Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Working on Wednesday: Isaac Leonard (About 1790 - 1862), Farmer

A life-long resident of New York State, Isaac Leonard and his first wife Jemima White had probably been married only a couple of years when he enlisted as a private during the War of 1812.*

[War of 1812 Service Record Index,]

We know that the Leonards were living in Hounsfield in Jefferson County, New York, by 1816 when Isaac entered into an agreement to buy 25 acres of Great Lot Thirty-Nine for $100 and was described as being "of Hounsfield."

[Jefferson County, New York : from actual surveys, 1855. Source: Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C.]

[Detail from above showing Hounsfield and Brownville Townships in 1855]

["New York Land Records, 1630-1975," images, FamilySearch ( : 22 May 2014), Jefferson > image 421 of 568;
county courthouses, New York.]

However, as shown on the following page, this indenture wasn't recorded until 1822 so I don't know when (or if) the Leonard family might have resided there.

[Source: FamilySearch]

Isaac and Jemima with their young family as shown as residents of Hounsfield in the 1820 U.S. Census.**

[1820 U S Census; Census Place: Hounsfield, Jefferson, New York; Page: 405; NARA Roll: M33_72; Image: 222. 1820 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
Original data: Fourth Census of the United States, 1820. (NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.]


By New York State's 1825 enumeration, the Leonard family had reached its final size: Isaac, Jemima, two sons and seven daughters.*** (Their second child, my great great great grandmother Hannah Leonard was 12.)

From the 1830 U.S. Census we can deduce that one of the Leonard daughters has died. This is the last census to include Jemima.

[1830; Census Place: Hounsfield, Jefferson, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 92; Page: 194; Family History Library Film: 0017152. 1830 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data: Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. (NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.]


Ten years later the Leonard household had moved to neighboring Brownville and shrunk to four people as the older children married and started their own families.****

[Year: 1840; Census Place: Brownville, Jefferson, New York; Roll: 292; Page: 414; Image: 956; Family History Library Film: 0017190. 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.]


That same year Isaac paid $600 for land in Brownville.

["New York Land Records, 1630-1975," images, FamilySearch ( : 22 May 2014), Jefferson > image 49 of 645; county courthouses, New York.]

By 1850 Isaac was living in his younger son Isaac Newton Leonard and his family in Brownville. One of his daughters Anna, the wife of Joseph Carpenter, was living next door with her family.

[Year: 1850; Census Place: Brownville, Jefferson, New York; Roll: M432_514; Page: 189A; Image: 140. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C.]

But if you're picturing old Isaac dozing by the fireside surrounded by his grandchildren...there's a surprise in store for you in 1855 New York State Census. Recall that I referred to Jemima as his first wife? Well, in 1851 he married his second, 25-year old, Canadian-born Mary. And by 1855 his new family included 6-year old Mary (also born in Canada and not his biological daughter*****), and daughter Emily - 3, and son James, just a year old.

[ New York, State Census, 1855 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: Census of the state of New York, for 1855. Microfilm. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.]

Other useful information to be gleaned from the census is that Isaac's frame house was valued at $350. In response to another census question not shown here, Isaac stated he was born in Montgomery County, New York.

In the 1860 U.S. Census, the Leonard household hasn't substantially changed, although this enumeration gives us an idea of Isaac's real and personal wealth. Also young Mary's name is recorded as Hellen this time.

[Year: 1860; Census Place: Brownville, Jefferson, New York; Roll: M653_761; Page: 791; Family History Library Film: 803761. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.]

Isaac Leonard of Brownville is on a list of War of 1812 veterans who filed a claim with the State of New York. The preface to a re-printing of the list explains what it was about.

[New York, Index of Awards On Claims of the Soldiers of the War of 1812 [database on-line].]

On March 3, 1862, Isaac Leonard "at the age of eight-two years and upward" made his will which was presented for probate in February of 1863 at Watertown, New York. We don't know his exact date of death or where he was buried.

I'll be covering Isaac's will next week.

