Sunday, June 30, 2013


iram SCRIPTURE (1772-1849) and Elizabeth PARKER (1771-1862) were my fourth great grandparents. They were married in Connecticut and settled in Oneida County, New York. To this marriage arrived several children, one of whom was Hiram SCRIPTURE (1807-1851), my third great grand uncle. (See my previous blog post for more information about Hiram’s family (

I know that Hiram married someone named Margaret and settled in Michigan to raise a family.  Up until a week ago I believed that Margaret’s maiden name was Spear/Speer/Spears/Speers. On the “Michigan Marriages, 1822-1995” database on FamilySearch, Langdon Scripture, Hiram and Elizabeth’s son, supposedly had a mother by the name of Margaret Spears. (1)

I was in for a surprise!

Recently I ordered a microfilm of assorted Oneida County, New York records from  I had actually ordered this film to investigate another line of my family. However, while I was reviewing the film, I discovered the following entry:

m. Apr. 28, 1835, in Barrre, N.Y., Hiram Scripture, Jr., formerly of Westmoreland, Oneida Co., N.Y., now of Monroe Co., Mich., to Miss Margaret Parker.” (2)

Now this was startling in a few ways and provoked more questions:

(1) As noted above, I thought that Margaret’s maiden name was Speer or something similar to that.

(2) Why did Hiram and Margaret get married in Barre, New York, which is in Orleans County? Most of my ancestors lived around Oneida, Chenango and Madison Counties.  If Margaret was from Barre, how did Hiram meet her? Did he live there too sometime between living in Oneida County, New York, and moving to Michigan? Did they marry in Barre for some other reason?

(3) Was Margaret Parker related to Hiram’s mother’s Parker line, i.e., did Hiram marry a distant cousin?

Hiram Scripture is a fairly uncommon name, and the notice was correct about Oneida County, New York. It was also correct about Michigan.  The year 1835 would be a reasonable time for Hiram to marry—he was born in 1807. My records show that Margaret was born about 1815. So, based on the apparent accuracy of the article, I am inclined to believe that Margaret’s maiden name was indeed Parker.

Still, since this was a secondary source, I needed to back it up with some more evidence.

Hiram died in 1851 in Washtenaw County, Michigan, when Margaret would have been around 36 years old. She remarried a man by the name of Orlando Rosebrook. Margaret Rosebrook’s gravestone can be seen at Find A Grave ( She died in 1900 and is buried in Tuscola County, Michigan.  (3)

I then went to Seeking Michigan ( and viewed a copy of Margaret Scripture Rosebrook’s death certificate. Sure enough, on the death certificate, her father’s name is listed as Parker (last name only). Her mother’s name is listed as Sophronia Spear. Margaret died in 1900 at the age of 85, making her birth around 1815. Her age at first marriage is listed as 21. That would make an 1835 marriage to Hiram just about right. The death certificate states that she had four children, and that matches my records. In addition, the certificate notes that Margaret was born in Michigan, whereas her parents were born in New York. (4)


Sophronia Spear died on 26 Jul 1870 in Washtenaw, Michigan (6), and is buried in York Cemetery in Milan, Washtenaw County, Michigan (7), the same cemetery where Hiram Scripture is buried. (8) What is perplexing is why there is no reference to the name Parker.  Perhaps Sophrunia Spear never married Mr. Parker. 

So what have I learned?
  • It is excellent practice to order microfilms from
  • Women can be tricky to research because of their many name changes.
  • Keep an open mind as to locations when searching for your ancestors. They may appear in unusual places.
  • There are many conflicting sources for genealogical information. You have to cast a wide net and examine and compare each piece of information.
Next steps:
  • See if I can find out why the marriage of Hiram and Margaret was in Barre, Orleans, New York.
  • Try to discover Margaret Parker’s connection, if any, to the family of Elizabeth Parker, Hiram’s mother.
  • Visit the York Cemetery in Milan, Washtenaw County, Michigan, to see if I can gather any additional information and to get photographs of the gravestones of Hiram Scripture and Sophrunia/Sophronia Spear.
  • Attempt to locate a reference to a marriage between Sophrunia/Sophronia Spear and a man with the surname Parker.


