Andover, Connecticut

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Immigrant Adam Koerner's grave

The first profile which I put on this blog back on June 3rd was for Adam and Maria Koerner, who came to the United States from Germany about 1850.  When I wrote that, I did not know when or where this immigrant couple died.  Their son Adam had moved to Greenwich some time in the late 1880s but I was not sure about his parents. 

A couple months ago, I found Maria in the 1900 Census.  Remember that her daughter Lena married Phillip Eberhardt who was brother to Adam Jr.'s wife.  Well, I found Maria living with her daughter Lena and her other daughter Maria Berle.  Both Lena and Maria Koerner are listed as widows living with Louis and Maria Berle and their children: Adam, Lena, Louis, Emily and Maria.  They were still living in New York City on First Avenue near 24th Street.

A couple weeks later I found information on a Maria Koerner who died in 1907 at the age of 95.  A person online had seen the Death Certificate and knew she was buried in the Lutheran Cemetery. I wasn't sure this would be the right Maria Koerner, but since the cemetery is only a couple miles from my house, I decided to ride my bike over there and check it out.

Sure enough, I stopped by the office, and they confirmed that Maria Koerner was buried in the cemetery along with Adam and Philip. A very helpful woman in the office gave me the location but didn't know whether there would be a stone or not.  I was doubtful since many immigrants would not be able to afford the expense of a stone back at the turn of the century. 

I rode my bike to the section of the cemetery where the woman had indicated the Koerners were located.  It was far to the back in what was obviously an older part of the cemetery which received few visitors.   The grass had not been mowed in a couple of weeks and was several inches high. It really had the feeling of being out in a field in the country only with scattered gravestones sticking up above the top of the blades of grass.  There was no sence that the largest city in the United States was only a few miles away. 

As I approached the area where the stone would be, I became very skeptical that I would find anything.  The stones were spread out with lots of space between them - space where people were buried but no markers had been laid.

I read each stone, looking for the name and the location marking to help guide my way.  Then I saw it, in the back, at the end of the row. A short, fat stone which read "In Memory of Adam Koerner." I had fulfilled my quest.

You'll notice that Maria's name name does not appear on the stone. It is probable that she died after Philip and the family either did not have money for a stone, or did not have room to add her name on the stone that was already there. Either way, she died in 1907 at the ripe old age of 95 and is buried here with her husband and second oldest son.

As a side note, I returned this morning to take some more pictures and was surprised at the state of the cemetery. You may remember hearing on the news several weeks ago that a tornado touched down in New York City, specifically in Queens and Brooklyn. Apparently the tornado went right through the middled of the cemetery, because there were trees down all over the place.  The path of the storm must have been toward the front of the cemetery, because in the back, where Adam and Maria are buried, the damage was minimal.  These were some pictures I took of trees still not cleaned up three weeks after the tornado hit:

The top of this huge tree was just twisted off the trunk
and thrown on ground under it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

William & Sarah (Cartmel) Crogent

Great Great-Grandparents

1. William John Crogent
+ Sarah Cartmel
2. Frances Harriet Crogent
+ Arthur Joseph Bowman
3. Florence Mary Bowman
+ John Emil Dahlquist
4. Debra Florence Dahlquist
+ Edward Deck Munson
5. Scott Edward Munson

I recently visited the grave of my great great-grandparents, William and Sarah (Cartmel) Crogent, who are buried in Calvary Cemetery which is only a couple miles from where I live.  These were my Nana's grandparents who came to the United States from England. I believe this picture which I posted back in June is of them with their two oldest children. 

Sarah was born about 1865 in Liverpool, England, the daughter Jonathan and Frances (Dixon) Cartmel. She first appears at age 6 in the 1871 Census living in Liverpool with her Father, a millwright, and siblings: Mary J. age 17, Frances H. age 13; Joseph age 10 and John age 4. Her mother had died shortly before the census and her oldest brother, Jonathan, was already living away from home and working as a 14 year old plumbers apprentice.

William Crogent also grew up in Liverpool.  He was born in 1861 and was the son of William and Mary (Curley) Crogent. He first appears at age 10 in the 1871 Census living with his father William age 31, a green grocer, mother Mary age 30 and siblings Ellen age 7, Annie age 5, Elizabeth age 3 and Louisa age 1. His father is listed as born in Prussia and his mother Ireland. 

Liverpool was a bustling port city at the time, and the last stop for many European immigrants before heading to America by ship. So, it is not surprising that by the 1881 Census, William Sr. was away from home working as a sailor.  William Jr. was living with his mother and siblings.  Added to the siblings listed above who are all ten years older are: Martin age 8, Walter age 6, Benjamin age 4 and Joseph age 1.  William Jr's occupation is listed as Brass Finisher, the trade he would continue in America.  He probably had learned the skill as an apprentice for a local merchant.

It is unclear whether William and Sarah knew each other in Liverpool or met after coming to America.  I have been unable to find any specific information on their arrival but conflicting Census records indicate they arrived in the U.S. somewhere between 1885 and 1888. They were married in about 1888 and William became a Naturalized U.S. Citizen on October 22, 1892.  This is the first record of William in America.

In the 1900 Census, William and Sarah were living at 1720 Second Avenue in New York City.  This is located on the Upper East Side between 89th and 90th Street. Their children were listed as: William age 11, Nellie age 6, Frances (my great-grandmother) age 4 and Joseph age 1.  Also living with the family was Sarah's older brother Jonathan, a Plumber.  "Uncle Jonathan" as he was affectionately known to my Nana, lived with the Crogents during every Census through 1930.  He died in 1947 at the age 90!

Uncle Jonathan

By 1910, the family had moved to East 149th Street in the Bronx. Uncle Jonathan was still living with them, along with Sarah's nephew, Christopher Hopkins who was working with his Uncle as a plumber. He is the son of Sarah and Jonathan's sister Frances Harriet, who still lived in Liverpool.