*There were two Isaac Leonards from New York  who served in the military at this time so while there are supplementary records it's not clear to me which ones refer to my ancestor. I'll address that in a future post.
**From the birth years of their known children we assume Isaac and Jemima married in about 1809-10 so I don't know who the young white male 16 - 25 could be, but he and Isaac are undoubtedly the two persons engaged in agriculture.
***This information is only available as a database record without an image.
****Hannah Leonard married Porter Worden in 1838.
*****This is made clear in his will.

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My 7th Great Grandfather Robert Bittle (abt 1720-abt 1795) Was on a Slave Patrol in Southampton County, Virginia

Google Books often provides a limited preview to recently published books, like the one I came across today while searching for my Bittle ancestors in 18th century Southampton County, Virginia, "Lethal Imagination: Violence and Brutality in American History," edited by Michael A. Bellesiles (also available on Amazon).

From page 73:
From these patrol-created files we can learn much about the pattern of violence that slaves experienced in colonial Virginia at the hands of whites who were not necessarily their owners.  The earliest extant notes recording patrol activity come from Southampton County in 1754.  Three patrol groups submitted extensive accounts in that year, listing the days and times they rode and giving details of the slaves they captured. A comparison of the names of patrollers with the names of the plantations visited suggests that the three patrol groups worked as distinct units in different parts of the county and submitted separate reports of their activities.  Multiple patrol groups would have been a necessity in the large and growing counties of Virginia.  Even though Southampton had more white residents than slaves by the mid-1750s, the fact that whites outnumbered blacks did not ease the fears of many Virginia colonists; attempted slave revolts in 1729 and 1730, and rumors of insurrections later in the 1730s must have frightened many whites.  The knowledge that runaway slaves had repeatedly and southern margins of Virginia must have been unsettling, and that knowledge provided a strong rationale for the activities and payment of county slave patrols. 13 
The details in patrolling journals vary dramatically, depending upon the individual recordkeeper, but broad similarities can be found in all.  Colonial Virginia slave patrols typically rode in groups of four or five, and their journals commence by listing the individuals' names.  "John Brantly & Philip Bran[t]ly & Will[ia]m Grimmer & William Joyner Junr have Rode in the patrole servis the 28th of Septem[ber]" runs a standard patrol entry. 14 
Virtually every patrol report gives specifics about the number of hours worked, with a few presenting precise information about the exact number of hours worked by each man in the group.  In Southampton, John Seuter, Jacob Turner, Simon Harris, Robert Bittle and William Kirby worked precisely 50, 32, 126, 108, and 126 hours, respectively, in an eight-month span.  The patrol reports usually carry the signature of the militia captain, justice of the peace, or court clerk who vouched that the work had been completed faithfully.  Patrols most often worked from sundown to sunup, during the "Negro's day" -- when slaves left their cabins to attend meetings or to travel after their workday ended.  As they patrolled, they encountered both slave men and women.  After an evening's work in October 1754, patroller Bennet Hilsman wrote, "We Patrolers did ketch a negroe man slave belonging to Joshua Barnes & a Negro woman slave and Childe...and she was a Runaway she said."  
Where is the "Dislike" button?  This is one of those things that I don't enjoy finding out, that my ancestor was a member of a slave patrol, in an area later rocked by the Nat Turner Slave rebellion over 70 years later, no less.

This information doesn't surprise me, though, given what I already knew about the area during that time, and my people there either owned slaves or were overseers.

Using the "Search Inside This Book" at Amazon I discovered that footnote 14 was taken from "Patrol returns and lists, 1754-1861, Free Negroes, Slaves and Indians records, Southampton County, LV."

This lead me to the Library of Virginia's website, and A Guide To The Southampton County (VA.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1754-1860, a non-digitized collection of 3 boxes taken from the Southampton County Circuit Court.

This is a good reminder that most stuff is not online!  I just lucked out that a researcher published the records in their work.

Robert Bittle was an ancestor of my 4th great grandfather, Benjamin "B. R." Biddle.  The William Kirby mentioned in the same sentence in the quote is most likely Robert Bittle's brother-in-law.

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Is for Mothers: Sarah Sowell (1733 - 1809)

Sarah Sowell married William Hardy on November 26, 1751, in Bertie County, North Carolina; both were born in that county and never moved from it. During their life together Sarah and William had nine children--my fourth great grandfather John H. Hardy (1773-1854) was their second to last child.

