Thursday, September 30, 2010

Refford Harrison...probate packet

Refford Harrison holds an interesting place in the intertwined lives of the "Big 8" and our Dunn ancestors. He is the son of John Harrison of the "Big 8 early Groveland settlers." His wife is Ann Keyser. Ann is the daughter of Isaac Keyser of the "Big 8" and Elizabeth Adams. Elizabeth Adams is the daughter of James Adams from Sussex, New Jersey. Two of Ann Keyser's sisters (Sarah and Catharine) marry two sons of Albert Acker of the "Big 8" (Nathan and Samuel). These sisters and families move to Ohio. But Refford and Ann stay in Groveland. Ann dies in 1855. Refford dies in 1865. At the time of his death, he has three living children. His son, William, has moved to Michigan. His daughter, Adaline, who appears to have never married, is living at Groveland at the time of his death but later moves to Michigan as well. His other daughter, Frances, is living in Livonia. However, in the 1860 census, Frances is still single and living with her father. There are two other people living in the household, an Elizabeth Holbrook, same age as Frances (26) and a ten-year old boy, Frank Prior. Who are these people?

Elizabeth Holbrook's name comes up in the probate papers (see above). So, who is she?

Albert Acker...probate inventory

Above is the probate inventory for Albert Acker. It is simplier than the one for Levi Dunn, and fun to read. It includes: two horses and harnesses, steers & yoke, plough & harrow, wheat and rye on the ground, eleven sheep and four lambs, one old wagon, one light wagon, one cow, fanning and mill, bed and bedding, old wooden clock, one cupbard, table, furniture, a lot of hollow ware [was this the precurser to Tupperware?], copper kettle, brass kettle, tin oven, lots of tin ware, washtub, cedar barrells, loom & tackling, two little wheels and one big wheel, buffalo robe, kitchen table and stand, and one crane.

It makes you wonder (and a little nervous) what they would say about your own house if it were inventoried at that level... one old swingset, one old carpet, one (no several) old beds, lots of genealogy papers, one old computer, lots of old tools, two little saws, one big saw, etc.

Probate Inventory for Levi Dunn

When you visit the Surrogate Court in Livingston County, you can ask to see the probate packets. These have been digitized. So you look up the file or packet # in a book book, find the # on the CD's provided, and send them to the printer. The pictures above are from that printout. They are of the inventory for the estate of Levi Dunn b. 1773, died Groveland.
Several of the "Big 8" show up in this document. Benjamin Parker is one of the executors. Daniel Kelly is another executor, if I had made it the Big 9, he is the one I would have included. Isaac Keyser is shown as owing the estate $3.75. And the estate owes Patrick Nixon $1. This is another instance of how the lives of these men were intertwined.
I am a bit surprised by one thing. I took the list of names who either owed the estate money or who the estate owed money, and tried to compare it to the list of heads of families shown in the 1830 Groveland census. Many are definitely there, but I was surprised by how many were not. Sometimes there is a family with the same surname, but not the same given name. I suppose this may be one more evidence that there were many more adult males incorporated into other households which may not show up on any of the early census records. I suppose this could give us hope that Simeon Dunn b. 1774 did really exist.
The handwriting and quality of copy is not easy to read. Many of the items listed in the inventory I believe are farming implements that I do not recognize. Nevertheless, here are a few of the interesting items on the inventory:
white faced heiffer
brindle bull
red and white faced calf
bull calf
small calves
yearling colt
grind stone
barrells of cider
hives of bees
cribs of corn
bunches of shingles
bushels of potatoes
spinning wheel
bushels of buckwheat
clock and case
looking glass
yards of fabric
hay in stacks
hay in barn
grain on the ground
and other items I can't read

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Parker Cemetery Lot at Lakeview Cemetery

Charles Parker headstone

Benjamin Parker headstone

Headstone, Lakeview Cemetery

More...Benjamin Parker...cemetery pictures

Benjamin Parker and some members of his family are buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Groveland. This cemetery is down near the lake, near the site of the Groveland Ambuscade. There is a pioneer section in the upper corner where several of the "Big 8" are buried. But the Parkers are buried just inside the first entrace on the right on a strip of grass. Here are some pictures.