In the 1920 Census, their daughter Frances and her Husband, Arthur Bowman (Nana's parents) were living with William and Sarah.  Nellie, Joe and Christopher Hopkins have moved out but William Jr and Uncle Jonathan are both around.  Also living with the Crogents is William Jrs daughter Eleanor or Elloise. She is the older sister of Nana's cousin William who we all knew as Uncle Willie.

William Crogent died January 21, 1921 only fifteen months before the birth of his granddaughter Florence Mary Bowman, my Nana. He is buried in a plot of graves purchased by Mary Dixon at the time of her husband William Dixon's death in 1894. William Dixon was probably the younger brother of Sarah's mother Frances (Dixon) Cartmel who died when Sarah was a child. Notice that he was the witness on William Crogent's Naturalization Documents back in 1892.  

Sarah lived another 33 years as a loving grandmother to Nana.  She owned property on the shore in Asbury Park, NJ and the families used to vacation there in the summer.  At some point she was unable to pay the taxes and the property was sold or taken by the government.  Besides her brother Jonathan, her brothers John (Jack) and Joseph also came to America and lived in New York.

This picture from about 1932 includes Sarah with her grandchildren, Virgina Crogent, Florence Bowman (Nana), Arthur Bowman and Charlie Martin.

This is a picture of some of the Cartmels which is from some time in the 1930s or 40s. I'm not positive who is who but the back of the picture has the following names as dictated to my mother by Nana: Uncle Joe Cartmel (or Crogent), Aunt Sarah Cartmel (or Crogent), Sadie Cartmel, Jonathan Cartmel, Jack (John)Cartmel, Gramma Crogent and Jack Brower.  We affectionately refere to this picture of these city slickers as "Tobacco Row."

This is a picture of my Nana with her grandmother Sarah.  It is from the late 1930s or early 1940s.

Sarah died in 1953 at the age of 88 and was buried with William in Calvary Cemetery. A strong woman who lost her mother at an early age, she was able to find the fortitude to seek a better life in a strange country.  She raised four children and then helped raising two of her grandchildren. She lived through the death of her husband, the Great Depression and two World Wars. A salute to Gramma Crogent.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Von Deck Marriage Certificate

1. Emil Von Deck
+ Maria Amalie Zantop
2. Pauline Von Deck
+ Adam Koerner III
4. Ruth E Koerner
+ George Willard Munson
5. Edward Deck (Ned) Munson
+ Debra Florence Dahlquist
6. Scott Edward Munson

Emil Von Deck and Maria Zantop were married about 8 years after the Koerners of the previous post, so the type of information on the Marriage Certificate and Return of a Marriage form is basically the same as we have already seen.  Fortunately, the copy quality is much better on this certificate so we do not have to guess at some of the last names.

Emil von Deck & Maria Amalie Zantop
Certificate of Marriage

One piece of information which was unreadable on the Koerner certificate but which is very clear here is the name of the minister and church which performed the marriage: Dr. E. F. Moldehnke pastor of St Peter's German Lutheran Church.  St. Peters is still an active church today at 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue. By searching the church historical records I may be able to find other references to the Von Decks or Zantops.

On the Return of a Marriage, Emil von Deck's birthplace is listed as New York City and his current address is 447 East 78th Street, New York City. This is in a neighborhood on the Upper East Side which is known as Yorkville.  Many German immigrants lived in this neighborhood.  Emil's birthdate is April 29th and he was 25 on his last birthday.  This means he was born in 1862.  Like Adam Koerner, his occupation is listed as barber.

Return of a Marriage

Emil's father is Johann Matthaeus von Deck.  From Census records we know that he used the name Matthaeus and/or Matthew and was born in Germany about 1821.  It was not uncommon in Germany at the time for a family give two or more of their children the same first name with a different middle name to distinguish.  Matthaeus may have had a brother named Johann Frederick or Johann Adam and so he chose to use his middle name regularly.  Notice as a witness to the marriage on the bottom of the return, he signs his name as Matthaeus Deck.  He address is 329 East 72nd Street, not too far from where Emil lived.

Emil's mother is Lina Angelica Junginger. From census records we know that she was born in Germany about 1830.  We also know that she died before 1900 when Matthaeus is recorded in the Census as a widower. 

Maria Amalie Zantop was my father's Great-Grandma Von Deck. She was born September 28, 1866 in Johanisburg, East Prussia.  Although a strong German presence existed there at the time,  Johannisburg is located in Poland today and has changed it's name to Pisz.

Pisz, Poland today from the website

Maria's parents are recorded as Carl Zantop and Amalie Ziehfuss.  So far, I have been unable to locate any additional information about Carl. It is probable that he stayed in Europe or died before the rest of the family came to America.

Amalie and four Zantop siblings came to America: Maria, Pauline, Minna and Richard.  Pauline is one of the witnesses to Emil & Maria's marriage.  She lived in the city and never married. She is burried next to Maria in Greenwich, Connecticut. Minna married Julius Becker in 1895. They moved to Greenwich some time between 1900 and 1910.  Amalie lived with them. Richard died in 1895 at the age of 18.

Emil and Maria moved to Greenwich, Connecticut some time before 1900. Their two children, Richard and Pauline (my Grandma Munson's mother), were born in New York City before they moved. Emil and Maria are burried together at Putman Cemetery in Greenwich, Connecticut. Pauline and her husband Adam Koerner are burried with them.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Koerner Marriage Certificate

1. Adam Koerner
+ Maria Eberhardt
2. Adam Koerner
+ Pauline Von Deck
3. Ruth E Koerner
+ George Willard Munson
4. Edward Deck (Ned) Munson
+ Debra Florence Dahlquist
5. Scott Edward Munson

I was very excited recently to receive in the mail two marriage certificates from the City of New York. One was for my Grammy Munson's paternal grandparents and the other for her maternal grandparents.

