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Scholefield Family Tree

Now I am working to complete the information about Harmonus DeGraff and Susannah Thomas’s children. (I feel like I’m trying to collect the whole set here!) Based on what has been found before, three of their children made it to adulthood. Susan is the last sibling I need to check into. The most logical place to begin is with the censuses. I could locate all of them, but some censuses are more useful than others because of the information that was recorded.

According to the 1900 Census, Susie was born in Feb 1849.1 She was with her husband Fred C. Miller, born Aug 1849 in South Carolina, and her two children Susie M., born Nov 1879 in Michigan, and Fred DeG., born Jul 1888 in Michigan. In Susie’s obit,2 only one of her two children was mentioned as living, her daughter. If I had stopped with the obit, I’d have never known about Fred. This census also noted the number of children a woman had given birth to, and the number 2 in that column tells me that I can be reasonably certain that I have all the children’s names. (Of course, it could have been wrong.)

In 1880, Susan was in Jackson, Michigan, with her husband, daughter, and mother.3 This census confirms that the daughter was born in November. It also additional proof that the background research conducted into the Widow Susan Ghost story is correct. It confirms his finding that Widow Susan was in Michigan in 1880.4 Whenever possible it is a good thing to confirm data posted online. It ensures that the person wasn’t pulling your leg, and it can lead to new discoveries — or an old discovery made new because the pieces finally fit! In this case, it is the finding that the enumerator placed parentheses around Widow Susan’s age. Possibly he was unsure if it was exact? It makes this Susan DeGraff born 1821 even easier to reconcile with the Susan DeGraff born as calculated from her death record on 15 Sep 1819.5 Of course, both could still be a bit off!

Research Plan:

  1. Check FamilySearch record search for Michigan births. More specific dates for Susan and Fred might be found.
  2. Determine if this is a stopping point for the Scholefield Project.

1. 1900 U.S. census, San Diego County, California population schedule, San Diego, enumeration district (ED) 194, sheet 18A, p. 37 (handwritten), 171 (stamped), dwelling 408, family 454, Household of Fred C. Miller; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 99.
2. See post dated 30 Dec 2009.
3. 1880 U.S. census, Jackson County, Michigan population schedule, Jackson, enumeration district (ED) 119, p. 318D (stamped), 12 (handwritten), dwelling 121, family 123, Household of Fred C. Miller; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 585.
4. See post dated 5 Sep 2009.
5. See post dated 30 Oct 2009

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Whittle Family Tree

I promised earlier to share my thoughts on who could possibly belong to whom in this family. My ideas are my own and should not be taken as anything more than my ideas and potential leads to be explored. They are being placed here and not on Ancestry since we all know that the week after I post a “possible connection” it becomes gospel and is propagated in multiple trees. Much like an urban myth it is impossible to take back a connection on Ancestry – they reproduce at the speed of light and people rarely respond to the messages telling them that there is no proof of a connection.

In the past 18 months we (Ruth and me) have worked this family from both directions. We pursued the family from the known back through the unknown and we also looked at all the documentation available to us from oldest to newest. We followed families in both directions and explored many Whittles that proved to have no family connection at all. We made lists of Whittles and tried to tie them together by repetitive names, by dates and locations. We found – as you will notice when you look at the name grid – a complete generation that is not documented. The children of John W. are the most likely parents of Benjamin’s generation, but we found no marriage, death, or other documentation that would clarify that situation.

Based on the available documentation that I have previously provided there are several possibilities for the father of John Nelson and Jeremiah Whittle. The men of the appropriate age would be Benjamin b.c.1755, David b.c.1760, Richard b.1755-1765, and Zachariah b.1755-1765. If I were pursuing this family any further than I would be looking hard at Zachariah Whittle as the possible father of Jeremiah and John Nelson Whittle.

A Zachariah Whittle married Elizabeth Disney in 1795. Only one Zachariah is found in any of our available records and according to the census records, Zachariah would have been 35-45 years old at the time he married Elizabeth Disney. It is possible this is a second marriage. He falls in the possible age category to have children born c. 1774 (John Nelson) and c. 1775 (Jeremiah).