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.

Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Elegant Floral Designs, 2003.


(1) "Michigan, Marriages, 1822-1995," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 Jun 2013), Langdon W. Scripture and Louisa E. Conrad, 04 Apr 1894.

(2)  “Marriages and Deaths, 1827-1837” compiled in 1972 by Charles Gordon Pond, Jr. from marriage and death notices in bound volumes of newspapers on file at the Oneida Historical Society, Utica, New York,  entry for Scripture-Parker, handwritten page 111, names beginning with “S,” FHC Film 1435189, Item no. 1, Death & Marriage Notices from Utica, N.Y. Newspapers (

(3)  Find A Grave, Inc. Find A Grave, digital image ( accessed June 30, 2013), Margaret Rosebrook (1814-1900), Elmwood Township Cemetery, Tuscola County, Michigan, Memorial No. 28095871, created by Papaduck34.

(4) Michigan Department of State, death certificate no. 67 (1900), Tuscola County, Margaret S. Rosebrook [indexed as Margrett]; digital image, State of Michigan, Seeking Michigan ( accessed June 29, 2013).

(5) Ibid.

(6) Genealogical Death Indexing System, Michigan Department of Community Health, entry for Sophronia Spear ( accessed June 30, 2013).

(7) Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital image ( accessed June 30, 2013), Sophrunia Spear (unknown - Jul. 28), York Cemetery, Milan, Washtenaw County, Michigan, Memorial No. 25699441, created by Angela Peters.

(8) Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital image ( accessed June 30, 2013), Hiram Scripture (unknown - Jul. 27, 1851), York Cemetery, Milian, Washtenaw County, Michigan, Memorial No. 71379605, created by Leta Knauss.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Elizabeth "Betty" Taylor Wratten

Artwork by
Elizabeth "Betty" Taylor Wratten

Elizabeth "Betty" Taylor Wratten

My Aunt Betty lived in Oneida County, New York, close enough that I saw her on a regular basis during my childhood.  She was a fabulous cook and an artist. She raised pugs, owned an antique shop, taught the deaf, taught swimming and played the piano. All this while raising children and helping her husband on their farm. I loved listening to her--she was brilliant!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


oday I was searching for a distant cousin in Ohio and came upon an interesting cemetery website:  Spring Grove Cemeteries, Funeral Homes and Crematory  in Cincinnati, Ohio ( If you go to the home page and click on “Locate a Loved One,” you will see a Genealogy Search box (  There is also a drop-down box where you can choose “Spring Grove” or “Oak Hill.” I chose Spring Grove and entered one of the surnames of my Ohio ancestors: Cutler.  There were nine hits. When I clicked on Henry Cutler, I got this:


When I clicked Henry Cutler again, a screenshot of an index card appeared.

I have never seen this type of information on a cemetery website before, but I wish I would see more of this practice! Look at all the good information for family historians: place of birth, last residence, birth date, death date, interment date and time, disease, names of parents, lot owner, place of death, undertaker, even the size of the coffin.  Poor Henry died in a railroad accident, so there will probably be newspaper articles about that event.  You could also contact the undertaker.

If you go back to the Genealogy Search page (, you can enter the Section and Lot Numbers and see a list of all the people buried nearby a person. This is helpful information as families tend to be buried near each other. When I did this with Henry’s Section 103 and Lot 21 I found him and four other Cutlers.


If you click on “Lasting Legacies” (, you can add information about your ancestor or, if you are lucky, read something that someone else has posted. You can also add information about a veteran on “The Spring Grove Family Salutes Our Family” page ( There is also a tab on the home page for recent losses. If you click on “Obituaries" (, you will see current obituaries. There is also a link for “Archived Obituaries" (

At this point I don’t know if any of these Cutlers are related to me. I also tried the search with the surname Crandall; I got 11 hits. When I tried it with the surname Spaulding, I got 28 hits. I hope that I find some ancestors who died around Cincinnati so I can take advantage of this great website. Cemeteries are in a unique position to help genealogists, and the Spring Grove website is a fine example.