Adam Koerner & Maria Eberhardt's Marriage Certificate

Adam Koerner and Maria Eberhardt were married on April 27, 1879 in New York City. Quite a bit of information is included on the certificate and the Return of a Marriage form. First, notice that the original German spelling of Koerner is used for Adam's name: Korner with the umlaut over the o. While most of the documentation I have found for the family show that "Koerner" was used after coming to the U.S., occasionally Korner was used. Here, even though his name is listed as Korner, he signs the return as Koerner.

Adam was born in New York and his address is listed as 500 East 12th Street, New York. This is the address where Adam's parents are listed as living a year later at the time of the 1880 Census. It proves this is my great great-grandparents and not some other Adam Koerner and his wife. This is further confirmed by the listed occupation: barber.

Return of a Marriage - whatever that means!
Next, Adam's parents are identified as Adam Korner and Maria Bercke. This is the first indication I have found of the immigrant Mary Koerner's maiden name. Remember that they came from Germany just before Adam Jr. was born and I have been unable to find any information about the family in Germany. Now I have a clue to further investigate. Too bad I don't know German!

One of the great thrills in researching family history is discovering maiden names, and marriage records are one of only a few sources for this information. Here, the bride is listed as Maria Eberhardt born and currently living in College Point. This is a neighborhood in Queens not too far from where I now live. Her parents are listed as Jacob Eberhardt and Maria Weickes.

It turns out that there is a family listed in the 1870 Census in College Point which is almost certainly that of Maria. Jacob "Everhart" age 52 is listed with his wife Mary age 48 and children Philip age 23, Adam age 18, Peter age 15, Mary age 13, Jacob age 10, Lizzie age 8 and Johnnie age 6. The parents and two oldest children were born in Prussia and the other children were born in New York. Jacob and his two oldest sons worked in a Rubber Factory of which there were several in Queens. Adam Eberhardt is one of the witnesses to the marriage of Adam Koerner and Maria Eberhardt. The other is Adam Koerner's brother, Philip.

102 St Mark's Place today.  Adam was a barber and
possibly lived here with his family in 1884.

Further research has revealed that Philip Eberhardt, Maria's older brother, had almost certainly married Lena Koerner, Adam's older sister in 1875. It is also almost certain that two of Maria's brothers were butchers, the occupation which would eventually be passed down to our happy couple's oldest child Adam, my great grandfather.

Adam and Maria are recorded in the Census a year after their marriage living at 544 East 11th Street with their newborn baby Adam, my great-grandfather.  Adam was a Barber and is listed at 102 St. Mark's Place in the 1884 and 1888 New York City Directories.  This was the heart of Little Germany at the time.  By 1892, though, the family had moved to Greenwich, Connecticut where young Adam met and fell in love with his future wife, Pauline Von Deck.

Pauline's father, Emil Von Deck, was also a barber in Greenwich who had moved from New York City. My next post will be regarding his marriage to Maria Zantop.  She was still alive when my father was a child and was known as Grandma Von Deck.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Capt. Thomas Munson part 2

This is a follow-up to my Captain Thomas Munson post. I was in Hartford last week visiting the Center Church which was founded by my Tenth Great-Grandfather Thomas Hooker in 1636. In the ancient burial grounds which are located next to the church is the monument which has been erected in honor the the founders of Hartford. It turns out that Thomas Munson is listed on the monument as one of the 163 men who owned land in Hartford before February 1640.

This monument was erected in 1986 and is made of pink Connecticut Granite. It replaced a brownstone monument which had been erected in 1837. The new monument contains several names which were not on the original monument, including that of Thomas Munson.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Captain Thomas Munson

Tenth Great-Grandfather
Immigrant Ancestor

1. Captain Thomas Munson

+ Joanna (Mew?)
2. Samuel Munson
+ Martha Bradley
3. Samuel Munson
+ Martha Farnes
4. William Munson
+ Rebecca Curtis
5. William Munson
+ Sarah Griggs
6. David Munson
+ Mary Ann Ballard
7. Stephen Munson
+ Nancy Nash
8. John Nash Munson
+ Mary Jane Warner
9. George W. Munson
+ Eleanor A. Parsons
10. Joseph Willard Munson
+ Ida E. Hotchkiss
11. George Willard Munson
+ Ruth E. Koerner
12. Edward (Ned) Deck Munson
+ Debra Florence Dahlquist
13. Scott Edward Munson

The First Munson to arrive in the New World was Thomas Munson who first appears in Hartford, CT as a militia member in the Pequot Wars of 1637. He was born in 1612 in Rattlesden, Suffolk, England, the seventh child of John and Elizabeth (Sparke) Munson. He is the ancestor of all Munsons who live in America today.

The Munson Crest

"Truth Conquers All"

His arrival is not recorded but was probably a few years before 1637. He may have lived in Newtowne (Cambridge) for a while with the other settlers of Hartford, but there is no record of him there or as an original founder of Hartford in 1636. He was a carpenter, and he probably built a house in Hartford on the land he received in recognition for his service in the Pequot Wars. His two-and-a-half acres were on the spot where today I-84 crosses High Street. So, remember that the next time you pass through Hartford on I-84!

He sold this land in 1639 and moved to Quinnipiac (New Haven). Why he did this after such a short stay in Hartford is unknown. It could be that he met soldiers from New Haven who spoke of its beauty and promise or it could be that his skills as a carpenter were more valuable in the wealthier New Haven Colony. Either way, he is one of only two people who left the Hartford Colony to settle in New Haven. He arrived not long after the Fundamental Agreement of the New Haven Colony was established. His is the sixth signature to be added to the Fundamental Agreement after the original sixty-three men established it as law.

The first meetinghouse in New Haven of which Thomas Munson was continually called upon to evaluate for repairs.

Thomas Munson was a man of importance in the new Colony. His judgement was called upon by the general court for a variety of committees in his early life in New Haven. He served as one of four Lieutenants in the town, maintaining and training the militia for watches and protection as necessary.