Why not the other men in the category? Richard marries Elizabeth Burland in 1784 and her extant letters and other documentation do not mention any previous children for Richard Whittle. David Whittle appears by his extant documentation to be born c. 1760 and his children are clearly documented by the records concerning his death. On the 1790 census Benjamin has three females of the right age and no males in the household born prior to 1784 – well outside the window for John Nelson and Jeremiah.

So where are John Nelson and Jeremiah in 1790 if not on the census with one of the documented Whittle males? There are many options available in this case. First, they could be living with other family members – and not just family members in Maryland. There is plenty of evidence that the Whittle family was spread across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia. Many of the Whittle obituaries we have found ask for Pennsylvania and Delaware papers to copy the material. It is quite easy to believe that the boys could be with an aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandparents. Second, by 1790 the boys are between 14 and 17 and could have been bound to a tradesman, in which case they would have been counted in his household. The extant records are simply not good enough to pinpoint their location.

Now before everyone jumps up and says, “What about deeds and tax records?” let me clarify a couple of things. While I can’t look at anything except materials available online, (self-imposed rules of Cold Genealogy) I can use any records and research provided by family members. Ruth kindly supplied me with copies of her research. She checked for any Whittle wills, land records, and tax records in Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties, and she also paid a professional genealogist to research extant records in the Maryland State Archives and Baltimore County resources. Most of that documentation is already up in the posts. The research did not turn up any deed or tax records to clarify the situation. In fact according to both Ruth and the professional, no Whittle bought or sold any land in Baltimore County from 1727-1775 and no Whittle sold land in the county from 1787-1823. No Whittle was listed as owning land in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, or Harford County in the 1783 Assessment List.

We have not searched the wills of the spouse families. As records become available online in a searchable format it is possible that some situations may clarify themselves. Currently, this is where we stand:
Samuel Whittle is the son of an UnknownA Whittle and Eliza Unknown
UnknownA Whittle is the son of Jeremiah Whittle and Nancy Best
Jeremiah Whittle is the son of UnknownB Whittle and Unknown Mother

I accomplished my original goal, which was to identify who might be in the plot of Samuel Whittle at Govans Presbyterian. Unfortunately, I am unable to go any further at this time. I will revisit the Whittles every so often and update the information as it becomes available, but it is time to move on to another family.

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Whittle Family Tree

Attached is a pdf of an Excel file. It’s just an 8 page list of Whittle’s with their birth, death, marriage, spouse and parent names if known. I used it to try to organize my thoughts on who was who and who did they belong to. The blue color simply lets you know it’s a different (maybe) family. The two salmon colored blocks are brothers Jeremiah and John Nelson Whittle with their descendants. I’ll post some of my “thoughts” concerning parentage tomorrow.

Whittle Name Grid

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Whittle Family Tree

Once again from materials compiled by Ruth or I.

John Whittle, 2 Oct 1749 – 25 Nov 1749, Administratrix, Eleanor Whittle, next of kin John Whittle, Jr., Rachel Whittle. (From Anne Arundel Prerogative Court Abstract, 1748-1751) 1750 inventory names, Eleanor as widow, children Rachel, wife of John Thackrel, John, Hester, Sopia, and Richard. Aug 1751 security of estate by Eleanor, names children Hester, Rachel, Richard, and Sophia

David Whittle, d. abt 1799, Anne Arundel County, Thomas McCauley vs. Anne, Nicholas, Mary, Nancy, Elizabeth, and William Whittle, Anne Arundel Co., 1801. From a bill of complaint filed by Thomas McCauley on 26 Mar 1801 stating he had contracted with David Whittle of Anne Arundel Co on 30 Jan 1789 for land. David Whittle had died intestate without executing a deed of conveyance and David left behind a widow and five infant children: Anne Whittle, the widow, and Nicholas, Mary, Nancy, Elizabeth, and William all under the age of 21. (Maryland Chancery Paper 003637, MSA 1/36/3/68)

John Whittle, 24 May 1818, Frederick County, names wife Charity, three children: Jonathan, John, unknown daughters – all under age 16