Do you have ancestors who died in Ohio? 


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Decorative Silhouettes, 2003.


(1) Entry for "Henry Cutler," date of death 16 Dec 1884, Spring Grove Cemeteries, Funeral Homes and Crematory, Cincinnati, Ohio ( accessed June 23, 2013). 

(2) Ibid.

(3) Snippet of headstone from my photograph in 2011 of D. Delos Cutler and Helen Marsh gravestone in Green Lawn Cemetery, New Hartford, New York.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Paulina June Taylor Jeffreys

Artwork by
Paulina June Taylor Jeffreys

Paulina was my aunt on my father's side. She was a dental hygienist and lived in Pennsylvania most of her life with her husband and children. Because she lived in a different state, I didn't get to know her well.  Later in life, I corresponded with her, and she wrote me wonderful letters despite the arthritis in her hands.

Paulina June Taylor Jeffreys


Sunday, June 16, 2013


was searching for my great grand uncle, Albert PARKS, the other day in Old Fulton New York Postcards ( and found something I thought unique and helpful.  On Saturday evening, December 30, 1916, the Utica, New York Herald Dispatch published the “Death Roll of Year.” (1) There does not appear to be an explanation as to where they got their information or what exact area was covered.  The “Death Roll of Year” was a list, month by month, of deaths of interest to people who lived in Utica, New York in 1916. In many cases, ages and occupations are given. Since the list was published on December 30, 1916, it is safe to say that the people who died on Sunday, December 31, 1916, were not listed. It is also possible that deaths on Saturday, the day of publication, did not get published even though it was an evening edition.

Albert PARK was on the list with a death date of September 3, 1916. (2) I was not distressed to see that there was no "s" on the end of PARK, as I have seen the name spelled both ways in my research.

I then went back to and did a search for “September 1916 Albert Parks Utica” using “all of the words.” This brought me to his obituary on September 4, 1916 in the Utica Observer where I learned, among other things:
  • He died at the home of his niece, Mrs. George Cullen [a/k/a Isabella MARSH my great grand aunt]
  • Albert was born in Gilbertsville in 1820.
  • At the age of 11 he moved with his parents to Middle Settlement where he lived for approximately 73 years.
  • After his wife died, he came to Utica to live with his niece.
  • Albert was a cooper and a carpenter.
  • He was a sexton of the church at Middle Settlement.
  • He married Julia Bunny of Capron 40 years earlier.
  • He was survived by two nephews, three nieces, Frederick Marsh (Whitesboro), William Marsh, Mrs. John Barrowman, Mrs. George Cullen and Mrs. Delos Cutler, all of Utica. (3)

[Frederick MARSH was my great grand uncle; Mrs John Barrowman was Melissa MARSH, my great grand aunt; William MARSH was my great grand uncle; Mrs Delos Cutler was Nellie (Helen) Amelia MARSH, my great grandmother.]

Wow! What a splash of information! Imagine the new avenues that I can now search—Gilbertsville, church sextons in Middle Settlement, Julia Bunny, coopers…. I especially like the hint about Gilbertsville, which is in Otsego County, a county I don’t normally examine. This will hopefully lead to information about Albert’s parents.  I love newspapers.

On, you can find “Death Roll of Year” by clicking "exact phrase" and typing “death roll of year” into the search box.  

I was curious to see if the Utica Herald Dispatch published a death roll list every year, but after a number of searches I have concluded that they did not. I also looked for other papers on Old Fulton New York Postcards that might have performed this service.  The Morning Herald in Gloversville, New York published an article entitled “356 Names on Gloversville’s Death Roll for Year of 1916.” (4) This list gave dates of deaths but not occupations.