In 1655, Thomas Munson was one of the leaders of a group within New Haven who wished to start a new settlement on the Delaware Bay. New Haven was becoming crowded and many felt it was necessary to start fresh somewhere else. For a variety of reasons, this new settlement never happened. Imagine how history would be changed if half the people who lived in New Haven at the time, had migrated to the Delaware Bay. There was even some discussion that the group would move to Jamaica! Instead, Thomas Munson Purchased property in the center of town which he would own until his death and which would be passed down for several generations. That property is is traversed today by Temple Street and is located between Walnut and Grove Street. It is part of Yale University.

Thomas Munson continued to live in and serve the town of New Haven for the remainder of his life. In 1656 he was chosen one of seven town selectmen. In 1662 he was chosen to be a Deputy for the town court. In 1663 he served as a deputy on the General Court as a substitute for Lieutenant Nash. He served in these posts off and on throughout his life. He was a member of the General Court in New Haven when it became a part of the Connecticut Colony in 1664 and served as one of the first deputies from New Haven in the General Assembly in Hartford. He also served as foreman of the jury for the first jury trial to take place in New Haven.

In addition to his service in the government offices of the New Haven and Connecticut, Thomas Munson served the in the militia throughout his life. Known early as Lieutenant Munson, then as Ensign Munson and later as Captain Munson. He was continually involved in the watch and protection of New Haven, including leading battalions in King Phillips War, a major Native American uprising which took place in New England during the mid 1670s. He held the position of Ensign, reluctantly, for many years - at first turning it down and later requesting to be removed from it. The ensign carried the flag - and I can only imagine that it would be much harder than it sounds. He never felt that he did it well but since nobody else was willing to do it at all, he was stuck with the job!

Thomas Munson was married to Joanna - possibly Joanna Mew. They were married before 1642 when their first child Elizabeth, was born. In 1643, their only son and my ninth great-grandfather, Samuel was born. Their youngest child, Hannah, was born in 1648. Elizabeth married Timothy Cooper and later Richard Higenbothom. Samuel married Martha Bradley in New Haven before settling in Wallingford. Hannah married Joseph Tuttle.

This is the memorial for Thomas and Joanna Munson in the Grove Street Cemetery. The original stone for Thomas is set in the new memorial.

Joanna died in 1678 and Thomas Died in 1685. They were both buried on the New Haven Green. Their tombstones were later moved to the Grove Street Cemetery where the above memorial was erected.

Thomas Munson was one of the great early leaders of New Haven and you can read more about his accomplishments, ancestry and descendants in the book: The Munson Record.

You can also find out more on the website of the Thomas Munson Foundation.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I updated the Scott Munson's Family Tree page on this blog to include the next generation, my third great-grandparents. In case your not sure how this works, if you double a person's number, it is the number of that person's father. If you double a person's number and add 1, it is the number of that person's mother. If numbers are missing, then I don't know who those parents are yet. For instance, Ida Hotchkiss is #9. Her father, Charles Hotchkiss, is #18 and her mother, Ada Rockwell is #19. Mary Zantop is #23 but there no #46 or #47 because I haven't figured out who her parents are yet. As I add more and more generations, there will be more and more missing numbers.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ada Lucy Rockwell Curtiss Hotchkiss

Great-Great Grandmother

1. Ada Lucy Rockwell
+ Charles E Hotchkiss
2. Ida E Hotchkiss
+ Joseph Willard Munson
3. George Willard Munson
+ Ruth E Koerner
4. Edward (Ned) Deck Munson
+ Debra Florence Dahlquist
5. Scott Edward Munson

Several things about my Great Great-Grandmother, Ada Hotchkiss, intrigued me from the very beginning. First, census records indicated that she had been born in Iowa about 1850. Since all of my other ancestors had been born in New England, New York or Europe, this was the first indication of an ancestor who had moved west, then for some reason, moved back east. Second, the census records further indicated that Ada had been a widow before marrying my Great Great-Grandfather, Charles Hotchkiss. Third, she was thirty years old, living with her uncle in 1880 and Charles was twenty years old working and living on her uncle's farm. They were married shortly there-after.

Ada and Charles are buried together at the Center Cemetery in Norfolk, CT with the following stone marking the spot:

Ada L. R. Curtiss.

I had the hardest time figuring out what her actual maiden name was. Finally, after months of on-line researching, a trip to Norfolk and countless hours in the library, I have discovered a great deal about Ada and her family.

Ada Lucy Rockwell was born February 1850 in Jones County Iowa, the first child of C.C. and Margaret (Phelps) Rockwell. Her parents had moved to Iowa from Norfolk, Connecticut as part of the western migration accross our great country. Remember that at this time, Iowa was very much frontier territory and life must have been very difficult. Think little house on the prairie only a few years earlier. Her father, C.C. (Christopher Columbus) Rockwell, was the first attorney in Jones County Iowa, and was instrumental in the formation of government and laws there. He served in the Iowa Senate for several years as a relatively young man.

This is a picture of Main Street Anamasa, IA
in 1891. CC Rockwell served as Postmaster here
some 40 years earlier.

In 1854, C.C and Margaret had their second daughter, Georgianna. Shortly after, Ada experienced the first of a series of tragedies which would occur before the age of twenty-five. Her mother, Margaret, passed away in Keokuk, Iowa. It is unclear, at this point, exactly what happened to the family. With no other family in Iowa, it is very probable that they moved back east and the girls were raised by relatives in Norfolk. There are several records of C.C. Rockwell practicing Law in New York City during the 1860s but nothing which shows the girls were living there. He had spent part of his childhood there where his father worked as a merchant businessman. When Ada was only 17, her father died in New York City, leaving her and her sister as orphans.

