Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Monday -Remembering my ancestors who fought.

Well, today is more than cookouts and department store sales and the start of summer. It is the day where we remember and thank  those who fought and died  to secure our freedom, as well as the families they left behind. I decided to look at my  ancestry in a different way today.  How many of my ancestors fought, and in which wars? Did any die?  I did not find any who died in service (a good thing, as most married after they served!) but found many who served in the military, and many more who provided what is called "patriotic service."  Here is the list working backward:

Dad: who served for 20 years in the U.S. Navy  from the end of WW II through Korea, & Vietnam.  He died in 1990, and I miss him greatly. My younger brother Jeff served for 20 years in the Navy beginning also in the VietNam war, 3 years after my father retired.

My grandpa Vic who served as a doughboy in WWI.  He sent letters and postcards home, and took up photography based on seeing the marvels of Europe.  My other grandpa Augusto Fessia served his then country of Italy in the Italian-Turkish War in the early 1900s, and though he registered for the WWI draft in America after immigrating herein 1913, did not serve in the US military.  My mother's grandfather or great grandfather was one of the "Alpiners" the origional military of Italy. He lived until WWII and was one of the oldest remaining members when he died ....

Then step back to the Civil War.  My great great grandfather James H. Fairchild served in Co. E 93rd NY Inf Volunteers. He was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness. Three of his brothers also served (Benjamin, Nelson Dallas, and William). My ggg grandfather John Miller, an immigrant from Scotland, also served in the 154th NY Vol Inf.    A lot of the collateral cousins served including two who were in different units, but both were in Andersonville.  One died there. I don't know if they knew they were related, or knew each other was there, or not.... Another fact lost to history.....

There were many who served in the Revolutionary War, both militarily, and by supplying arms or materials to the soldiers. I have located about 7 so far, and many more are remaining elusive!  They range from James Wadsworth who answered the call for the alarm at Lexington,  Jonathan Robinson, who served in three separate companies, his father Daniel Robinson, who manufactured saltpeter for ammunition,  Jabez Rouse, Jonathan's father-in law, who also served, to Squire Ide, who  served, moved to Vermont, whose death date and burial place are not known to us, to several who either signed an oath of fidelity, or I'm still searching to prove service. For example, one who will appear shortly in my Monday Madness write up is Isaiah Burton. He is listed as part of his son Varnum's bio in the Cattaraugus County NY history as " Varnum Burton, whose father Isaiah, a native of Hopkinton, RI was a Revolutionary soldier".... thirty five years later, I am not much closer to proving that!!!

Several of the earlier ancestors in this country served in the various militia alarms in the King Phillip's War, French & Indian War, and various earlier skirmishes from their individual Connecticut and Massachusetts town militias.

It has been  a wonderful day to look at how many of my ancestors have served their country with honor, and how much a part of my history is involved with the military and history of the country.  I am eternally grateful for their service and hope that I can keep their memory alive for many generations of their descendants to follow.   

Thanks to all of them, and to all those who have or are serving in the military.
No pictures or fancy stuff today, just  thoughts and remembrances....

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Rhodes/Sparks letter posted--- reference Thomas Futer or Footer

I just transcribed a third letter, and posted on the page for them in the blog at the bottom. This one was from William and Elizabeth Sparks in Shipley, Yorkshire, England.  It mentions a Thomas Futer in Cumberland Maryland. It is dated Dec 26, 1892. William cannot spell well or use capitalization or punctuation..... He might do well at texting!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Surname Saturday--- BURTON in NY, RI with related lines MILLER, MIX, KENDALL, FOOTE, RANDALL, CARMER

Well, this post is a tossup for Surname Saturday or Madness Monday, because trying to find data on my farthest back Burton has driven me mad for years.....

my lineage to this line is
1. me
2. Dad
4. Victor Miller Fairchild
9. Lucy Gertrude Miller
19. Mary Elizabeth Burton [Mother of Lucy Gertrude Miller] was born in Hinsdale on 20 May 1845. She was the fifth child of seven.(?). She married John Miller(1847/9--1934) (see previous post) sometime before the birth of her daughter Etta in Jun 1868.  There is the distinct possibility that she is the mother of Orris Burton, born in 1865. He was raised by her parents. I will save his tale for another day.....  Mary Elizabeth Burton and her husband John were the parents of seven children: Etta[ married James Kendall], Angela [married Dana Carmer], Fred [married Bess Shannon], Lucy Gertrude [married Fred Fairchild], Alva [married Cora Foote], Elmer who died at age 10 in 1890],  and Laura [ married James Randall].There are very few records existing for Mary Elizabeth except censuses.  She died 19 Sep 1932 in Hinsdale, and is buried in Maplehurst Cemetery there.  This is the only picture I have seen of her [ with her husband John].

38. Varnum Burton  [her father] is the start of the maddening tale. He was born 11 July 1808. The place according to NY state censuses is Madison County, but Tompkins County according to the biography below. He first appears in Tioga County as Farnham Burton in the 1830 census. His story is told in the Biographical sketches from: "HISTORICAL GAZETTEER AND BIOGRAPHICAL MEMORIAL of CATTARAUGUS COUNTY, NY, ed by WILLIAM ADAMS, Published 1893 (p710):

When he arrived in Cattaraugus county, he was living on part of a 67 acre lot owned by Alfred Burton, and next door to the Luddington family. Thomas Luddington's wife Sarah 's death certificate lists name as Sarah Burton Luddington.  So I think that the three were siblings. Alfred ends up in Iowa, but the rest stayed in Hinsdale. I suspect that there was another sibling  Acus who remained in Tompkins County, but have not proved... Varnum  died in Hinsdale on 8 Feb 1902. He is buried in Maplehurst Cemetery but there is no tombstone.