Charity Whittle 15 Oct 1867, Carroll County, names son John

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Scholefield Family Tree

The last person in Alonzo’s family that needs a few details is his wife. Here is her obit:

blockquoteMrs. Alonzo H. Degraff
Mary McLean, widow of Captain Alonzo H. DeGraff, died at 8 o’clock Thursday evening at the home of her son Harry W. DeGraff, 15 Grant avenue, after an illness of a week, in her 77th year. Mrs. DeGraff was born at Northampton, Fulton county, Sept. 23, 1849, and had been a resident of Amsterdam for about 50 yers, being greatly beloved by all who knew her because of her delightful personality. She was an attendant of the Second Presbyterian church. Mrs. DeGraff is suvived by three sons, Harry W. and C. Robb DeGraff of this city, and Alonzo H. DeGraff of London, Eng., and two daughters, Mrs. William H. Ukers of New York city and Mrs. Mary DeGraff Phillips of this city, as well as five grandchildren.*

I’m fairly happy with what I have for Alonzo, et al. (Remember of course that if this were my family, I’d be confirming obit data using other sources — you never know when the obit is wrong!) I’ll be moving on to sister Susan DeGraff Miller’s family next.

* “Obituary: Mrs. Alonzo H. Degraff,” Amsterdam Evening Recorder and Daily Democrat, 30 Apr 1926, p. 26, col. 1; digital images, Fulton History (http://www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 5 Jan 2010).

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Whittle Family Tree

Whittle Burials compiled by Ruth and I.
Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore
Section AA Lot 14
Josephine Whittle, 4 Jan 1909
Child of J. Whittle, 1865 – 7 Sep 1865
Edgevale Lot 424
Thomas H Whittle, 1930, 68 yrs.
Elizabeth Whittle, 1944, 79 yrs,
Fernwood 316
George W. Whittle, 1932 (Son of John Nelson Whittle Jr.),
Norma E. Whittle 1971 (Daughter of George W. Whittle),
Rosehill 244
Vera Whittle, 1973, cremated,

Govans Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Baltimore
Lot 88
Samuel N. Whittle, c. 1843-1892, 2nd Lt USA Civil War
Georgeanna Hible Whittle, c. 1846 – c.1875, wife of Samuel
Clara May Whittle, 1866 – 1946, daughter of Samuel
Maggie S. Whittle, 1869 – 1897, daughter of Samuel
Eliza (Unknown) Whittle, c.1815-1896, mother of Samuel
Elizabeth (Eyles) Whittle, 1785 – 1877, (step) grandmother of Samuel
Susannah Whittle Barber, , sister of Samuel
Lot 69
Susanna Whittle Barber 1822 – 1916, daughter of Eliza (Unknown) Whittle
Benjamin Barber – husband of Susannah

Green Mount Cemetery
Lot 61 Area V
Mrs. White, 30 Jan 1877, buried next to Charles Whittle – believed to be his wife
Charles Whitele, 13 Jun 1893
Charles Nicholas Whittle, 24 Oct 1916, brother to Samuel N. Whittle
Margaret Savilia (Boone) Whittle, 5 Jul 1923, wife of Charles Nicholas
Kathryn A. Frech, 29 Jan 1946, wife of Charles son Harry
Leo N. Whittle, 20 Oct 1972
Mrs. John Boone 19 Jan 1843
Matthew T. Boone, 8 Sep 1860
Catherine V. Boone, 16 Aug 1862
J.H.D. Boone, 25 Jul 1874
Lot 22 Area W
Nancy Whittle, 14 Jan 1851 (this is an interment date – Nancy was removed from Whatcoat Burial Grounds, From Balto. City Death & Burials 1834-1840 Nancy Whittle d. Aug 7, 1838)
Honora [McKenzie] Whittle, 22 Jun 1870, wife of Richard Whittle
Caroline Whittle, 8 Sep 1909
Charles Whittle, 13 Oct 1883
My best guess is that Nancy, Caroline & Charles are the children of Honora and Richard Whittle.