I have been unable to find any record of Ada or C.C. in the 1860 Census. It is likely that Georgianna was living in Waterbury, CT with C.C.'s brother, Philo Guiteau Rockwell, a sergeon, and his family. By 1870, C.C. had died and Philo had moved to South Carolina, so Georgianna was living in Norfolk, CT with her mother's brother, Levi Phelps, and his family. There is a record of an Adele L Rockwell living with the Thompson family in Waterbury, CT in 1870 as a teacher. The age is correct and the name is close but the birthplace is listed as New York. Still, it is very possible that this is our Ada since her uncle had lived in Waterbury and her father was from New York. I believe this was Ada Rockwell.

This is a one room schoolhouse in Norfolk, CT. It is possible that
Ada taught in a school like this or even in this very one!
There were several at the time in Norfolk.

In 1872, Ada married Henry Curtiss, a farmer from Norfolk, CT. They had been married only a year when tragedy struck once again. Henry was killed in an accidedent at the age of 23 making Ada a widow seven months pregnant. She had lost her mother, her father, and now her husband, all before the age of twenty-five. Fortunately, Ada was living in Norfolk and would have had the support of both hers and her husband's family and friends to get through this very difficult time. By 1880, Ada was working again as a teacher. She and her six year old daughter were living with Henry's uncle, Philip Curtiss, and his family on their farm in Norfolk. At the same time Charles Hotchkiss was working and living on the Curtiss farm. It is impossible to know now how this romance came to be, Ada the widow school teacher and Charles the much younger Farm Laborer, but with-in a year they are married.

Church of Christ on the Norfolk Green

Ada and Charles raised six children together in Norfolk, including Mary Curtiss, the daughter of Henry Curtiss and Ida Hotchkiss, my great-grandmother. One daughter, Jennie, died shortly after birth and is listed on the back of Charles and Ida's tomb stone.

In the 1900 Census, Charles is listed as a gardner, supporting the family with Ada at his side. Listed in the household is Mammie age 26 (this is either a transcription error or nickname for Mary Curtiss) Anna age 18, Mertie age 15, Ida age 14, Wallace age 10 and Edith age 9. A family of daughters with Wallace the only son.

This is the neighborhood where Charles grew up. It is
likely that he and Ada lived close by.

By 1910, Anna, Mertie and Ida had all moved out, leaving Ada and Charles with Mary Curtiss, Wallace and Edith at home. Also living with them is Charles' uncle, Horatio Smith. Shortly after the the 1910 Census was taken, Ada passed away at the age of 60. She did not live long enough to see her daugher Ida get married or to meet her grandson, George Willard Munson, my grandfather.

Charles lived another 34 years but never remarried.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My oscar winning cousin :)

Did you know we were related to Katherine Hepburn, the four time Oscar winning actress. Her Eighth Great-Grandparents, Robert Parke and Martha Chaplin are my Ninth Great-Grandparents. I think that makes us second cousins, eight times removed. Does that sound right?

This photo is by Alfred Eisenstaedt who used
to live in the building where I now live!

Here's how it Goes:

.....................................1. Robert Parke
.....................................+Martha Chaplin
2. Samuel Parke.............................................2. Thomas Parke
+ Martha ?......................................................+ Dorothy Thompson
3. William Parke.............................................3. Dorothy Parke
+ Jane Bordwyn.............................................+ Joseph Morgan
4. Abigail Park................................................4. Dorothy Morgan
+ David McWithey.........................................+ Ebenezer Witter
5. Simeon McWithey.....................................5. William Witter
+ Sarah Van Deusen......................................+ Hanna Freeman
6. Levi McWithey...........................................6. Mary Witter
+ Lorinda Church...........................................+ Oliver Spaulding
7. Jane Stephens McWithy...........................7. Erastus Spaulding
+ Nicholas Jones Rosenburg........................+Jennet Mack
8. Elizabeth Delphine Rosenburg..............8. Marth Spaulding
+ Marcus Edwin Hooker...............................+Lemon Garlinghouse
9. Jenny Estella Hooker................................9. Caroline Garlinghouse
+ John Emil Dahlquist Sr..............................+Alfred Houghten
10. John Emil Dahlquist Jr...........................10. Katherine Houghten
+ Florence Mary Bowman............................+ Thomas Hepburn
11. Debra Florence Dahlquist.......................11. Katherine Hepburn
+ Edward Deck Munson
12. Scott Edward Munson

Our common ancestors, Robert and Martha (Chaplin) Parke arrived in Boston from England in 1630 on board the ship Arabella. Robert served a time as secretary to the first governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop. The couple moved to the newly settled town of Wethersfield, Connecticut in 1639 where Martha died after a short time. Robert served as Deputy to the General Court in 1641 and 1642. He married Alice Freeman in 1644. In 1649, the couple moved to New London, where their newly built barn served as the first house of worship. They finally settled in Stonington where Robert died in 1664 at the age of 84. Alice died two months later.

Monday, June 28, 2010

William the Conqueror, King of England

Ok. It's been a while since I posted, and I promised you royalty, so this is as good a time as any to end the suspense. This ancestry line is actually on the Munson side flowing through my Fourth Great Grandmother, Nancy Nash, and our immigrant ancestor, Elizabeth (St. John) Whiting.

William I, King of England was my Twenty-ninth Great-Grandfather. He was born about the year 1027 in Normandy. Because he was the illegitimate son of Robert I, Duke of Normandy, he was called William the Bastard by his detractors. His father died when he was seven, leaving the succession as Duke of Normandy to William in his will. He became King of England on Christmas Day 1066.

I won't recount a full biography of William the Conqueror here. You can google his name to get a wealth of information. He died in 1087.