Benjamin Parker

This is a photo of Benjamin Parker I found today on several family trees. Benjamin Parker is one of my "Big 8" early Groveland residents that I have been researching. All of the lives of the "Big 8" intertwine in various ways and all were early on the scene in Groveland.
Benjamin Parker's step father was John Smith. John Smith was one of the early Surveyors who mapped out Groveland. I think he also bought a lot of land at the same time and resold it.
Benjamin's sister, Elizabeth Parker, married William Doty. William Doty married Mary Bosley Harrison, daughter of John Harrison (another one of the Big 8). And thus you begin to see how their lives intertwine. William & Mary Doty's son, Lockwood L. Doty, wrote the history of the county, I believe.
Today, I went over the probate packet for the widow of Benjamin Parker, Catharine McGinley Parker. They had 6 children. Charles died young. Mary Ann is listed as "a lunatic" in the probate. She shows up in the "poorhouse records" later on for insanity. I don't know if she was down syndrome or had another mental health problem. It would be interesting to know more. She had someone responsibile for her money in the probate. The only married daughter was Elizabeth. Amanda and Catharine were unmarried when their mother died. Their father, Benjamin Parker, had already passed away 20 years earlier.
Not sure how I would feel being on my own as a single woman of 44 years, with a payout of $125, and living in a farming community. It would be fun to know the rest of the story.
Note: Benjamin Parker served as one of the executors of the estate of Levi Dunn

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Feeling patriotic...

I just finished transcribing the Brigade Order and Regiment Order given Jan 8th & 9th 1814. Both mention Captain Levi Dunn. I need to figure out what is happening in the War about this time. The orders sound like the are reorganzing the regiments and making some new assignments. Most of the regiments are ordered to give up a certain number of men of different ranks to form these new groups. Levi Dunn is suppose to be in charge of one of the new groups. They are suppose to March to Batavia by January 17th and rendezvous at Hosmer Hotel. Reading the letters always spark all kinds of other questions. Was Artemus Hosmer somehow related to whoever was running the Hosmer Hotel? Was the Captain Skinner somehow related to the Skinners in Canada?

Unfortunately, I can't cut and paste the transcript into the blog and I don't really want to type it all again. But I will attach the images and if you want the transcript email me. These were some of the original letters I was able to handle and read. They are part of the Wadsworth Family Papers Collection at SUNY, Milne Library.

More digging....maps, letters, ....

Today I am working my way down the stack of papers. I have read many letters by Helen Roop Gehres who was researching the Dunns and Ackers in the 1980's in hopes of producing a book. I hope she did and that someday I run across it. I think some of her ideas were correct and some most of us.
I am also looking at a landowners map that Larry Turner, Groveland Town Historian, had. Take a look yourself. Is anyone better at reading it than I am. Here is what I get out of it:
Lot #43
John Oman deed, 40 acres
Levi Oman, 64 1/10 acre deed
deed to Sarah Dunn
Levi Dunn 65.2 in tr???
L. Dunn 24 acres .8
J. Harrison
21 acres ??

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Digging through the pile...

We have been home for a week now, but it seems like I am still at the top of the stack of papers I brought home from the trip.

This past week I extracted all the Tax Assessments I copied from RAIMS (Ontario county, NY Record and Archives). This included Groveland, Phelps, and Lyons. On the lists were Levi and William Dunn (Groveland). Samuel Dunn b. 1753 and his sons (Phelps) and James Adams b. 1760 and son (Lyons). Looking at these records helped me get a better idea of when they each probably moved from New Jersey to New York. First Levi in 1795, Samule Dunn by 1813 or before, and James Adams in 1816.

