We haven't been yet, and want to see her in action and leave her a GREAT tip! We are having an open house on Sunday for some friends from the ward who are moving to Alaska...thus the necessity of actually doing the work (yard, kitchen, cleaning, etc) before the fun (family history) today.

So...there are two families on my mind, Albert Acker and Ruth Sanders. I started with the Sanders yesterday. I was hoping it would be a quick find...but of course, not. So I am having to back up a generation and research her siblings spouses (Joseph Kinnan and Peter Putman) and their ancestors to try to get a better feel for the family of John Sandders and Mary Price, Ruth's parents.

Ruth is my new mother for Simeon Adams Dunn. She replaces Sally Bath, which I feel pretty sad and bad about. When you have looked for a surname for years and then just cut it out of the family tree, it feels pretty strange. I suppose I still keep hoping my theory may be wrong and Sally Bath will suddenly appear...sort of like my Mom's Ann Wragg.

But for now, I need to try to learn more about the Sanders family. The children (Ruth and her siblings) were baptized in a Dutch Reform Church in Pennsylvania about 1788. The family appears to have moved to Sussex, New Jersey by 1798 when Ruth is married. Then like many others they move into New York by 1810.

In New York, they are living in a town called Ulysess. Supposedly according to wikipedia this town was one of the "Central New York Military Tract" bounty land given to Revolutionary war veterans. All the towns were given classical Greek and Roman names. They are living here in 1810.

But I am still sorting out Peter Putman Sr. and Jr. and trying to mind revolutionary war documents for John Sanders. This is today's hunt.

Simeon Adams Dunn

Why I started this blog

This week I took a big risk....I changed the paternal line of Simeon Adams Dunn's ancestors in my personal and online family tree.

It was a surprisingly difficult emotional decision. Genealogy is not based on emotions, it is based on research and facts. So the fact that it was an emotional decision doesn't really make a lot of sense.

Nevertheless, my new family tree does not represent the information that Simeon Adams Dunn himself left. Thus, it feels like a bit of disloyalty on my part when so much of the information that he left about everyone except his direct line ancestors has been helpful and pretty accurrate.

Who knows, I may find in a few months that I am back to what Simeon said. This is why I am starting this blog. I don't want to write and edit a professional paper and why my family tree says what it says. That is a lot of work, and just not my passion. What I do want is some record of where I've been in my research, what thoughts I had about it, and why I have come to the conclusions I have. I will include my data in my file, and others can come to their own conclusions.