Pipe Creek Methodist Church & Cemetery (Brick Church), New Windsor, Carroll County
Row 6
Susanna [Whittle] Hooper, 19 Oct 1862, daughter of John & Charity Whittle
Mary Hooper, 14 Mar 1836, wife of William Hooper
Catherine E. Hooper, 30 Nov 1833, aged 2 yrs 4 mo, daughter of Susanna (Whittle) and Thomas Hooper
Jonathan F. Hooper, 4 May 1833, aged 2 yr 11 mo, son of Susanna (whittle) and Thomas Hooper
Row 9
Mary Ann Forrest, 5 Feb 1882, aged 75 yrs, wife of Nelson R. Forrest
Jonathan Forrest, 12 Oct 1843, aged 89
Comfort R. Forrest, 24 Aug 1827, aged 73, wife of Jonathan Forrest
John T. Ward, 8 Mar 1854, age 32 yrs
Nelson R. Whittle, 26 May 1848, 2 yrs, son of John Nelson Whittle, Jr. & Cynthia A. Ward
Charity (Forrest) Whittle, 4 Feb 1869, aged 90 yrs, wife of John Nelson Whittle, Sr.
Sarah Forres, 10 Mar 1863, aged 67, daughter of Rev. Jonathan Forrest
There are also Forrests in Row 11 and Row 12

Reisterstown United Methodist Cemetery, Reisterstown
Joshua T. Whittle Sr., buried 1909 – no tombstone
Mary Elizabeth Schoal, wife
John Orrick Whittle, 1891, 5 mos.
Nannie Viola Whittle, 1894, 11 mos.
Joshua T. Whittle, no date
Mary E. Whittle, child no date
Marian E. Whittle, 1936
Bessie M. Whittle, 1973 – Row e, Lot 14 Old Section, No Tombstone

Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Baltimore
Blance Whittle Macke , Buried 1930, Daughter of Joshua T. Whittle Sr.
George Burke Whittle, 1956, Son of Joshua T. Whittle

Section N-43 ½ – Lot Owner Richard W. Whittle
Caroline Hilner [Hibner] Whittle 1911, North Side, dau. of John Nelson Whittle Jr.
Richard W. Whittle, 1883, South Side, son of John Nelson Whittle Jr.
Ella Whittle & child, 1882, South Side, wife of Richard W. Whittle

Section F-8 SW ¼ – Lot Owner H. G. Witthl
Maggie R. Whittle, 14 Dec 1897

In a lot owned by Jas & Elizabeth Whittle
Sarah E. Whittle, 27 May 1890

New Cathedral Cemetery, Baltimore
Alice Clara (Kraeger) Whittle, 25 Nov 1877 – 21 Sep 1945, wife of William A.

Alice Ellen (McDonald) Whittle, 20 Dec 1847-23 Apr 1929, wife of Edward Dorsey Whittle

Baltimore National Cemetery, Baltimore
Caroll B. Whittle, 18 Jan 1884 – 25 Dec 1953
Elizabeth (Lloyd) Whittle, 29 Mar 1885 – 15 Dec 1991
George K. Whittle, 21 May 1901 – 19 Jan 1968
Henry Lyman Whittle 27 Oct 1870 – 12 Sep 1962
Juanita Whittle, 19 Feb 1872 – 10 Apr 1961

Maryland Veterans Cemetery, Crownsville
William Elliott Whittle, 15 Jan 1934 – 12 Oct 1981

Old Bethel Cemetery, Odentown
Albert C. Whittle, 1911-1988
Annie M. Whittle, 1851-1912
Charles A. Whittle, 1887-1961
Charles A. Whittle, 1884-1940
Charles Eltinger Whittle, 1914 – 1979
Ethel (Fairall) Whittle, 1917 – 2003
Lillian S. Whittle 1887 – 1948
N. Peter Whittle, 1887 – 1948

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Whittle Family Tree

Below is a compiled list of marriages from various sources. The problem with a list of marriages is once again, there is no context. We don’t know the ages of the individuals (especially on the older marriages) and we don’t know if these are first or second marriages.