The death roll information is useful if you cannot find your ancestor anywhere else or if you want one more piece of evidence to add to your portfolio on a person. It is obviously not something that can be relied upon exclusively as evidence, but every little clue helps!

Newspaper searching requires patience. Creative approaches may ferret out the information you are seeking.


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Dover's Greatest Clips, 2010.


(1) “Death Roll of Year,” Utica, New York Herald Dispatch, December 30, 1916, digital image 295205, Old Fulton NY Post Cards ( accessed June 16, 2013).

(2) Ibid.

(3) “Albert Parks,” Utica, New York Observer, September 4, 1916, digital image, 346984, Old Fulton NY Post Cards ( accessed June 16, 2013).

(4) “356 Names on Gloversville’s Death Roll for Year of 1916,” Gloversville, New York Morning Herald, January 2, 1917, digital image 795637, Old Fulton NY Post Cards ( accessed June 16, 2013).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sunday, June 9, 2013


aroline PARKS and Cyrus MARSH were my 2nd great grandparents. For some reason, discovering information about their lives has been a challenge. Aside from a few census records and copies of their gravestones in New Hartford, New York, I didn’t have much to go on. For months I have been slowly reconstructing their world. And then the other day a cloud lifted. I found an 1860 Census record with a Caroline PARK living with her parents, Earle and Amelia.  At the bottom of the record was a Frederick Marsh, age 6, born 1854, but there was no Cyrus. (1) Was this the right Caroline? Her birth year was listed as 1839, over ten years different than that on her gravestone.  According to this Census record, Caroline was 21. If Frederick was her child, she would have been 15 when she had him. (2) Frederick was not listed as a child on the other census records I had. And where was Cyrus? Was he in the service?  The Census entry gave Caroline’s name as Park, not Marsh. Was Caroline not married,  but had a son by Cyrus? So many questions.  Amelia, Caroline's mother's name, is a name that has been used in our family in that line so this might be the right family.  The location of New Hartford, New York was correct also.

I began to research Frederick Marsh, and then I hit a jackpot.  I discovered on in their “New York, Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1830-1920” database, two records for a Fred MARSH, whose parents were Caroline PARK and Cyrus MARSH.  The first record had an admission date of 19 Dec 1914. His name was spelled “Fread” and his father was “Syras” MARSH. His mother was listed as Caroline PARK. (With all the spelling problems, you really have to be creative in your searching or simply get lucky to find records.) According to this record, Fred was 58, married and not feeble minded.   Fred was born in Utica, New York about 1856, and his occupation was cabinet maker. The record stated that his father was born in New York, and his mother was born in Connecticut. His physical condition was “ruthesium” and the reason for his entry was that he had no home. The record then listed the names and addresses of friends and family, all people in my family tree! One of the people listed was Mrs. George Cullen, who was Isabel MARSH. Isabel was also a child of Cyrus and Caroline, so she apparently was Fred’s sister. (3) 

The next discovery  in the “New York, Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses” was for an admission date of 17 Sep 1919 for Fred E. Marsh. This time Fred's father is listed as Cyrus MARSH and his mother as Carlone PARK.  Now Cyrus is listed as born in Connecticut, and Caroline is listed as being born in New York.  Fred’s occupation was cabinet maker. He was Protestant and could read and write. The cause of admission was that he was homeless. This time it is noted that he has a wife Margaret Marsh, who lived in Utica.  Fred was 66. (4)

So why did Fred end up in an almshouse? If he had a wife, why wasn’t she in the almshouse too? Were there marital difficulties? Fred's parents, Caroline and Cyrus, had died many years before, but why did his other relatives allow him to be admitted to a poorhouse?  When was Caroline really born? The problem with genealogy is the more you discover, the more questions arise.  The good news is I have now connected the 1860 Census record with Fred and Caroline and Cyrus and thus I may have found Caroline’s parents—Earle and Amelia. Only a genealogy nut could understand how happy this makes me. 

