Scholefield Family Tree

Occasionally, I find something new. (Yeah, it can be a rare occurrence that I don’t know about something.) This time I found it by scanning Dick Eastman’s newsletter. One of his posts was about the Fulton History website which features millions of scanned pages of old New York newspapers.

The OCR software they used had quite a hard time reading the name Scholefield on some scans, but the “fuzzy” search capability means that I don’t have to try misspellings — it will try them for me. A higher number on the fuzzy search will return the weirdest combinations, but I found that a number around 2 was sufficient when searching for exact names (just the surname will return too many hits). Therefore, all I have to try are different combinations of first names and initials. Still, there were some events (obituaries) that didn’t pop up so the site also features a browse capability where you can hunt and find a paper with the correct date to read for yourself (really only usable if you have an exact date for something or if you are just generally interested in reading the news). Be aware that the pages can take quite a while to load!

Anyway — onto the findings for George’s mother Helen Marr DeGraff Scholefield…

Most interesting to genealogists is the obituary. An obituary in a person’s hometown newspaper is a possibility one should not forget. In Helen’s case, a simple death announcement ran in New York City where she died, but an obituary with family and biographical data ran both in Utica, New York, a place where she had been a longtime resident, and was republished in Amsterdam, New York, where she was born and had lived with her parents.

blockquoteMrs. Helen M. Scholefield.

The Utica Press says: There are very many people still residing in this city and our ancient suburb who remember Major Charles M. Scholefield and wife who lived many years ago at Yorkville. They were very prominent and popular people in their time and had a very large circle of friends and acquaintances.

Major Scholefield was a more than ordinarily acceptable public speaker and was much in demand as a temperance lecturer. Mrs. Scholefield will be remembered as a charming and attractive woman who did much to make the home a social center and who was held in high esteem by all who knew her. Major Scholefield died many years ago.

Mrs. Helen M. Scholefield, his widow, died in New York city Saturday in her 79th year. She was born in Amsterdam, being descended from the earliest Dutch settlers of the Mohawk valley. In 1859, she married Mr. Scholefield. During the Civil war, she lived in Washington, her husband and brother being officers in the army, and each day ministered to the sick and wounded in the hospital at a time when there were no trained nurses and very little knowledge of anesthetics. At the close of the war, they returned to Yorkville, but spent much time in Albany, as Major Scholefield was a member of the legislature and a preminent lawyer, editor and public speaker.

Upon the death of her husband, the family moved to Utica and Mrs. Scholefield opened a kindergarten, being a pioneer in that form of education, now a part of the public school system. She was a member of Westminster church and active in its work as well as the literary and social life of Utica.

In recent years she had made her home with her daughters, Mrs. Mae Edwards, of Nutley, N. J., until her death three years ago; with Mrs. Florence DeGraff in New York, where she died, and with Mrs. Virginia S. McMillan, during the summers at her country home, Spencertown. Besides her daughters, she leaves a son, George P. Scholefield, of Vail, Arizona.

The interment was made at Spencertown, Monday.1

From this obituary, we can calculate an exact death date of 18 Dec 1920. The married name of Helen’s daughter Florence is missing: Shaw. This could be because the name was not reported correctly, or it could have gone missing in the resetting of the article in the second newspaper. Also, Mae’s name should be Edwords, but no one seems to get that one right.

In addition to the obituary, the same paper also ran a funeral notice (so don’t forget to check for both possibilities). (more…)


Scholefield Family Tree

Well, it turns out that my caution was warranted. A while back, I was searching for Mary Virginia Scholefield who reportedly married a McMillan. That was all I had, so I did some census searching and found a woman who appeared to be the woman I was looking for.1 It turns out that she was not the right one. My gut was wrong.

Based on more recent findings, I now know that Virginia’s husband was named Arthur C. McMillan.2 Even though the record located was not specific about the source of the information, there are other sources that confirm their marriage.