Marriages:
By 1646 – William Whittle married Madgelen (Unknown)**
1654 – George Whittle married Dorothy (Unknown)**
1659 – William Whittle married Susanna Williams**
By 1670 – George Whittle married Alice Parker**
By 1674 – Ann Whittle married Francis Hopewell**
1700 – William Whittle married Mary Disney**
1715 – Nicholas Whittle married Katherine (Unknown)**
1724 – Francis Whittle married Sara Cole**
By 1730 – John W. Whittle married Eleanor (unknown)**
1751-1755 – Eleanor Whittle married Cornelius Barry***
By 1762 – John W. Whittle, Jr. married Rachel White **
20 Dec 1783 – David Whittle married Ann Wood, Baltimore County*
7 Jan 1784 Richard Whittle married Elizabeth Burland, Baltimore**
2 Mar 1789 – Eleanor Whittle married Robert Wood, Anne Arundel*
13 Dec 1794 – Richard Whittle married Elizabeth Baldwin. Anne Arundel*
25 Feb 1795 – Zachariah Whittle married Elizabeth Disney, Baltimore*
1796 – John Whittle married Charity Forrest, Baltimore**
4 Feb 1797 – Elizabeth Whittle married James Farley, Baltimore*
16 Jun 1804 – Jeremiah Whittle married Nancy Best
20 Jan 1807 – Richard Whittle married Honora McKenzie**
16 Oct 1810 – Nicholas Whittle married Clara Forrest, Baltimore*
5 Sep 1815 – Mary Whittle married Richard Jones in Baltimore*
1817 – Susannah Whittle married Thomas Hooper**
5 Dec 1818 – Jeremiah Whittle married Elizabeth Eyles
8 Mar 1824 – Delilah Whittle married Frederick Arnold, Baltimore*
30 Mar 1829 – Elizabeth (Betsie) Whittle married Jesse Boyer, Anne Arundel.*
1830 – John N. Whittle married Cynthia Ann H. Ward**
1831 – Emeline Whittle married Wm H. Connelly**
12 Nov 1835 – Julianna Whittle married John Boyer, Anne Arundel.* (Julianna is the sister of Betsie)
30 Oct 1842 – Thomas Whittle married Sarah Flayhart
1843 David Whittle married Lucretia Hobbs**
1844 – Benjamin Whittle married Rosina Kinzendorff**
13 Oct 1850 – Maria Whittle married John Scott, Baltimore*
10 Dec 1850 – Martha Whittle married Andrew J. McCoy, Baltimore*
By 1863 – Thomas Stockton Whittle married Berdelia Obrien
8 Nov 1864 – Charles Nicholas Whittle married Margaret Sevilla Boone
About 1865 – Samuel N. Whittle married Georgeanne Higle

*From Ancestry collection – Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp. Maryland Marriages, 1655-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.
** From the notes of Ruth Brooks – these are from her compilation of marriages and do not list individual sources. They are provided for information purposes – you should do your own confirmation work.
*** From the research and documentation provided by Rick Sanders. http://home.netcom.com/~fzsaund/gaitherwhittle.html

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Whittle Family Tree

Well the simple fact of the matter is that I’m on information overload. I sat down and went through all the information I have on the Whittles and started trying to sort out all the collected documentation so that I could write a summary. I am still looking for name of the father of Samuel Whittle. I am also unable to name the parents of Jeremiah and John Nelson Whittle born c. 1770s. Jeremiah is the grandfather of Samuel, and according to the family, Jeremiah and John Nelson are brothers.

My friend Marcia told me that sometimes you can only see the whole picture when you put it on paper or into a database. I created a large spreadsheet in Excel where I just covered the known information of birth, marriage, death, and parentage, and that turned into about eight pages. I was looking for people that fit into those “unnamed male age 10-15” slots from the early census records and what a mess that turned out to be. It’s bits and pieces of things without solid connections. I sat and stared at it and had the feeling that it’s there, I just can’t see it.

Arwen came by and looked at it and we discussed the gaps in the records – okay there are huge gaps in the records! There is documentation of a series of Whittles in Maryland from 1646 arrival to a group of Whittle siblings born 1730 – 1737. Then the next documented Whittles appear to be born in the mid-1750s and later. It creates generational gaps in the documentation. This is further complicated by the lack of “named” documentation. Those darling early census records which list a sex and age group. These are often helpful for elimination, but hardly proof-positive of anything else. There are no guarantees that the female between ages 26 to 36 is really the wife of the head of household. She could just as easily be a sister, cousin, or the hired help!