[ A Map of the most Inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole province of Maryland with Part of Pensilvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. Drawn by Joshua Fry & Peter Jefferson in 1775. Printed for Robt. Sayer ... London.
Source: David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.]

[Detail of above map]

William died (apparently intestate) around 1793 and Sarah received her widow's share of his estate which included three enslaved persons, Dave, Pen and Rose early in 1794


We find her in the 1800 U.S. Census six years later as head of a household that included 12 enslaved persons.

[Year: 1800; Census Place: Bertie, North Carolina; Series: M32; Roll: 30; Page: 48; Image: 55; Family History Library Film: 337906. 1800 United States Federal Census [database on-line] Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Second Census of the United States, 1800. NARA microfilm publication M32 (52 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29.
National Archives, Washington, D.C.]

Sarah Sowell Hardy died in Bertie County in 1809, leaving a will which we'll look at on Friday.

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Drive: 1957 Dodge 1-Ton Long-Bed Truck

As far as Dad* was concerned a truck was always a fire-engine red, 1-ton** Dodge long-bed. He bought big powerful vehicles and then drove them into the ground. (I recall him bragging to a friend --about a later truck--that he had never changed its oil in 60,000 miles. Jimmy was properly horrified and took it upon himself to remedy the situation.)

[From my personal collection]

This photo was probably taken around Easter time in the Anza Borrego Desert.  A few months later this same truck hauled our trailer to Arkansas and back.

Knowing Dad, an ad such as this one for Dodge "Power Giants" would have been like catnip!

[Source: Alden Jewell|Flickr Dodge Trucks]

*Harold D. Currey (1902-1981) was the father who raised me.
**This was true until the 1970s when the last truck he bought was a 3/4 ton Dodge (red, of course).

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday Night Free Webinar: John Grenham presents "Why are Irish records so weird?"

Seriously, why are they so weird?  Let's find out why in John Grenham's "Why are Irish records so weird?":
Not all Irish records were destroyed in 1922, but the burning of the Public Record Office in that year did leave an immense gap. As a result, Irish genealogical research has to deal with idiosyncratic, fragmentary and sometimes marginally relevant records in ways that can seem very strange to those used to British, US or Australian sources. In addition, Ireland came late to digitization and has done it unsystematically. To be polite. This talk unravels the ways in which marginal records have become essential for Irish research, and the peculiarities in using them online.

Available to non-subscribers at Legacy Family Tree Webinars through March 23, 2017.  1 hour 28 minutes.

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 17, 2017

From the Probate Files: Abraham Heath - Warren County, Georgia, 1808

It's clear from his 1807 will that my fifth great grandfather Abraham Heath had prospered during his lifetime. If my count is correct he named 30 enslaved persons he bequeathed to his wife, children and grandchildren. (Only his wife, two of his sons and a grandson merited the epithet "beloved".)

["Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990," images, FamilySearch ( : 20 May 2014), Warren > image 104 of 362;
county probate courthouses, Georgia.]