I also went over my records and pictures for Rhea cemetery in Phelps. This is where James Adams and Sarah Dunn Adams are suppose to be buried. Sarah's tombstone is there. James is not, probably deteriorated. Also buried here are many members of Samuel Dunn's family.

Finally, I am looking at some notes from the family files. This one from a Harry L. Dunn of Endwell, New York was in the Ontario County Historical Society files. It references Thomas Dunn b. 1747. He makes this comment:

"There were two William Dunns at Wyoming in 1778

William Dunn killed by the indians near Fort Augusta, April 1778

William Dunn killed at Wyoming, July 3, 1778,"

So, I am trying to figure out who the William dunn killed in April was. If you know, please post a comment. I am beginning to think he might be tied to the town of Dunnville in Pennsylvania.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Home again...home again...

Sunday, September 19, 2010. We arrived home last night. It is nice to be home. I have a stack of papers to enter that will last me for months.

On our last day in Canada (Saturday), we got up early in the morning and went to the Drummond Hills Cemetery. This is where the Battle of Lundy's Lane was fought. It is also the area where Haggai Skinner, Sr. lived and owned property. He and other family members are buried in the cemetery. It was a beautiful morning, cool and refreshing.

Afterwards, we stopped by the Niagara Falls before heading to the airport. They were amazing and powerful as always.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Last Day on the Road....Palmyra and Canada

Well, today is Friday, September 17, 2010...the last real day of our trip. We will spend most of tomorrow traveling home to Houston. It has been a great trip, but it is always good to get home.

We got up this morning and headed to Palmyra. We were there early, so pretty much had the place to ourselves. We walked up the Hill Cumorah to the Angel Moroni statue and monument and then back down the other side.

At the Joseph Smith farm homes we had a private tour of the log cabin and frame home. Then we took our time walking through the Sacred Grove. The weather here is crisp and very refreshing. The Grove was calm and peaceful as usual.

By the time we left, a few other families seemed to have arrived.

Then we spent 2 hours driving over to Canada.

Here we met a cousin, Maureen and her husband, Neal. Her, William Dunn, and my, Simeon Dunn, were brothers. William married and raised his family here in Bertie, Ontario, Canada.

We met at the Fort Erie Museum. They have a very nice new research room. I encourage any interested Dunn historians to come up and visit it and give Maureen a hand in going through its many local resources. Afterwards we went and visited McAffee Cemetery where William and his wife are buried.

Then we all enjoyed a great meal at Betty's Restaurant. It was fun to meet Maureen and Neal.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday PM.. Lyons, Fairville

After the Rhea Cemetery, we went on up to Lyons in Wayne County. The Erie Canal runs through Lyons. Here is a picture of Carl along the Canal with a Lock in the background. James Adams paid his taxes to Lyons county. The property he lived on right on the border between Arcadia and Wayne County. Today their is a little community called Fairville in Arcadia in the general area where his Lot #95 would have been.

Thursday, September 16, 2010...another fun, busy day

RAIMS. We started the day by grabbing some fruit and bakery items at the grocery store for breakfast. Then Carl dropped me off at RAIMS (Ontario County Records Archive). I learned that Mary Jo is retiring in December. She has been in this position for 18 years and knows those records inside and out. For example, Carl asked her for microfilm of deed book 30. She responded, "here it is, but this book has very light ink on part of it. So, if you can't read it, let me know and we'll pull the original." She is very helpful. I think the plan is to eliminate her position, so if you think you want something, order it now.

Anyway, copied lots and lots of good stuff there. Copied the tax records for Phelps and Lyons showing Samuel Dunn and James Adams. Copied pages and pages from the deed index. It starts in 1789 and is different than the index SLC has I believe. Anyway, with it, I was able to find what I was looking for. No Simeon Dunn, of course, but have some ideas on tracing their land back.