1. William the Conqueror, King of England
+ Lady Matilda
2. Princess Gundred
+ William, Earl of Warren
3. William, second Earl of Warren and Surrey
+ Lady Isabel de Vermandois
4. Lady Gundred de Warren
+ Roger de Newburgh
5. Waleran de Newburgh
+ Lady Alice, daughter of John d'Harcourt
6. Lady Alice de Newburgh
+ William de Manduit, Baron of Hanslape
7. Lady Isabel de Manduit
+ William, fifth Baron of Beauchamp
8. Walter de Beauchamp, Baron of Alcester & Powyke
+ ???
9. Giles de Beauchamp, Baron of Alcester & Powyke
+ ???
10. Roger de Beauchamp, first Baron Beauchamp
+ ???
11. Roger, second Baron Beauchamp
+ ???
12. Sir John, third Baron Beauchamp
+ ???
13. Lady Margaret de Beauchamp
+ Sir Oliver de St. John
14. Sir John de St. John
+ Lady Alice, daughter of Ser Thomas Bradshaw
15. Sir John de St. John
+ Lady Sybil
16. Sir John de St. John
+ Lady Margaret, daugher of Sir William Walgrave
17. Oliver St. John
+ Agnes Fisher
18. Thomas St. John
+ ???
19. Sir Oliver St. John
+ Sarah Bulkley
20. Elizabeth St. John (immigrant ancestor)
+ Rev. Samuel Whiting (immigrant ancestor)
21. Rev. Joseph Whiting
+ Mary Danforth
22. Samuel Whiting
+ ???
23. Benjamin Whiting
+ Rebecca Parmelee
24. Benjamin Whiting
+ Esther Merriman
25. Esther Whiting
+ Captain John Nash
26. Nancy Nash
+ Stephen Munson
27. John Nash Munson
+ Mary J. Warner
28. George W Munson
+ Eleanor A Parsons
29. Joseph Willard Munson
+ Ida E Hotchkiss
30. Sir George Willard Munson of Winsted, Connecticut
+ Lady Ruth E Koerner of Greenwich, Connecticut
31. Lord Edward Deck Munson of Columbia, Connecticut
+ Lady Debra Florence Dahlquist of Wells, Maine
32. King Scott Edward Munson of Jackson Heights, New York
Just in case my claim to the thrown is questioned, I have discovered a second line of ancestry to King William I which goes through my great-grandmother, Ida Hotchkiss. I will post this in the future.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thomas Danforth & The Salem Witch Trials

Tenth Great-Grandfather

1. Thomas Danforth
+ Mary Withington
2. Sarah Danforth
+ Rev. Joseph Whiting
3. Samuel Whiting
+ unknown wife
4. Benjamin Whiting
+ Rebecca Parmelee
5. Benjamin Whiting
+ Esther Merriman
6. Esther Whiting
+ Captain John Nash
7. Nancy Nash
+ Stephen Munson
8. John Nash Munson
+ Mary J Warner
9. George Willard Munson
+ Eleanor A Parsons
10. Joseph Willard Munson
+ Ida E Hotchkiss
11. George Willard Munson
+ Ruth Koerner
12. Edward (Ned) Deck Munson
+ Debra Florence Dahlquist
13. Scott Edward Munson

Thomas Danforth was born in Framingham, Suffolk, England in November 1622. He was the fourth child of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Symmes) Danforth, members of a wealthy family who sympathized with the separatist puritans. His mother died when he was only seven, and his father decided to sell his estate and head to the New World when King Charles I decided to impose a heavy annual tax on wealthy people for a title which Nicholas did not want.

Nicholas and his six children, including Thomas, joined his brother-in-law, Zechariah Symmes, on board the ship Griffin which arrived in Massachusetts in 1634. In the first of two connections to Thomas Hooker, this is the same ship which carried Rev. Hooker across the Atlantic a year before. The second connection takes place in 1636 when Nicholas purchases land from Thomas Hooker in Cambridge when Hooker leaves for Hartford, Connecticut. Nicholas died in April of 1638 in Cambridge, Massachusetts where the family had settled.

As the oldest son, Thomas would have inherited a considerable portion of his father's wealth. He may have helped raising his younger siblings and was admitted to the Dorchester church in 1741 at the age of 19 - a big deal at the time. On February 23, 1643/4 he married Mary Withington, the daughter of Henry Wilthington who was the first ruling elder of that church. Together Thomas and Mary had twelve children, but only three daughters survived him, including my Ninth Great-Grandmother Sarah who married Rev. Joseph Whiting. Six of the Danforth's children died before the age of two.

In 1645, at the age of 26, he was appointed selectman and Town Clerk of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Actor Paul Scofield played Judge Thomas Danforth in
the movie version of the Crucible. Not a guy you'd want
to see on the bench when you show up for court!

Even though Thomas never attended college, he was appointed treasurer of Harvard college in 1650, a position he would hold for nineteen years. After that, he served another 13 years as it's steward. His father had given considerable funds to start the college and his younger brother, Samuel, was a member of the second class to graduate from Harvard in 1643. Josiah Quincy, one of the first Presidents of Harvard, called Thomas Danforth "the earliest, most steadfast and faithful of it's friends."

He was elected Cambridge's representative to the General Court in 1657 and was appointed deputy Governor under Governor Simon Bradstreet in 1679. He may have been elected Governor if the very popular Bradstreet had not lived so long.

During King Philip's War, a Native American uprising in New England which lasted several years starting in 1675, Thomas Danforth was particularly concerned for those Native Americans who had converted to Christianity. They were called "praying Indians" and they remained loyal to the English. He did not want to see them get caught up in the fury of war just because they looked like the enemy. He continued to speak out for them even after being threatened by those who disagreed with him for defending them.

In 1677, Massachusetts purchased the province of Maine and decided to set up a provincial government. Thomas Danforth, while serving deputy-governor of Massachusetts, was appointed the first President of the District of Maine. He traveled to Casco Bay in the summer of 1680 and began the first government there. He spent most of his time in Cambridge but traveled to Maine as necessary, allowing a deputy-president to serve in his absence. By all accounts he was a wise, judicious and kind leader who brought a sense of law and order to the wilds of colonial Maine. Part of his legacy was to lay out Fore Street, Middle Street and Congress Street in Portland, Maine.