     In the name of God, Amen, I, Abraham Heath
of the County of Warren & State of Georgia, planter being
weak in Body but in perfect mind & memory, thanks be given
to Almighty God calling to mind the mortality of my Body and
knowing that it is appointed for all Men once to die, do
make & ordain this my last Will & Testament (That is to say
principally and first of all I Recommend my Soul to God that
gave it and my Body I Recommend to the Earth to be buried
in a Christian like manner at the discretion of my Executors
nothing doubting that at the General Resurrection I Shall receive
the Same again by the mighty power of God, and as touching the
worldly goods wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in 
this life I Give devise and dispose of in the following Manner 
and form (Viz)
First I Give and bequeath to my Son John Heath one Negro Man
     named Isaac, one woman named Dice and one Negro Boy Named
     Tillman with their Increase to him & his heirs forever.
Item I Give to my Daughter Sally Chapple, the following Negroes one
     woman named Fanny Girl Mary Girl Lydia, Girl Ambry & Boy
     Henry with their Increase to her and heirs forever
Item I Give to my Son Benjamin Heath three negroes Viz Mymsy
     and her two Sons Henry & Charles with their Increase forever
Item I Give to my beloved Son William Heath two negroes Viz Jeffrey
     and Turner to him and his heirs forever
Item I Give and bequeath to my Grand Daughter Polly Clower one
     negro Girl named Sarah
Item: I Give to my beloved Grandson Stephen B Clower one Negro
     Boy Isaac
Item I give to my Grand Daughter Linney Clower one Negro
     Boy Sam
Item I Give to my Grandson Green Clower one Negro Boy Charles
Item I Give to my Grandson Abraham H Clower one Negro Woman
     Milley with her Increase
Item I Give to my beloved Son Adam Heath one Negro Man
     Ranger, two hundred Acres of Land which he has titles
     for one Black Gelden and one Gray also one Bed and
Item I Give ^and bequeath^ to my Daughter Elizabeth Heath two Negroes Beck
     and Child Clary
Item I Give to my Daughter Polly Heath one Negro Girl Hannah
     also one Bed & furniture with Bed Sted to her and her &
     her heirs forever
Item I Give to my Daughter Frances B Highfield one Negro Woman
     Named Silvia with her Increase to her & her heirs forever
Item I Give to my Son Richard Heath, One Negro Boy Named
     Jacob, one Sorrel Filley and one Bed & furniture with Sted
Item I Give to my Son Abraham Heath One Negro Boy Nathan
     and one Bed and furniture with Bed Sted
Item I Give to my Grandson Abraham Heath Chappell
     one Negro Boy Ephraim.
Item I Give and bequeath to my beloved wife Winnyford
     Heath two Negro women Anckey & Amy to Enjoy the same
     free from any Incumberances forever I also Lend
     my Wife all the Rest of my Estate both Real and personal
     during her Natural Life or Widowhood and after [?]
     [?] marriage, it is my Request that my Sons Richard
     and Abraham jointly should heir my Real Estate

     and that Richard should have Big Negro Charles and
     Big Jack, and one Negro Girl Patience to be equally shared
     betwixt the afore mentioned Richard & Abraham, and the
     Rest of my personal Estate after my wifes death or Widowhood
     to be equally divided among all my children
     and I nominate and appoint my Son Adam Heath
     Solomon Slatter and Elisha Hest Executors to this my last
     will and Testament and futhermore I disannull and revoke
     all former will or wills by me heretofore made.
     Signed Sealed published pronounced and declared by --
     the Said Abraham Heath as my last will and Testament
     in the presents of us whose names are hereunto ? -------
    this 23'd day of November in this Year of our Lord one
    thousand eight hundred and Seven
     Stephen W Burnley                            Abraham X Heath
     Britain Blunt                                                mark
     Mary X Garrett

Warren County   }  Personally appeared Stephen W Burnley
and being duly Sworn and on the holy Avangelist and
God deposeth and Saith that he Saw Abraham [Heath]
make his mark and publish and declare this ?---------
of writings his last will and Testament [and at]
the time of his So doing he was of Sound disposing
mind and memory being then in his presence 
And in the presence of the other Subscribing [witnesses]
and at his Request they all became witnesses 
to the Same. Sworn to in open court this ?----
of January 1808
                                                          Stephen W Burnley
Septimus Weatherby

Next I'm going to see if I can find an inventory of his will.

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Noslers in the Cemetery

From earlier today at Mt Hope Cemetery in San Diego.  James Milo Nosler and his sister-in-law Esther (Rittgers) Nosler lie side by side in the G. A. R. 1 area.

This picture represents what must have been a horrible time for my 2nd great grandfather, William H Nosler (1840-1914) -- his youngest brother James Milo Nosler died of tuberculosis on May 8, 1886 and then William's wife, my 2nd great grandmother Esther Loretta (Rittgers) Nosler died a year later (of unknown cause) on November 14, 1887, after 23 years marriage and 10 children.

William Nosler later died and is buried in Coquille, Coos, Oregon.

A better picture of Esther's tombstone, by FindaGrave contributor John Burkholder (1/09/2007)
A better picture of James' gravestone, by FindaGrave contributor Michael Harris (5/15/2004)

Red arrow shows approximate location of the graves.

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.