76. Isaiah Burton   [the father of Varnum] is the brick wall.  He is not listed as the head of household on any census. He does appear in the 1850 census as an 89 year old man born in RI living with Varnum. In the federal copy, the name is missing, and looks like hash marks under the name of Horace (Orris). On the county copy of the census [  Yes, some of those still exist and shpould be looked at!!!!] the name could be read as Isaiah or Josiah.....  The name of Varnum, given to his son is the last name of the General  Joh Varnum, who led troops in New England in the Revolutionary War... but I have not yet found Isaiah's name on any pension or other records..... and no mention of wife or deeds in Madison, Tompkins or Tioga County, and no tombstone to be found.   If he really was a Revolutionary War patriot, his story is lost, which is a real shame....  The family of Acus Burton of Dryden, Tompkins County [place Varnum came from] whose birth would make him Varnum's older brother by a year or two, has a son also named Varnum. It is possible he was named for my Varnum, who would have been his uncle....

So if anybody has any loose end to a Burton family in Tompkins, Tioga or Madison County,  I'd love to hear from you. I have notebooks full of data, but maybe you have the magic piece of missing data......

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Rhodes, Sparks Letters Page

I have created a new page in this blog to post the set of letters written mostly in the 1890s between the Rhodes  cousins in England, and the Rhodes/Sparks  cousin in the US in Michigan.  I have only transcribed the first two, so there are more to come.   If you are a Rhodes or Sparks cousin in England or the US who recognizes the names as in your tree also, please contact me!!!

52 weeks to better genealogy- week 14 search engines

Well, here is this week's challenge... to try different search engines. 

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy by Amy Coffin( is a series of weekly blogging prompts that are a bit more challenging and are geared towards those new to the field of genealogy and family history as well as those who want to brush up on some skills which might be a bit rusty.

I usually use Google or Yahoo, so I thought I would try a few different engines.  I tried Bing, with the name Antonipieri, a rare Italian surname of mine ( see earlier post for the map of surname in Italy).  Bing did not bring up my blog posts in the top 10 as Google had.  So I next tried  It had my blog posts about midway on the list.... but it had an intriguing way of locating them through a site called

 I had never heard of that site, so I investigated it.  You can search for anything in posts anywhere in blogs!  You can also register for free, and list your blogs, blogs you follow, etc. and narrow searches to those if you wish.  At that point, I quit with the original challenge of the "major" search engine, and spent time investigating this specialized search engine. Although it won't bring up the rootsweb and ancestry hits as Google or Yahoo, it works wonders with blogs, and often that's where the best info and tips can be found!

I had fun playing with this, as now I can search for a blog post by one of my fellow genies without having to remember who wrote it, and which blog I saw it in.   So while I started out looking to see the differences in search engines as not that great a challenge, I wound up finding a new research tool.   Cool!
Thanks, Amy for the challenges, and Thomas for bringing them to my attention! [and Randy, I can't make these as pretty as your posts.... yet!]

Now I can work on Faithful Friday and Surname Saturday posts!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Surname Saturday -- PETTY [ with related lines Fairchild, Shepherd, Moffet, Wadsworth, Mitchell, Merritt]

Wow, already time for another surname Saturday post.  This time I'm tackling another on my father's American side, PETTY.  My lineage to this line is as follows: [see ahnentafel page above for complete lineage]

1. Moi
2. dad-Robert Edwards Fairchild
4. grandpa Victor Miller Fairchild
8. great Grandpa Fred William Fairchild
17. Roxey [or Roxy or Roxcy] Rosalia PETTY, known as Rose or Grandma Rose by everyone, not just the family. She was born on 11 Jun 1847 in New Hudson township, Allegany county, NY, the fifth of seven children of Rev. Zenas T(illotson) Petty and Mary Ann Wadsworth.  Of her siblings, the eldest, Albert (the only boy) died in 1851 at age 19, cause unknown; and the youngest, a girl Myra Ann, died as an infant or very young child. Two others married and after their husbands' deaths did missionary work.
    Rose married her husband James H Fairchild in her father's home ( he performed ceremony) in New Hudson, on 26 Feb 1868. They had 8 children, 5 boys and 3 girls. After  the birth of the first 2 boys, they moved to Portville, NY where her husband opened a shingle and grist mill. From newspaper articles, she was a member of the Woman's Auxiliary to the GAR, the WCTU (Woman's Christian Temperance Union), her church ladies society, and helped raise three of her grandchildren when their mothers ( her daughters-in-law) died while they were infants. Her home on Temple St. in Portville, NY was the gathering place for the family, including picnics and early family reunions. She traveled to nearby Pennsylvania, and as far as New York City by train to visit a daughter on Long Island. I do not know if she travelled to visit her sisters in Iowa or Nebraska, but letters were written, although only one or two survived. She died on 14 Feb., 1928, only one week before her last remaining sibling.
This picture of her with her 3 daughters was taken between 1902 and 1906 [by youngest's estimated age and before husband's death].