There are very few Whittle households listed in the early census records considering the number of people that appear later. The other issue is that there is no guarantee these are our people. Not every Whittle that appears is going to be part of the line that I’m searching. There are still Whittles immigrating throughout the 18th and 19th century and they come from Ireland, England, and Germany. Their children born in Maryland become part of the confusion factor in the late half of the 1800s.

The other part of the equation is that not everyone who came to Maryland stayed in Maryland. Many came as indentured servants, many of the first generation were “bound to others” at the age of sixteen and they went where their masters went. Like all families they had members that moved on and there are large populations of Whittles in the states of Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, to name just a few. Sorting out who belongs to who could take a lifetime and may never happen without more documentation.

I’ve decided that I’m going to put the information up in groups: immigration, birth (not much of that considering the era we are dealing with), marriage, death (wills, obits, cemetery), and other loose information. Then I’ll post my Excel file (at least part of it) with my theories and let everyone poke holes in them. Maybe something in this pile will trigger a reader to look through their pile of stuff and add to the mix.

So let’s begin with the early immigration:
From: The Early Settlers of Maryland, An Index of Names of Immigrants Compiled from Records of Land Patents, 1633-1680, in the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland by Gust Skordas

1646 – William and Magdalen Whittle) arrive.
1657 – Susan Whittle with 2 daughters named Elizabeth & Susan Williams arrive.
1658 – George Whittle arrives. George Whittle and Alice Parker patent 400 acres of land in Anne Arundel County. George is dec’d by 1677.
15 Jul 1659 – One of the several men named Nicholas Whittle arrives.

From Passengers to America: A Consolidation of Ship Passengers from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register by Michael Tepper (Editor)
1699
Nicholas Whittle arrived Virginia, aged 22, from Leland, Lancashire. Footnote states he was the bastard son of Nicholas Whittle and Alice Parker, baptized 19 Apr 1676. Leland is a parish in which there is a township Whittle-Le-Woods.

There are other later records of Whittles from Ireland and Germany, but this is the principle group in Maryland.

Census Records
Maryland Heads of Household thru the 1840 census, all spelling is from the index on Ancestry – I did not list anything beyond the obvious.

1790 Census
David Whittle is the only Whittle listed for Maryland as a Head of Household

1800 Census
Ann Whittle, Anne Arundel
John Whittle, Frederick County
Zachariah Whittle, Prince George County
Benj Whittell, Montgomery County

1810 Census
Richard Whittle, Baltimore
Jeremiah Whittle, Baltimore
Zacharia Whittle, Prince George
George Wittel, Charles
James Wittel, Charles
Solomon Wittle, Charles

1820 Census
Nicholas Whittle, Anne Arundel Co
Reed (should be Richard) Whittle, Baltimore
Jeremiah Whittle, Baltimore
John Whittle, Frederick County
Zachariah Whittle, Prince George
John Wittle, Frederick
Thos Whittle, District of Columbia

1830 Census
Honor Whittle, Baltimore
Jeremiah Whittle, Baltimore
William Whittle, Baltimore
Nich Whittles, Anne Arundel
John Wddle, Frederick

1840 Census
Hannah Whittle, Baltimore (this appears to be Honora)
Jeremiah Whittle, Baltimore
John N. Whittle, Carroll

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Scholefield Family Tree

Ye gads! This is either cool or just plain spooky. I guess I should start at the beginning.

I got sidetracked. (It happens to the best of us.)

As I was looking for Alonzo’s children, I ran across a very short 1912 marriage announcement that named one of his daughters “Mrs. Helen DeGraff Morehouse.” Morehouse? I thought to myself. I found her under the name Ukers — and that is who she is marrying. Morehouse wasn’t mentioned in her obit which clearly gives her middle name as Scholefield (she was apparently named after her father’s sister’s husband). And that contradicted the list of Alonzo’s children from the history. It had named her as Helen M. (for Morehouse?) Being curious, I figured that it wouldn’t take too long to determine what was going on.