We left there about 2 PM, and went back to the motel for a quick lunch. Then we headed out to Phelps. Phelps was where Samuel Dunn b. 1753 (son of William and Esther Dunn) for quite a while. He moved there from Sussex, New Jersey. We were able to stop by the Rhea cemetery and take pictures. His wife and lots of our Dunns buried here. Including his sister, Sarah Dunn Adams (wife of James Adams). I was really glad we took the time to drive here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010...Canandaigua

This morning we said our goodbyes to Groveland and headed over to Canandaigua. We spent the morning at RAIMS (Ontario County Record Archives). And yes, there two cats roam all over the office while you are there working. Carl used the computer and caught up on email and journaling.

I spent the morning going over the early tax assessment records for Groveland again. I had had them sent to me earlier. But I wanted to go through them myself and see all the people living there at the time. The records start in 1813 and go to about 1818. I'm just talking without really having my notes in front of me so don't quote me on this, wait for the details once I get everything typed up. Anyway, Levi Dunn, is always there. And William Dunn is consistently there until 1816 (I think it is....) when he just is gone. I assume he either died or moved. I still think there is a possibility that William is Simeon's father and that he died at this time. But I haven't totally given up on the Simeon and Sally Bath theory either.

I looked over their deed and surrogate indexes, but that are what we have from the FHL in SLC, so nothing new there. I am going back in the morning to finish looking at some miscellaneous records that they have.

After lunch, we went to the Ontario County Historical Society Office and Museum. The museum was minimal, but the staff in the research center was very helpful and attentive. Their mega-search intra-office computer system was done (has been for two weeks) but I still think we looked through what we needed to. They pulled all the family folders I was interested in and I looked through them. This included (Dunn, [no Bath], Nelson, Acker, Adams, Nixon, [no Sanders, Parker, Harrison, or Keyser]. We looked through their 3 versions of county histories. Some War of 1812 books, and other books. We photocopied about $10 worth of things to review, but nothing startling.

In the evening we were able to attend the Palmyra temple.

And we even made it back to the motel in time for the first episode of Survivor!!

To those family members who went on the church history trip with us last time, we are staying in the Red Carpet Motel. It is right next to the "orange motel" we stayed in that trip. Remember we left Dad in the motel to rest, and we all went down to the lake for a swim.

COWS and CORN...what Groveland is all about

as usual....the only BATH in town

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

SW corner of Lot Dunn

So by comparing 4 different maps (present day, 1852, county clerk, and Larry's) I feel very confident on the piece of land once occupied by Levi Dunn. It is on the corder of Adamson and Logan streets.

Anyway I have attempted a video. It will probably have to be viewed on youtube. Okay, so you may not want to listen to the sound on this because I had the camera out the window, so all you hear is the wind.

or Google youtube Groveland, New York or see my facebook
So here is the narration. We start with a field of corn, then you will see a stand of trees. The trees grow in the little gullies that permeate the areas. The plant crops on the flatter areas and leave the groves of trees that grow in the gullies (Groveland). After the trees you will see a white farm house. Certainly after the trees (and perhaps before) is where Levi's farm was. The car is coming down Adamson street headed West. At the corner we head north up Logan street.
The farms of Levi Oman and John Oman are just north in Lot 43 of Levi. And just before Levi on Adamson street is the property of John and Refford Harrison.

I have LOTS of still pictures to share with you...hundreds.
I've become a Groveland fan.

Tues, Sept 14, 2010....8 AM...Milne Library at SUNY

Started the day at Milne Library on the SUNY (State Univeristy of New York) in Geneseo. I had made arrangments with their research librarian, Liz, to look at certain items from the "Wadsworth Family Collection." In order to do so, she had emailed me two sets of information about how the collection was organized and what it contained. I was to look through the information and request what I wanted, and they would have the items pulled from their secure location and ready for my inspection.