Congress Street in Portland, Maine today. I used to live
a block from where this picture was taken!

In 1686, the new King, James II, appointed Sir Edmund Andros to serve as his Royal Governor over all of New England, ending Thomas Danforth's offices and severely limiting government by the people. Many spoke out against this, at their own peril, including Thomas Danforth who wrote: if our ability to rule ourselves is "dissolved by his Majesty, against this people's will and without their fault, what other bond remain to oblige them to him as subjects!" These were treasonous words for that time, and it is probably fortunate for him that the king was across the ocean and that his reign only lasted until 1688.

When word reached New England that William and Mary had replaced James II on the throne of England in the Glorious Revolution, Andros was arrested and Thomas Danforth was returned to his positions as deputy-governor of Massachusetts and President of Maine.

One of the duty's of the deputy-governor was to serve on the Superiour Court. It was in that capacity that Thomas Danforth became entangled in the Salem Witch Trials, which were brought before it in 1692. In Arthur Miller's play and movie "The Crucible" which fictionalize the events of these trials, Thomas Danforth is portrayed as a pompous bureaucrat who oversees the proceedings and allows the letter of the law to over-rule common sense. It's a GREAT movie and I highly recommend seeing it, but don't take away this portrayal of our ancestor as absolute fact. I recommend the following website after seeing the movie:

The truth is that Thomas Danforth only served as a judge on occasion but worked behind the scenes to see the trials come to an end. Samuel Sewell, who was the only judge to publicly express regret over the proceedings, said that Thomas Danforth "did much to end the troubles under which the country groaned in 1692." It was Governor Phipps who finally put and end to the insanity, possibly under the counsel of Thomas Danforth and others.

On March 26, 1697, his wife, Mary, died. He died on November 5, 1699 at the age of 77. His burial is unknown. Since all his sons had proceeded him in death, he left the bulk of his considerable estate to his son-in-law Joseph Whiting, the pastor of the church at South Hampton on Long Island and my Ninth Great-Grandfather.

I wish I knew what ever happened to it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bowman or Crogent Photo

This is a tin photo which was passed down from my Nana, Florence Mary Bowman. The problem is that nobody remembers who it is a picture of - a classic family photo mistake. Does anybody have any thoughts?

I am guessing that this may be a photo of William and Sarah (Cartmel) Crogent with their two oldest children, William and Ellenore. That would be Nana's Grandparents and her Aunt Nellie and Uncle Willie. The ages would be about right and would put the date of the photo at about 1893. They lived in New York City at this time.

Any thoughts anyone has based on other pictures you may have or the use of tin photos or the clothing worn, please feel free to comment.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Captain Thomas Willett

The First Mayor of New York City
Tenth Great Grandfather

1. Thomas Willett
+Mary Browne
2. Mary Willett
+Samuel Hooker
3. John Hooker
+Abigail Stanley
4. Hezekiah Hooker
+Abigail Curtis
5. James Hooker
+Dorothy Parmalee
6. Thomas Hooker
+Ruth Parmalee
7. Dr. Thomas Gould Hooker
+Esther Sweet
8. Thomas Edwin Hooker
+Lucy Hyde
9. Marcus Edwin Hooker
+Elizabeth Delphine Rosenburg
10. Jennie Estella Hooker
+John Emil Dahlquist Sr.
11. John Emil Dahlquist Jr.
+Florence Mary Bowman
12. Debra Florence Dahlquist
+Edward (Ned) Deck Munson
13. Scott Edward Munson :)

Thomas Willett was born in Norfolk, England about 1610 to Thomas and Mary Willett. The family was a member of a separatist congregation (Puritans) who were pursecuted by the King of England and the family moved to Holland where Thomas would have spent a significant portion of his childhood. This is important later, as it would give him some understanding of Dutch culture and allow him to feel at home in New Amsterdam (New York).

Thomas Willett arrived at the Plymouth Colony in 1629 at the age of 19. He was on board a second ship called the Mayflower (The first Mayflower had arrived in 1620 and established the Plymouth Colony). He was a well respected and honest young man and within a couple of years he was sent by Governor Bradford to Maine where he was soon in charge of the trading post on the Penobscot River. Beaver Furs were the life blood for trading in the New World and competition soon grew fierce. It was not long before a French battalion arrived at the post and chased the English traders, including Thomas Willett, out of the post. In 1635, he was assigned to a new post at the current site of Augusta, Maine.

Thomas Willett traveled extensively as a trader and soon found himself in New Amsterdam (New York) where he established himself as an honest businessman and befriended then Governor Petrus Stuyvesant. He probably spoke Dutch and understood Dutch culture having spent a portion of his childhood in Holland. This would prove invaluable in his business, personal and political dealings with this very important trade city. He was a learned man and probably was able to converse extensively on the affairs of New England, New Amsterdam and the World. In 1650, he actually represented New Netherlands in settling the disputed border with the Connecticut Colony.

In 1636, he married Mary Browne in Plymouth. Together they had 12 Children including my Ninth Great-Grandmother Mary, who married Rev. Thomas Hooker's son Samuel.

In 1647, Thomas Willett succeeded Miles Standish as Captain of the military company at Plymouth. This would have been an extremely important post, as tensions with the French, Dutch and Native Americans would have been a source of continued anxiety in the English settlements. In 1651, he was elected as Assistant Governor of the Plymouth Colony, serving for four years.

In 1660, Charles II became King of England. His brother, James, the Duke of York, decided that the Dutch settlement at New Netherlands was the only obstacle to English dominance in controlling trade in the New World. So, in 1664, a battalion was sent to invade New Amsterdam and take control of New Netherlands from the Dutch. Captain Willett joined the expedition as an advisor, again putting to use his knowledge of the Dutch culture, language and city.