Fred MARSH was my great grand uncle. I’ve never found an ancestor in a poorhouse before, so I did some research on the subject. Here are some links to information on this topic:

Also, if you go to Findagrave Cemetery Search ( and search for poor farm, poor house, almshouse, county home or poor, you will find burial records across the country for people who died in one of these institutions. Unfortunately, there are many more people who will never be discovered. I found an article from Syracuse, New York, where residents of the Onondaga County poorhouse were buried in boxes. See and

If you go to ebay ( and search for poorhouse or poor house or almshouse AND postcard, you will see images of what these institutions looked like.

There are also a number of books on the subject:


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Victorian Goods and Merchandise, 2006.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1565 Spot Illustrations and Motifs, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Trees & Leaves, 2004.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Elegant Floral Designs, 2003.


(1) 1860 U.S. Census, Oneida County, New York, population schedule, New Hartford, p. 393, image 202, dwelling 1586, family 1585, Earle Park household, digital image, ( accessed June 9, 2013), citing National Archive microfilm publication M653, Family History Library Film 803826.

(2) Ibid.

(3) "New York Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses 1830-1920," entry for Fread Marsh, admission date, 19 Dec 1914, digital image ( accessed June 9, 2013); citing New York State Archives, Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1875-1921, series A1978, reel A1978:151, record number 5515.

(4) New York Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses 1830-1920," entry for Fred E. Marsh, admission date, 17 Sep 1919, digital image ( accessed June 9, 2013); citing New York State Archives, Census of Inmates in Almhouses and Poorhouses, 1875-1921, series A1978, reel A1978:152, record number 6433.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Yesterday I attended "Antiques Roadshow" in Detroit, Michigan. I have watched the show many times and was thrilled that I was selected for tickets.  I decided to bring three paintings by Joseph S. Trovato (  These paintings were owned by my grand aunt, Isabel Williams Hamlin. See my previous posts and Isabel and her husband, Earl Hamlin, owned the Littlecote Hobby Shop in Utica, New York.  I believe that Isabel must have known Joseph Trovato personally because some of the pictures are of a personal nature, such as a portrait of her dog. See one of my earlier posts about this dog:

Artwork by
Joseph S. Trovato

Joseph Trovato was Assistant Director at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York ( I wanted to find out the value of the Trovato paintings. My husband and I arrived at Cobo Center in Detroit at 10:30 a.m. and began our long wait in line.  Preparation is the key to an event like this. We had been warned that the lines would be long, and they weren’t kidding!  We waited three hours just to get the point where they tell you what category line we should stand it—in our case it was “Paintings and Drawings.” Then began another long delay.  I had purchased a luggage cart to carry the paintings, so that made the wait a lot easier.  I passed the time by chatting with others in line and admiring the items that others had brought. There was an adorable old baby carriage, a bracelet made from buttons, pottery, a rocking chair, dolls and paintings—lots of paintings! I got a glimpse of the famous furniture appraisers,  Leigh and Leslie Keno (, who grew up in Mohawk, New York, not far from where I grew up. While waiting, I watched the live filming of people who were chosen for the show, which will air between January and May 2014.

At last I arrived at an appraiser, Betty Krulik (, who fortunately was from New York.  Ms. Krulik was well acquainted with Joseph Trovato and told me that he was a renowned scholar and had compiled a comprehensive book on Charles Burchfield. A search for Joseph Trovato on produced several results ( She was surprised to see paintings by Trovato as he was mostly known as an esteemed curator, lecturer and author.  On her computer she searched for Trovato works that had been sold in the past; unfortunately, there was only one in her database, and it was for a small amount.  She sent an e-mail to the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute to see if they had any interest in the paintings by their former employee, and I am to contact her later to see how they responded.

So I did not become a millionaire! However, I had an outstanding day and consider it right up there with attending the original Woodstock (that will have to be another blog post).

Here are some more of the paintings I have by Trovato:

Artwork by
Joseph S. Trovato

Artwork by
Joseph S. Trovato

Artwork by
Joseph S. Trovato


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.