At first I wondered if it would be worth all the effort...IT WAS!! It was so cool, first she handed me about 7 file folders each contained about 8 original letters written by Col. James Wadsworth during the War of 1812. It was so exciting to find Captain Levi Dunn mentioned in several of the letters. An example is the picture above. I have made color photo copies of the various letters that talk about Levi.

Not to long ago, I had ordered and received the service records of the Levi Dunn and William Dunn who I thought most likely to be our family. But for me, these letters confirm with even more certainty that they are.

My perceptions of the Wadsworth family has changed during this trip. Another of the items I had requested pulled was a bound volume of letters. Once again I was handling the original documents written in the early 1800's. It was fascinating to read. I wish I could have stayed and read the whole volume.

I was able to read through their bound volumns of original newspapers from 1797-1825. Lots more flipping through the originals rather than reading on microfilm.

Anyway, in the end it was such a treat to handle all these original records. The staff was very helpful and kind. I'd do it again!

Finished up there about noon, and headed over to the Livingston County Historian's office. They were just moving back into their regular building this morning. I was able to drop off some histories I had brought with me and spend a few minutes visiting with historian, Amie Alden. She is very helpful. I quickly checking the Dunn newspaper index, and the Dunn family file. I copied a letter from a women trying to make the Dunn/Acker connection which I will follow up on. My about half the information was from me. I reconfirmed with her my earlier cemetery survey, no church records from Groveland, no other War of 1812 records, etc. It would be fun to visit there again when they are really open for business, but I feel pretty confident that there are no major surprises there for us.

About 2 PM, made it to the Surrogate Court office. Their operation is slick. They have digitized their records. The big index books are out. You look up the packet #. They had you a CD with that packet #. The digitized packet contains all the bits and peices of the packet. You can print for $.25 a sheet. So in about 45 minutes I was able to send $30 worth of probate packets to the printer and was out of there.

We spend the final hours of the day driving around Groveland, more on that in the next blog.

Groveland Pioneer Cemetery

Check out the videos. Almost like going yourself to visit the headstone of Levi Dunn and his first wife, Mary (or Polly) Parker. I could not see her headstone the first time we visited. But through the camera lense the inscription was rather visible. Hers is the Dunn headstone on the ground, next to Levi Dunns.

The clips were too big to post on blogspot. Find them on Youtube or on my facebook, I think.
Hopefully these are the links.

It doesn't seem to run all that smoothly. If you really want to watch, I'll send it to you. but give it a try.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday...9 PM

Too late to load pictures and just a brief recap.

9-11 AM: County clerk's office. Carl photocopied 75 pages of deeds for me.
11:30-4:00: Spent time visiting the Groveland Historian, Larry Turner. Fun part of the day. He's a farmer. A genuine nice person.
5:00-8:00: SUNY library Genesee Valley Room and microfilms of historic newspapers. Not much found as expected
Salad at Wendy's and home to the bed and breakfast.

Unfortunately, I am bracing myself for not being able to get access to the records at the Livingston County Historian office. They have been rennovating because of asbestos, and are moving this week. Boo hoo.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday, 6:30 PM, Glenwood and Lakeview Cemeteries, Groveland Ambuscade

So our final stops for the evening before it got dark were the other two Groveland cemeteries where other folks who lived the same time as our Dunns, but stayed here, are buried. In the Lakeview Cemetery, all in one area, are the graves of Albert Acker and his wife, and Reffard Harrison and his wife.