Nellie, Rose, Florence (Floss), Mary Alice (Matie)

The second photo is a "clowning" picture of her (center)  and her sisters Emily (l) [married to Lafayette Gleason and Mark Titsworth]and Mary Fidelia (Dele) (r) [married to Albert C. Schuknecht]. It was taken sometime before Emily's death in 1914, and after her other sister Sophia's death in 1891, or she would be pictured as well, I think. Dele died the week after Rose.
Emily, Rose, Mary Fidelia (Dele)
34.  Rev Zenas T(illotson) PETTY was born in Romulus (Fayette) ,  NY  on Oct 20, 1808. He was the second of 8 children of Jesse Petty and Mary Ann Moffatt (or Moffitt). He moved with his family to Belfast in 1821.  [More about his siblings in his father's writeup]. " He experienced religion at the age of 27" according to his obituary. "He had an iron constitution, and in his younger days, but few could equal him in manual labor."The date of his marriage is not known, but his wife was born in 1815, and their first child was born in April 1832, so 1830-31 is a good guess. He married Mary Ann Wadsworth, who was born in CT or MA on 6 Aug 1815.   Zenas was a preacher of the Wesleyan Methodist Church and served a "circuit" of several churches in the Allegany county region of NY. Included were Fillmore/Hume, and Phillip's Creek. His wife died in 1864 of typhus, and he remarried the same year Arvilla OLDS of Gainesville, Wyoming County NY. The daughters must have not completely gotten along with her because Dele went to Iowa to be with her oldest married sister Caroline sometime later. [ A note: Caroline also married a FAIRCHILD (Reuben). The family says the two were not related, but they may have been second cousins, if new sources prove valid] .
Zenas and Arvilla moved to Oramel, NY just north of Belfast in 1869, where they lived until Zenas' death on 19 May, 1884. "He was a kind father, an earnest christian and minister, and death to him after so long suffering was the friend he had so patiently awaited to come. [he suffered from "catarrh of the bladder" for seven years, then caught a severe cold which killed him]. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Belfast NY alongside his first wife. I have found no trace of Arvilla after 1884, so do not know if she remarried, or where she lived or was buried.... another mystery to solve someday ( not high on the priority list!).
Although I have seen a copy of one photograph of Zenas, I do not have it to print here. But in 1882, he wrote part of the 23rd Psalm in my great grandfather's autograph book which was given to him on his 10th birthday that year.  Here is that page---
A letter from a relative written to great aunt Matie remembered him as kind.  Whether stern was also mentioned I cannot now remember, so will post the letter at a later date.

68. Jesse Petty  Jesse Petty was born in New Jersey in 1779.  He married Mary Ann Moffatt. There is a marriage between a Jesse Petty and a "Polly" Moffet in Somerset NJ on 19 Feb 1803. This matches with 2 males under 10 in the 1810 census in Romulus NY, and Jesse's brother was supposed to have married the twin to Mary Ann, whose name was Betsy. There is a John Petty married to a Betsy in the area as well.   Jesse and Mary Ann or "Polly" had 8 children that I have data on. [There is a possibility of a 9th child, but it is not yet proven].  The children were: Rufus born about 1807, who was a schoolteacher in Belfast, but who went and joined Col. Fannin's troops in the Texas war of Independence, and was killed at the massacre at Goliad; Calista married a Benjamin Shepherd,then John and David,of which David never married and according to family stories "died in 1846. He cooked for a mess of men. He had loaned money, and it was supposed that he was killed by the man who owed him."  Sally Ann who married Theophilus Mitchell [ would you believe I found 2 men of that name?]  William who married Sarah Ann Johnson& move to Il; and Elias B who married Hannah Merritt.
       Jesse was called up in the War of 1812. His service started in Mar of 1814, and ended 28 days later, so saw no battles.

He died Mar 11, 1855, aged 76 yrs. He is buried in Chamberlain cemetery outside Belfast, next to his wife who died in 1833 aged 53.

136. Jesse's father, Name unknown.  According to the family stories, this man had several sons, including Jesse and John. They lived in New Jersey, across the river from New York. The father is supposed to have served in the Revolutionary War, being a prisoner 7 times. Also some of his older sons were also supposed to have served as well.  Not sure he was much of a soldier if the prisoner story is true. He is the next supplemental DAR paper I will work on after I finish the 3 almost completed. Do not know if he followed sons to NY or stayed in NJ. The land in NY could have been bounty land, but won't know for sure until I do more on this line!

Thus ends the initial saga of my PETTY surname!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Faithful Friday , profiles of my family

This post is a little different from my usual surname, or individual story posts. I have recently gone onto session again as an Elder in the Presbyterian church in La Canada, CA. For those of you who do not know, Elders in the Presbyterian church are ordained, answering the same questions of the Book of Order as Ministers, and are responsible for representing the congregation and are the government of the church at the local level, setting policies, serving on committees including membership to financial and personnel to buildings & grounds.  It is not an easy position, and is at least for me, a big step, and is awakening a new spiritual growth time on my faith journey. I decided to look across my extended family genealogy and write about some of the other ancestors and relatives who have been faithful servants of God.  There are many more than I had expected, so this will become a series of posts! We have been involved with the Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, and Congregational churches, and even the Puritan and pilgrim churches throughout the centuries.....