I started with a Google search for Helen DeGraff Ukers. I found out more about the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal. I found out that Helen was William Ukers’s secretary. And futhermore a New York Times article revealed he had a first wife and a daughter along with a child support dispute. In an interesting twist, there are two Helens. Helen DeGraff Ukers and Helen Ukers the daughter who was the point of contention between William and his first wife. While I was at the NYT site, I ran a search for Helen Ukers to see if anything interesting came up.

What I found was an article announcing the daughter Helen Ukers’s marriage. Not impressive by itself, it is what follows that shocked me!

Ukers and Wilhelm
I know you don’t share my shock yet. Let me explain…

I had no reason to scroll through the whole list of announcements, but I did look just below the Ukers announcement because a name caught my eye. “Wilhelm.” I recognized the surname as it was my grandmother’s maiden name. I kept reading. Hum, Henry Theodore Wilhelm…I sat up a bit straighter. Phillips Carlin! OMG, I KNOW THIS FAMILY! Henry was my 2nd great-granduncle! He was part owner of several china shops in New York City, one called Wilhelm & Graef on Broadway. Phillips Carlin married my distant cousin and was a radio announcer and television executive! He was the radio announcer for several World Series games, the host of several radio shows, and the President of NBC.

What are the chances that while investigating a family totally unrelated to mine — which began with a couple in Arizona — would lead to the discovery that relatives of this random family and my own were in a New York City newspaper article one above the other!

Once I calmed down, I knew I still had more to answer about Helen DeGraff Ukers. But that was exciting! Back to where I was going in the first place.

I located Helen on the 1910 census living in New York City as Helen Morehouse — a widow (darn, no easy answer to who her husband was). However, I figured that a death of a young husband would be in the papers back home, so back to Fulton History I went. I tried several searches and couldn’t find an article on Helen’s first marriage or the death of her husband. Now it was getting personal because it shouldn’t have been this hard.

The search that finally worked was one for Helen DeGraff. It turned up an article about Helen DeGraff McMillan’s service as a flower girl. At this point, I was willing to try anything — even names of distant members of the family, and up turns an article about Helen Scholefield DeGraff’s marriage to Charles Emmon Morehouse of Connecticut! (Sometimes it it handy when families name their children after other family members!)

Okay! I now know that Helen began life as Helen Scholefield DeGraff and married a man named Morehouse followed by a man named Ukers. Still wanting to finish my sidetrip, I searched for his name — only to find out that he apparently didn’t die! He was getting married to another woman four years after Helen reported that she was a widow!

What I learned from this:

  1. Don’t get sidetracked. It could take you a while to get back on track.
  2. If you do get sidetracked, be prepared for anything!
  3. And remember that widows are sometimes not widows — but divorcees who were living in a time in which that status carried a stigma. Therefore, they commonly reported that their living ex-husbands were dead. And their mothers only requested small notes about their subsequent marriages in the newspaper.

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Scholefield Family Tree

While I was searching for information about Alonzo, I was also able to locate information about his wife and children. As part of this study, I want to locate each of the children’s birth dates and places. When working with the newspaper, sometimes the best way to do that is to find an obit — even though I don’t need the date of death. (And I enjoy reading about these people — it makes them come alive! I’ve abstracted the data I need below, but feel free to click the obit links to read the full articles.)

In this case, most of the children named their father in their obits so I was able to locate them with searches for “Alonzo DeGraff.” I used Fulton History’s “fuzzy” setting so it caught things like “Alonso,” and I searched both with and without his middle initial. Since their father was named in their obits, the girls were even easy to find after their marriages.

I have the children’s names from the badly mangled OCR’d copy of Alonzo’s Biography1: Harry W., Helen M., Carlton R., Mary, and Alonzo H. Jr.

The basics from Harry’s Obit:2
Harry Westbrook DeGraff a native and lifelong resident of Amsterdam, died 28 Sep 1983. He was a State Engineer. Born 2 Oct 1876 to Captain Alonzo H. DeGraff and Mary McLean Smith. He married Edith L. Voorhees in 1910 who survives together with a daughter, Mrs. Frederick V. Hansen of New York City. Also surviving: one brother, C. Robb DeGraff, Amsterdam; two nephews, John D. Phillips, Pearl River, NY, and Robb M. DeGraff, Wilmington, Del., and a niece, Margaret A. DeGraff. Funeral from the home at 15 Grant Ave and interment in Fair View Cemetery.