Not far from this cemetery is the site of the Groveland Amuscade. I learned more about it. Turns out that the US was pretty upset with the Indians and Torries after the massacres at Wyoming Valley, PA and Little Valley, NY. The massacres certainly impacted the Dunns, as at least 3 and maybe 4 of the sons of William and Esther Dunn were killed in the Wyoming Valley Massacre. Anyway, people pressured the government to do something. So Washington sent 5,o00 troops to retailliate in what is known as the 1779 Sullivan's Campaign. In the end, they destroyed 42 Indian villages and all the crops and surrounding areas. One branch of the campaign started at the Wyoming Valley and moved right up through this area. At one point, Sullivan sent a group of scouts out to see where the indians and Tories were. The found them and move past their line. In their attempt to cross back through the enemy line to get back to their own troops, they ran right into their main forces. So it was like a group of 14 scouts against 1,000 indians and Tories or something along those lines. Anyway, most of the scouts were killed, a few escaped, their leader was taken by the Inidans and questioned and tortured to death. Immediately after Sullivan got the report, they sped to the area and completely wiped out all Little Beard's village which was near present day Geneseo.
As Carl put it, it really didn't pay for the Indians to get involved in the white man's wars. Either way, they always lost.
Many of the men on the Sullivan Campaign saw what great farm land this was. Supposedly the indians had ears of corn 22 inches long. Many of them forfeited their military pay and took bounty land in the area instead. Supposedly Albert Acker was on the Sullivan Campaign.

5:30 PM. Groveland Pioneer Cemetery

After changing our clothes, we headed out to visit the cemeteries in Groveland. I am more convinced than every, that if Simeon Dunn b. 1774 and Sally Bath are buried anywhere, it is likely in this cemetery. This is the cemetery where Levi Dunn b. 1773 is buried. His head stone continues to deteriorate.

Unfortunately, of all the cemeteries in the area, this one is in the most deteriorated condition. Probably because it is the one of the earlies. This type of headstone just had not held up over 200 years.

The cemetery is right beside the road (Route 63, I think). There is a little place to pull off. It is on a hill. An outside rim of the hill rises to one level where there are 2 headstones and about 5 footstones. [one here looked like a daughter of Liberty and Susan Udall died 1835] Then the hill rises to a main brow of the hill where most of the left headstones are located. Carl estimates that this area is about 25 feet wide and 40 feet deep. It contained about 6 or 7 rows of headstones with space for maybe a dozen or so on each row. Levi Dunn's headstone is about the second row from the back on the right side if you are facing the headstones. The headstone labeled "Mary" which is beleived to be his wife is there, but completely unreadable. Most of the readable headstones are the Harrison family (Elias, Hannah, Charlotte, William, etc.). Almost all the headstones seem to date from people who died from about 1800-1830.

The weather has been beautiful (no humidity...yea), but while at this cemetery the misquitoes found us and swarmed. We may try to go back with bug spray in hand.

Sunday 2:30 PM....Livingston County Historical Society Museum

After Church and lunch, we visited the Livingston County Historical Society Museum located in Geneseo. It was really nice in that the show you briefly how to find yourself around the old rock schoolhouse it is located in. Then they just let you wander at your own pleasure.

Most of the items are just kind of stacked in the rooms so you are really up close and personal. They had one small display case of items that were found using a metal detector in 1997 at the Williamsburg village site.

Another interesting item was the full size stagecoach in the garage. We got to talking to Sally, one of the docents, after we had wandered. Turns out she is a "Wadsworth" by birth. Wadsworths were a financial powerhouse in the area. They basically bought out much of Charles Williamson's land...lots and lots. They were a wealthy family from back East. The sold some and held on to a bunch. Two of the sons settled in the area. The coach had been in her father's barn when she was growing up and she had played "pretend" on it as a child. Her father donated it to the museum. About 2 years later in the 1960's the barn burned. Unfortunately, this was the barn that also contained all the early Wadsworth family records (from the time period we are interested in) and they were lost in the fire.

I am still going to go to SUNY to look at some Wadsworth family papers, but they all seem to late for our Dunns.

Sunday, 10 AM.... church

On the road from Mount Morris to Geneseo you pass this beautiful farm. Geneseo is where the area ward is located for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They have a brand new bulding. The chapel is just like Livingston Ward back home. It was high councilman Sunday, but the talks were very good.