The first two will be my Dad and grandpa (as I will always try to write about my Dad!):

My dad, Robert Edwards FAIRCHILD was a dentist in the Navy by vocation, and although never served as official in any church that I find documented, was heavily involved in every church we attended when he was not at sea. He and my Mom were always leading the high school youth groups, and I remember many pot-lucks and bowling alleys and trips to beaches and lakes with the groups growing up.  He even remarked to me once before his death when I was first asked, elected and ordained as elder, that that was one thing his father and daughter had become that he had not, and regretted. He was a very Christian man, with a great heart and great faith, who always had a great sense of humor, made people laugh, provided lots of dental care "off the books" and other help for many people in his life!

His father, Victor Miller FAIRCHILD (also a dentist) served as an elder in the First Presbyterian church in Olean NY.  I don't know if he was ever also a deacon, but he probably was. [note to self: self put that on research plan to do list!].  I don't remember much about him, as he died when I was five, only that he was kind, gentle, spoke quietly,  and always had lemon or peppermint candies for us. From the stories told by others, he must have been an honest, faithful man, and I think also did a lot of unpaid dental work for people.  He certainly was loved!  When he died unexpectedly of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 63, hundreds of people attended his funeral. I have marveled at all the signatures in the guest book, and the comments of sympathy and loss sent to his wife.

Here is my favorite picture of the two of them:

Then there was Grandpa's great grandfather [my great,great, great grandfather Zenas T Petty], who was a Methodist minister, but I'll be writing about him tomorrow as one of the Petty clan on Surname Saturday, so will skip for now. And two of his great aunts, Zenas' daughters, served as missionaries in the Presbyterian church at the turn of the 20th century. These two will be profiled next Friday.  And there are more!!!

and of course it's after midnight, so Friday is late!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Late Surname Saturday -- Antonipieri

Here is another late surname post.... but it takes me a long time to go through all the evidence and write up  not only what is sure, but what still is not proven. And it bothers me that these are some of the closer  generational surnames.  I will have to post additional pages to the blog or a website to include all the documentation, or these posts will be WAY too long!  But maybe if a relative sees this, I will know more shortly!

The next surname is Antonipieri. This is an even more rare Italian surname than Fessia.  The site that shows the surname density in Italy looks like this:

And there are lots of stories in this family. But I digress....
My lineage is as follows-- (see Ahnentafel page tab above to follow)
1. me
3.--my mom
7. my Grandmother -- whose name is Maria Antonetta Jacomina Theresa Antonipieri ... to which gets added Felice and Fessia  for her two husbands.

Because her nickname is Tonina, some think her name was Antonina, and there is a family uncertainty over whether it is Jacomina Theresa, or Theresa Jacomina or if it's Teresa or Theresa....  and her husband Angelo Felice also used the surname as Felix, the German version, as the region that she is from, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia is next to Austria, and they speak  Furlong which is supposed to be the most difficult dialect to learn....
She was born in Enemonzo  15 May 1890.  She arrived in America on her birthday, May 15, 1911, with her husband Angelo Felice from Buia who first came to America in 1907. According to family stories they met at a wedding of a relative in Udine.  Tonina was one of at least 6 children, 3 boys who all died in WWI according to Mom, and at least 2 other sisters, Maria who married a Borta and ran either a trattoria (restaurant) or hotel in Udine, and Florida about whom all I know is her name.  An uncle of hers ( not sure which side) was either a Monseigneur or Bishop in the Catholic church.  Grandma's first husband died of flu or pneumonia as did a small infant Adolf, leaving her with my aunt Mary, born in Dec 1911.  She married my grandfather, Augusto Secundo Fessia in Utica on 1 Jul 1917.
Grandma Fessia went back to visit several times before WWII. On one trip in 1923 -24, she took both Mary and her daughter Margaret. Margaret contracted polio either there or on her return and died soon after. So when my mother was born in October 1924, they named her after her dead 5 year old sister...... and she was never allowed to go on the final trip she made back home prior to WWII. In 1927, she had my Uncle Dan.
14. her father Daniele  Antonipieri.  As the records from this region have not been microfilmed by the Mormons, and the priests don't respond to my letters, I do not know when or where he was born.  I have seen the picture of Daniele and his wife Caterina (?) whose last name is either Bonnano or Romano depending on which relative or document you consult. It was told to me that it was their wedding portrait. It hung in the living room of my grandparents over the piano. But it may not be, as it is not marked....

Daniele died during WWII, and somewhere I have a picture of his coffin sent to me by my uncle Dan [named for his grandfather] being carried through the crowded streets of the town, It had a Tyrolean hat on top, and he was supposedly  the last or oldest remaining "Alpiner"  which was the first Italian military after the Italy became a united country.  I must find that photo and post it later.  The story about him my mother told me was that during the first World War, he used to sneak across the border to steal food for the village and hide it from the Germans. That someone betrayed him, and the Germans found him andbeat him badly and left him in a ditch to die. His wife spent days looking for him, and when she found him, almost didn't recognize him because his hair had turned white overnight.

I hope to visit Italy later this year, and Enemonzo will be a stop for me. If any of these stories are true, I really want to locate the info and meet any of the remaining relatives! It would also be nice to push this line of mine back a few more generations!

and if you are related and know more, please contact me!