When the people of New Amsterdam saw the show of force which the English were prepared to bring against them, they were ready to surrender. Stuyvesant tried to rally his neighbors for a fight, but the English had sent word that they would be treated fairly and peacefully if they surrendered. On September 8, 1664, the Dutch surrendered and New Amsterdam, New Netherlands became New York, New York, in honor of the new King's brother.

The English treated the Dutch very fairly as they had promised. The new English Governor Nicholls appointed Thomas Willett as the first mayor since he was known and liked in the town - an extremely judicious move. Thomas Willett served for mayor for one year, then as an alderman for one year and then for a second year as mayor.

In 1667 he retired to the Plymouth Colony. His home was in Swansea. His wife, Mary, died in 1669. He married Joanna (Boyse) Prudden in 1671. He died in Swansea in 1674 and is burried on land which was part of his property and is now located in East Providence, RI.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Adam Koerner (1812)

Third Great-Grandfather

1. Adam Koerner
+Marie (Bercke?)
2. Adam Koerner
+Mary (Eberhardt?)
3. Adam Koerner
+Pauline Von Deck
4. Ruth Koerner
+George Munson
5. Edward (Ned) Munson
+Debra Dahlquist
6. Scott Munson :)

Adam Koerner was our first Koerner ancestor to come to the United States. He was born about 1812 in Germany, probably the region of Hessen-Darmstadt, possibly the city of Frankfurt. The first record we have of him is from an 1857 New York City Directory:

"Koerner Adam, tailor, h. 157 Third"

Adam and his wife Maria or Mary (possibly maiden named Bercke) arrived in New York from Germany some time between 1849 and 1850. Their two daughters, Lena and Mary, accompanied them on the voyage. This was during a time of great turmoil in Germany, and many were disgruntled with the new order of things and saw a greater opportunity in the United States. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate the actual immigration records for Adam and his family. Shortly after his arrival here, their first son, Adam (my Great Great-Grandfather) was born. In 1853 and 1854 they had two more children, Philip and Catherine.

There were three known addresses for the Koerners in New York City. The first was at 157 Third Avenue as referenced above. Nine families lived in the same building according to the 1860 Census - all immigrants. One other family was from Germany and the rest were from Ireland. Most were laborers raising families with less than $100 worth of possessions. Adam, as a tailor, would have found it especially difficult to make money from his skilled trade in the new world. With so many tailors moving from Ireland and Germany, the city had more than they could handle, and many were reduced to working at large factories in the garment district for very low wages.

This picture from 1865 was taken three blocks
from 157 Third Avenue

This first address is only a block off of Union Square, a center of social and political activism since the early 1800s. In 1861, 500,000 people rallied there in a show of Patriotism after the fall of Fort Sumpter. One has to wonder what our immigrant ancestors thought of this country when after being her only 10 years it was embroiled in a bloody Civil War. Could the Koerners have been at this major rally as a show of support for their new homeland?

This is a statue of George Washington in Union Square ca. 1870.
It is looking toward Third Avenue where Adam lived.

The second address recorded for the immigrant Koerners is 500 West 12th Street. This address is first recorded in 1876 when Adam becomes a naturalized citizen. This was the heart of Little Germany in the late 1800s and is known today as the East Village. In the 1880 Census, Adam and Marie are in their late sixties and only their youngest son Philip is living with them. Philip is 27 years old and working as a varnisher. Twelve other families live in the building, mostly German immigrants. Adam Jr. is married, working as a barber and living only a block away in 1880. His first son, Adam III, is only 4 months old. This is my Grammy Munson's father.

The last record we have of the immigrant Adam Koerner is in Trow's New York City directory for 1889-1890:
"Korner Adam, tailor, h 406 First av"

This is farther up town than the family had lived before, at about 23rd Street. In 1889, Adam and Marie would be in their late 70s. I have not been able to find a record of either one's death but it was probably not long after this.

This picture was taken about 20 years after we know Adam lived here
but one of these buildings is probably where he lived!
Today it is the sight of the V.A. Hospital.

We know that some time in the early 1890's, Adam Jr. and his family moved to Greenwich, Connecticut. Did the elder Adam move there as well? Did Adam Jr. leave before or after his parent's died? Why Greenwich? I'm not sure. I am hoping to take a trip there one of these week-ends to do some exploring and hopefully answer some of these questions.


OK. So, back in November of 2009, I decided to sign up for a free two week trial at My great-grandmother on my Mother's side was Jennie Hooker, a direct descendant of Thomas Hooker, the "founder" of Hartford and Thomas Willett, the first English mayor of New York City, but that was all I knew. My uncle, Jim Buggie, had been doing some research on that side of the family, so I was especially interested in researching the Munson side. As far as I knew, nobody that I knew had ever taken on that task. What I discovered in those two weeks has opened my eyes to a whole new world of investigation and discovery and has kept me an addicted subscriber to

I decided that I wanted to share some of what I was discovering with family members around the country, and hopefully tap into some of their collective memory and wisdom. At first I was thinking of publishing some sort of newsletter which I could mail or email to family quarterly. How old fashioned! I had been throwing that idea around for several months before it occured to me I could much more easily create a blog to post pictures, articles and stories as I discover them. So here we go.

I have been researching both sides of my family tree using an ancestral approach rather than a descendant approach. I have information on all of my Great Grandparent's names: Munson, Hotchkiss, Koerner, Von Deck, Dahlquist, Hooker, Bowman and Crogent. I hope to present profiles of ancestors in such a way that they are more than just a name and dates, but are connected to the events of the world around them. So far I have found immigrants from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. There are original puritan settlers of New England, key members of the Salem Witch Trials and other witch trials and a well-known King. Yes, a King!

I will try to indicate how each post is connected to me so that you will be able to figure out how it is connected to you. Hopefully you will enjoy what you read and maybe be sparked to do some research of your own. Be sure to add any comments you want to the post and make any corrections which need to be made.

I dedicate this blog to my Grandparents: Gram, Gramp, Nana and Grampa John (George, Ruth, Florence and John).