Helen’s Obit:3
Mrs. Helen Scholefield DeGraff Ukers, wife of William H. Ukers, died at her home in New York City. She was treasurer of the Tea & Coffe Trade Journal of which her husband is editor and publisher. Mrs. Ukers, who was 72, joined the Journal in 1909 and married Mr. Ukers three years later. A daughter of the late Captain and Mrs. Alonzo H. DeGraff, Amsterdam, she is survived by two brothers, Harry W. and C. Robb DeGraff, both of this city, in addition to her husband. Funeral services will be held at the Morehead funeral home in New York.

C. Robb’s Obit:4
C. Robb DeGraff, former commisioner of public works in Amsterdam and one-time division engineer for New York State, died 1 Apr 1958. He was born in Utica on 13 Apr 1882 to Captain Alonzo H. and Mary M. DeGraff. In 1916 he married Miss Eloise Milmine of Amsterdam who survives with a son, Robb M., Wilmington, Del., and a daughter, Margaret A. DeGraff of Amsterdam. Other survivors are two grandsons, Robb M. Jr. and Donald B. DeGraff, Wilmington, Del., a niece and one nephew.

Mary’s Obit:5
Mrs. Mary DeGraff Phillips, aged 39 years, died 14 Jun 1928. She was born in Amsterdam 1 Oct 1888, a daughter of the late Captain Alonzo H. DeGraff and Mary McLean Smith DeGraff. She was a teacher in the first grade of the Arnold avenue school. She is survived by a son, John Dean Phillips, a daughter, Barbara DeGraff Phillips, three brothers, Harry W. DeGraff and C. Robb DeGraff of Amsterdam and Alonzo H. DeGraff of London, Eng., and a sister Mrs. William H. Ukers of New York. The funeral will be held at Harry W. DeGraff’s home 15 Grant Ave.

Alonzo Jr’s Obit:6
Alonzo H. DeGraff, 49, died 16 May 1940 in New York City. He was born in this city 12 Apr 1891, a son of Captain Alonzo H. DeGraff and Mary Smith. He was secretary to State Engineer Frank Williams at Albany, thereafter moving to England as a foreign representative of an importing and exporting firm, and for three years following was located in Syndey, Australia. He returned to this country about five years ago and has been business manager of the “Tea and Coffee Trade Journal” in New York City. The survivors are a sister, Mrs. William K. Ukers, New York City; two brothers, Harry W. DeGraff and C. Robb DeGraff, Amsterdam; and several nieces and nephews. He will be buried in Amsterdam’s Green Hill Cemetery.

These obits fill in specific dates for all but one of the children. And prompted an interesting side trip that will be the subject of my next post.

1. See post dated 31 Oct 2009.
2. “Death Claims Harry W. DeGraff, Long Active as State Engineer,” Amsterdam Evening Recorder and Daily Democrat, 29 Sep 1953, p. 2, col. 1-3; digital images, Fulton History (http://www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 1 Jan 2010).
3. “Obituary: Mrs. William Ukers,” Amsterdam Evening Recorder and Daily Democrat, 30 Sep 1951, p. 3, col. 6-7; digital images, Fulton History (http://www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 1 Jan 2010).
4. “C. Robb DeGraff, Retired State Engineer, Former Commisioner Of Public Works, Expires at 75,” Amsterdam Evening Recorder and Daily Democrat, 2 Apr 1958, p. 18, col. 1-2; digital images, Fulton History (http://www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 1 Jan 2010).
5. “Obituary: Mrs. Mary DeGraff Phillips,” Amsterdam Evening Recorder and Daily Democrat, 15 Jun 1928, p. 3, col. 2; digital images, Fulton History (http://www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 1 Jan 2010).
6. “Obituary: Alonzo H. DeGraff,” Amsterdam Evening Recorder and Daily Democrat, 16 May 1940, p. 3, col. 2; digital images, Fulton History (http://www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 1 Jan 2010).

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