Sentimental Sunday - Pietro Fessia & his daughter Margherita

Well, today I am posting a postcard photo I found in a box. I don't know if the picture was one my Uncle Dan sent me, or Mom had, or where it came from, but it's more important to my Chilean cousins, and since the mail now is iffy, I'll post here so they can see it.   And since it has explanation, I chose to show it on "Sentimental Sunday", rather than "Wordless Wednesday"!
This photo was taken September 24 1933 in Tome', Chile. It says  "To Giovanni"  who is Pietro's younger brother, but the address written in blue pencil on the side is F. Leandro 1314 South St., Utica NY which is Felicita (Fessia) Leandro , Pietro's younger married sister.  The Italian at the bottom is about the picture being of Pietro and his eldest (or first) daughter Margherita [Italian spelling of her name]. I'm not sure whether the first part is "I send", or" return to me", but it will be winging its way to his youngest daughter Marta in Talcahuano as soon as the mail is reliable! It is really special, as Pietro died in 1934 of pneumonia.

Enjoy!  And I hope it  helps take their minds off the aftershocks!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Surname Saturday- MILLER, Scotland, USA (NY) [with ties to Fairchild, Burton, Bayne, Anderson,Sinclair, Morrison]

 Well, the earthquake in Chile overtook last week's post before I could finish it. So here it is a couple of weeks late!

The next surname to tackle in my pedigree is Miller. This name, although not one I carry, is special to me. Although not arriving in this country from Scotland until the mid 1800s, through service and marriage, this family has helped connect me to my very American DAR, DUVCW, and  Mayflower ancestors.
My lineage is
1. me
2. my father Robert E. Fairchild (see Fairchild post)
4. my grandfather Victor Miller Fairchild (see his data in earlier Fairchild surname post)
9. Lucy Gertrude Miller 
Born in Hinsdale, Cattaraugus Co., NY on 10 Mar 1874, she was the middle of seven children. Her siblings were Etta, Angela (Angelia), Fred, Alva, Elmer, and Laura. She married my great grandfather Fred W Fairchild (2 Feb 1872 Belfast, Allegany, NY -17 Jun 1932 Portville, Cattaraugus, NY) on 3 Mar 1894 in Olean, NY. They were married by the Rev James McKee and the witnesses also carried the surname McKee .... they eloped!

the mother's name on the reverse of the license is incorrect; she was Mary Elizabeth, not Isabella....

Gertrude (as she was known), must have been a sweet wonderful person, as her best friend named one of her daughters after her, and at least one other in the Miller family did also. She died suddenly of an infection about a week following the birth of her second child, grandpa's sister Marion, at the young age of 23 years, 1 month, and 1 day, on 11 April 1897.

18. John Miller (Jr.) The tale of the Miller family arrives in the U.S. in this generation. John Miller was born in Scotland, and arrived in the U.S. as an infant with his parents and older sister. He was the second of 6 children. There are at least 2 slightly different dates for his birth given. On his death certificate, it appears as Dec 8 1847. The ship arrival records (the "Cuthbert" arriving NY from Greenock, Scotland on 3 May 1849) have him as 3 months old.

At present I haven't located the birth record in Scotland, so haven't nailed down which date is the correct one. [note to self: find it!] They were enumerated on the 1850 census living in Franklinville, NY with Alexander Miller (who is assumed to be the brother to John Miller Sr). He married Mary Elizabeth Burton sometime before the birth of their first child Etta, on 7 June 1868.  Many of the marriages at that time were kept in the minister's log, and so far, this one hasn't surfaced.... So I'll guess that it was about 1867. John was a blacksmith in Hinsdale like his father before him.
John and Mary Elizabeth (Burton) Miller
He died on 19 March 1934 in Hinsdale, Cattaraugus, NY. They are buried in Maplehurst cemetery there.

36. John Miller (Sr.   born in Crieff, Scotland 20 May 1820 (parish register), 25 May 1820 per Death certificate.  He married Mary Elizabeth Bayne b. 1826 in Dunblane, Perthshire, Scotland on 1 Nov 1845 according to Old Parish Register 348 Dunblane Vol 4., where he was listed as being of Stirling. He was a blacksmith by trade,and is enumerated with his brother Alexander ( also a blacksmith) in 1850 in Franklinville. Alexander moved on to Michigan later, leaving John and his family to remain in NY.  He served in the Civil War, where he enlisted at age 42 as a Pvt in Co. D, 154th NY Vol Infantry on July 8, 1862. He was discharged on Dec 29, 1862 due to "coarse veins in legs". He was discharged before the unit went to Gettysburg.He and Mary had seven children.   He died 29 May 1902 in Hinsdale, Cattaraugus, NY.

72 John Miller   born in Alloa, Clackmannan, Scotland between 1790 and 1793. He died circa 1850 in Scotland. He married Elizabeth Anderson.  They lived on High Street in Crieff, where he and his sons were blacksmiths. 3 of his children immigrated to the US. His son David remained in Scotland.

 The rest here is conjecture, not fully proven:

144.  Henry Miller   born 19 July 1753 Scotland. Married Janet St. Clare ( Sinclair). Living in Alloa, at time of John's birth. There are no other records in Clackmannan of another Miller couple with a son John of right age, so supposition is that these are the parents of John and his brother Henry who was baptized 7 Mar 1790

if that is true, then
288.  John Miller  b ca 1730 Scotland Married Grizzell Morrison 7 Aug 1752 in Clackmannan, Scotland. Had child Henry born 19 Jul 1753.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Final status -- GB 2010 Olympics

Well, I didn't get as much as I'd like, but thanks to Thomas' challenge I got a lot of stuff accomplished in this 2 weeks! And I had to hustle  today to make it happen!
Category 1 Cite:
Category 2 Backup
Category 3 Organize!
        Diamond!!!   (Tasks A, B, C, D) I worked really hard for this one!
Category 4 Expand your knowledge
        Silver ( tasks D & E)
Category 5 Write!
        Gold  (Tasks A, C, E    hmmm a gold ace!)
Category 6 Reach out and Gen acts of Kindness.
Well I excel at this as any of my friends can tell you!
( Tasks A, C, D, E, G)
Well, I will keep the tasks list handy and keep prcticing for the next set of challenges!!!
1 Platinum, 1 Diamond, 1 Gold, 2 SIlvers and 1 Bronze is a great showing!!!

and I guess if the time allowed was longer I'd have platinum for Category 3 'cuz Sunday is Scan Fest!
Gotta go, am still working on the Surname Saturday post for tomorrow....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Status Sunday- GB 2010 WInter Games

Well here's my status after a little over a week. with one week to go, not sure I'll finish as high as I want. This is prepared and pre-published on Friday  to appear on Sunday, to see if I've figured out the method! Thanks Thomas for challenging us to become better bloggers!
Category 1.  Cite
Task 1:10 sources completed ( only hundreds to go!)
Task 2:
Task 3:
Task 4:
Task 5:

Category 2: Back Up Your Data!
Task A: completed--- plan made
Task B:
Task C:
Task D:
Task E:

Category 3: Organize your research!
Task A: completed see my previous post!
Task B:
Task C:
Task D:
Task E:
Task F:

Category 4: Expand your Knowledge
Task A:
Task B: 
Task C:
Task D:
Task E: completed surname visualization

Category 5. Write! Write! Write!
Task A: Completed  see under header!
Task B:
Task C: completed  this post & one more for Mon.
Task D:
Task E: completed  see 2 new pages at the top
Task F:

Category 6: Reach out & perform G A K
Task A: completed  made one comment
Task B:
Task C: 
Task D: completed found data for a DUVCW member
Task E: completed --indexing 10 apps in DAR descendants project
Task F:
Task G: completed now following several

Well I was hoping to do more of Cite! and Organize! but I'll do more this week....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Surname Saturday --- Edwards in Canada, Michigan, PA

Well, Edwards is the third surname for my Surname Saturday posts. It occurs to me that it will be awhile until I get to some of the names I have traced way back. The first few are mainly my "brick wall"  types for one reason or another, and this one is no different!
My Edwards connections from my ahnentafel are :

5.  Jennie Gertrude 'Jane' Edwards 
      Grandma was married to Victor Miller Fairchild ( see previous post on that surname).
She was born 13 March 1891 in Merlin, Kent county, Ontario Canada. She had 6 toes on her left foot according to her birth certificate, a fact I never knew, as visits to relatives were few and far between in my US Navy traveling family.

The family arrived in the US by 1900 when they appear in the census in Leady township, Clinton County, PA. She was the youngest child, with an older brother Harry Lemuel born 1890 and an older sister Grace Elizabeth born in 1888.  She always went by Jane, lied about her age, gave her birth year as 1895, because she didn't want people to know that she was older than Vic. My father even acquiesced, and placed 1895 on her tombstone!!! She trained as a nurse, and she was married  in Lock Haven PA on 15 June 1921.  When she died on 18 Apr 1974 in Olean, NY, I was a senior in college. As dad was an only child, her house was sold and all the belongings were brought to our home.  It was in an old suitcase that I found the obituary of James H. Fairchild, a veteran of the Civil War , which sparked my over 35 year obsession with genealogy.

10. Lemuel Edwards ---my great-grandfather, was the oldest (really second, but the first died at one day old) of nine children. He was born in Essex county, Ontario, Canada on 13 July 1864. By 1870 the family was in Warren, Macomb county, MI, and in 1880 and beyond, in Flat Rock, Wayne county, MI which is part of the greater Detroit area. He worked as a logger, or stave cutter, although he rose to be a mill superintendent in later life. He returned to Canada, as he married his wife Luella Huffman there sometime around 1886 -87 (although I have not yet located a marriage certificate).  His three children were all born in Canada. According to the 1910 census they returned to the US in 1898 or 1900, by 1910 were in Norwich, McKean co, PA.  He was listed as Alien in 1910, but in the 1920 census says naturalized in 1901. Haven't yet found the papers, so am not sure if he [or his wife or my grandmother ] was ever a US citizen. He died in Columbia, Richland, SC on 26 October 1923 of pneumonia, where he was superintendent of a stave mill.
This picture was taken of him holding his grandson, my father between Dad's birth in March of 1923, and Lemuel's death in October of that year.The house in the background is not my father's home in Olean NY, so where the picture was taken is unknown.
Lemuel's death certificate sent me on a wild goose chase looking for a marriage between a John Edwards (father)and Sarah Rhodes (mother) .... turns out his mother was Elizabeth Sparks.... it was his  mother's mother that was Sarah Rhodes...

Lemuel's brother Arthur William Edwards was the mayor of Wyandotte, MI when he died in 1932. He and his son ran the American Toy co. [or American Metal co?] . my brother Charles Lee was named after the son.

20. John Edwards [Jr.]  It is with this generation and the next that the mysteries and brick walls start.  He was born about 1835 in Canada East [Quebec] according to information on his marriage certificate. His father's name was listed as John, and his mother's name as Emily.  He married Elizabeth Sparks on 1 November 1862 in Kingsville/Gosfield, Essex, Ontario, Canada. The family arrived in Michigan sometime between the birth of Naomi in Canada in 1868, and the 1870 census.  He was a carriage or wagon maker by trade. In the 1880 census, he gives his father's birthplace as  Canada and his mother's birthplace as Portugal.  He named one of the daughters Naomi Alzora Permelia, so perhaps that is true... The stories in the family have him as orphaned, or  his father being French and the name should be Jean Edouard with the surname dropped because he had to leave France because of a duel..... The records are sparse, and there are many Edwards or Edouards in Quebec, so we may never know....  He died the 25 Feb in either 1897 or 1898.

40. John Edwards  .... married to Emily... was he French, or French-Canadian? Was he a seaman, or did he fight a duel? was Emily really from Portugal? None of his descendants (and there are a lot of descendants! ) seem to be able to get past this portion of our history due to the dearth of records and research. Another brick wall to climb!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

My flag for the GB 2010 WInter Olympics

My heritage is half Italian with the other half English and Scots, maybe a little French as well(?) and I was born and raised in the U.S where my English and Scots forebears came to live and fight in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, WWI, WW2 and Korean War service. I am proud of my heritage!

Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games status

Well, in order to try to get my genealogy back in order, I decided the event planned by Thomas on FB was a great incentive.  Now I have been doing research in genealogy for over 35 years. So I have a lot of data, and a lot that is on paper only (some really bad early microfilm copies included!), and research usually wins over organization and proper filing in my busy life...  And when I started using the computer programs, the citations for every piece, and typing of data into the program was NOT my favorite task. There is always a small in work pile. This year has been a treasure trove of research ( see my previous post on top 10 things for 2009) so the new pile has gotten out of hand. Here's what I've been doing:
Competition Category 3 -- Organize your research.  Event tasks:
  • Task A: Organize at least 20 hard files or ancestral items (books, fabrics, inherited items) into file folders, boxes, envelopes, containers, etc.; archival-quality where appropriate.
  • Task B: Organize at least 20 digital files into folders, label, add metadata, add descriptions, add tags, etc.
  • Task C: Organize at least 20 photos into photo albums, scrapbooks, collages, protective holders, boxes, etc.
  • Task D: Organize at least 20 digital photos into folders, label, add metadata, add descriptions, add tags, etc.
  • Task E: Create at least 20 data entries in your database, or scan 20 photos, or scan 20 documents.
  • Task F: Create a master list of your files and notify your family members of where it is stored.
          I have done scads of research since last October, with research winning over filing every time; I now have several piles like this ( this is the worst!) :
Before! placed by TV chair at start of Olympics
Since I have to place all data into surname notebooks after entering into computer, the first step is to sort by surname into my file box.  The second step will be to make sure the data from each surname file has been entered into my Rootsmagic program trees [Ooh, can now compete in the Cite! category as well!]. The last step is the actual placement in notebook, or picture archival box (or trash if scanned or duplicate record).

Here's where I am after the Friday and Saturday Olympics broadcasts.  I still have a small pile left, but have run out of room in the file box... so will have to move on to step 2.
I will be platinum by the time I finish this task, as I'm sure that there is enough for 20 scans, 20 picture sorts, and organizing digital files... Thanks for the nudge Thomas! [Go USA!] 
Now about those other competition categories..... Hey Thomas, does this competition blog count for participation in a "carnival"  under the "Write, Write, Write category?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Surname Saturday -- FESSIA [with connections to Antonipieri, Felice, Pozzallo, Ciochetti]

Well today, I'll cover my second surname, from my mom's side of the family --- Fessia.
I haven't been able to trace back as far as I'd like, as it's Italian, and the records in the civil area only go back to 1867. But the LDS church has microfilmed the records from the main town I'm interested in, so I've been trying to fill in the blanks.

My lineage in this line is

3. Margaret Fessia --- Mom

6. Augusto Secundo Fessia -- My grandpa. Grandpa was born 1 April 1890 in Gaglianico, Piemonte, Italy. He was sent to Lyon at the age of 11 ( according to Mom) to apprentice in silk weaving . His brother did dyes for the silk and Augusto worked with the design and machines. He served in the Italian Army and was in the Italo-Turkish War [guerra di Libia, "the Libyan war" September 29, 1911 to October 18, 1912.] He received a commemorative medal which my uncle had framed. The letter accompanying it stated ' il Soldato del 6 Reggimento Artiglierria de [da?] Fortezza". He emigrated to the US in 1913 to work in the silk mill in Utica NY. His younger sister Felicita and her husband, his younger brother Giovanni Battista (John) also came, but an older brother went to work in the beginning textile industry in Chile, and stayed there. Augusto married the widow Maria Antonetta (Tonina) Jacomina Teresa Antonipieri Felice in Utica 1 Jul 1917. He received his US naturalization in 1922. Grandpa was a very quiet reserved man. He had the most wonderful vivid blue eyes. He was diabetic and died 4 Jan 1968 of pancreatic cancer.

12. Giovanni Battista Fessia (b. 18 May 1847 Gaglianico, Piemonte, Italy-- 1903 Gaglianico, Piemonte, Italy). He married Margherita Anna Pozzallo ( 3 May 1866 Donato -- 28 May 1943 Utica, Oneida, NY) in Gaglianico. She later came to the US (12 Aug 1916- held for special inquiry!) to live with her children and grandchildren. There is a tale someone told me ( in my early days before I used proper citations!) that she was his second wife, and that when his first wife died, the children of that marriage went to live with her family in southern France. I have not been able to validate or disprove this tale, and that is one of my future tasks.

24. Pietro Fessia -- this is the furthest back ancestor.... unfortunately, his data is in the pile of unsorted research. I think that his wife's maiden name was Ciochetti. I will post more on him when I finish my 2010 GB Olympic task of filing and properly sorting!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Surname Saturday-- FAIRCHILD

Thanks to Randy and his wonderful blogging prompts, I may actually get my research info published at least in pieces! This is for Surname Saturday! I have lots of surnames, and will try to tackle them in the ahnentafel format so as to have some continuity. [ if you don't know what an ahnentafel is go here:]

For this first post, I'm going to choose FAIRCHILD, my patrilineal line. Based on my research, and that of many others, we can only trace the line back to JOhn Frederick FAIRCHILD, born 1800 in Athens (or Hudson) NY, although we have been trying to link back to the CT Thomas FAIRCHILD as several lines do.

I have a FAIRCHILD tree at, have listed lineage in the back (unaligned) section of Jean Fairchild Gilmore's books "Early FAIRCHILDS in America and their Descendants" and " More Fairchilds in America".

My lineage back is

1. Susan Jane FAIRCHILD [now Barry] moi!

2. Robert Edwards FAIRCHILD - my father (1923 Olean, NY- 1990 Phoenix, AZ) m Margaret Therese Fessia
He was a dentist, served in the Navy for 20 years, the army for 1 year out of college, attended University of Ohio and University of Buffalo [now SUNY Buffalo] and took us to live in 7 states and one foreign country! He had a wonderful sense of humor, was a patient and kind man whom I miss very much!

4. Victor Miller FAIRCHILD - ( 1895 Portville, NY-1958 Olean, NY)married Jennie Gertrude 'Jane' EDWARDS (1891 Merlin, Kent Ontario CAN-1974 Olean, NY).

Grandpa was also a dentist [ as were a couple of his non-Fairchild cousins]. He served in the US AEF in France in 1918. He died when I was only five, but I remember him also as kind and funny, so I'm sure that's where Dad got his sense of humor! He was an elder and Deacon in the Presbyterian Church, and had a step mother as his mother died when he was only 2. He and his sister Marion and their cousin Daisy were the " orphans" and were mostly raised by their grandma and aunts. That will be the topic for another whole post in itself!

8. Fred William FAIRCHILD ( 1872 Belfast Allegany, NY - 1932 Portville, Cattaraugus, NY) married Lucy Gertrude MILLER.

Fred Fairchild was the entrepreneurial type. He was the owner of a Mercantile and president of the Portville Broom Company. He was the second of five sons, and he eloped with Gertrude to get married. She died in childbirth of their second child, and he later remarried. He was a pillar of the community, serving on the school board, volunteer fire dept., and other positions. He loved to camp and hunt, and pictures of his deer, bear and other hunting kills were shown and passed down in the family. Dad said there was a stuffed bear in the entry to his home, and I never knew if he was kidding or not!

16. James H(enry) Fairchild ( 1841 Rochester, NY - 1906 Portville, NY). married Roxey Rosalia 'Rose' PETTY

James was one of 11 children. He and 3 of his brothers served in the Union army in the Civil War. He served in company E of the 93rd NY Volunteers. He was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness, spent time in the hospital, and I imagine walked with a limp, although that's not mentioned any where. He owned and operated a shingle mill in Portville, was co-owner with 2 brothers of a patented washing machine, active in the Presbyterian church, local GAR post, and a man whose "word was as good as his bond" as stated in his obituary. It was his obituary among my grandparents' things that started me on this genealogical journey 35 years ago. I am very proud of him, and named my son James in his honor.

32. John Frederick B(ackus?) FAIRCHILD ( Jan 1800 Athens [or Hudson] NY - 1869 Belfast, NY) married Sally HOYT ( abt 1802 Catskill, NY- 1857 West Sparta, NY)

He was a cooper and worked on the Erie and Genessee Canals, hence the various stays in Rochester , Dansville, Belfast. He was orphaned at the age of three, lived with maiden aunts and uncle who mistreated him and he ran away. His mother was supposedly a Backus.

If anyone is descended from any of these persons, or knows of any info on the Fairchild name, or is a Fairchild male willing to take a genealogy DNA test, please contact me at barry.sf(at) and let's compare notes on the families involved. I am tired of this brick wall!