A census search for a Virginia Mc Millan (notice the space) with a husband named Arthur living in New York City in 1900 turns up this family:3

McMillan, Arthur E, Head, W, M, Aug 1862, married 8 years, New York, New York, Massachusetts, Clergyman, can read, write and speak English, rents a house
——, Virginia S, Wife, W, F, Apr 1862, 8 years, 3 children, 3 living, New York, Massachusetts, New York, Housekeeper, can read, write and speak English
——, John B, Son, W, M, Sep 1893, 6, Single, Colorado, New York, New York, attended school 5 months, can read, write and speak English
——, George S, Son, W, M, July 1895, 4, Single, Colorado, New York, New York, school 5 months
——, Helen DeG, Daughter, W, F, Oct 1898, 1, Single, Colorado, New York, New York
Bagley, Maggie, Cook, B, F, Nov 1883, 16, Single, Virginia, Virginia, Virginia, Servant, school 4 months, can read, write and speak English

Since the daughter is named Helen DeG (likely short for DeGraff) and one son is named George S (likely short for Scholefield), one may assume that the children were named for family members. Helen was named after her grandmother and George after his uncle.

A Google search for — arthur mcmillan “virginia scholefield” — returns a GoogleBooks hit for the Hamilton Literary Magazine. Arthur was a Hamilton College alumn, graduating in 1886, and the college’s paper carried an announcement of his marriage.4

This corroborates both the odd finding on FamilySearch as well as the caculated year of marriage from the 1900 Census.

blockquoteMcMILLAN—SCHOLEFIELD—In New York city, 65 West 70th Street, Tuesday evening. June 21, 1892, Rev. Arthur Chase McMillan. ’86, of Granite, Montana, and Miss Virginia Scholefield, daughter of Mrs. Helen M. Scholefield.

To more clearly discover the birth dates of the children (remember, that is as far as this project will extend), there are several options. Unfortunately, Colorado did not begin to record birth records at the state level until 1907. Back at, the WWI draft registration cards report that John Baylies McMillan was born on 2 Sep 1893 in Canon City, Colorado.5 His brother George S. was born 26 Jul 1895 in the same city.6 Now that we have a place where the three children were likely born, we discover that there are birth records for Canon City back to 1885 held by the county clerk, but they aren’t online.

Helen is the one that a researcher would anticipate problems for when attempting to locate a more specific date of birth. Anytime a genealogist deals with women, they have to locate a key piece of data: her name change. However, Helen turned out to be only partially a pain — I attacked the problem by looking at her relatives. A Google search for her brother John’s full name in quotes returns a result for his obituary which was carried in The Altamont Enterprise (yes, I still don’t want this information, but there is a method to my madness). Helen’s name is reported as “Mrs. E.H. Hendrickson.” Back on Ancestry I locate a result in the SSDI for a Helen Hendrickson whose last residence was in Westchester County, New York. She might be correct, but her birthdate is 23 Jul 1898 instead of October 1898. So I know her name, but narrowing down her actual birthdate is problematic.

1. See post dated 24 Oct 2008.
2. See post dated 8 Dec 2008.
3. 1900 U.S. census, New York County, New York population schedule, New York City, Borough of Manhattan, enumeration district (ED) 478, sheet 18B, p. 140 (reverse, stamped), dwelling 83, family 424, Arthur E McMillan household; digital images, ( : accessed 23 Dec 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1103.
4. “Married,” Hamilton Literary Magazine, Jun 1892, 36; digital images, Google Book Search ( : accessed 23 Dec 2008).
5. “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database and images, ( : accessed 23 Dec 2008), John Baylies McMillan, no. 147, Draft Board 4, Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
6. Ibid., George S. McMillan, no. 24, Draft Board 2, Yonkers, Westchester County, New York.


Scholefield Family Tree

Another resource available on FamilySeach is the International Genealogical Index (IGI). This index contains indexes to microfilm which contain vital records and to patron submitted information. It is recommended that all information located on the IGI be verified. One reason is that vital records may contain more information than was extracted or may have been read incorrectly. Another is that patron submitted information may provide a source or other information.

I found a few leads, but they may not be verifiable with online records (since we won’t be spending money on these cold case files which we have adopted).

George Parsons Scholefield & Clara Ann Moore — A patron submission identifies their marriage date as 2 Jun 1882 in Silver Bell, Pinal, Arizona. The same record reports George’s death as the 30th instead of the 31st of Aug 1942.

Mary Virginia Scholefield — A confusing record for her marriage appears. It states Virginia Scholefield married Arthur C. McMillan on 21 Jun 1892 in Manhattan, New York. However, the source is impossible to truly determine. The batch is M006668, has no linked source information, except the notes that it was a film and that it was extracted for the locality listed. So — this seems to be a glorified family group sheet entry. I say that because I really have no way to tell where this record came from, and all I can use it for is a guide.

Mae Stuart Scholefield — Another record reports that Mae married Guy Joseph Edwords on 27 Dec 1898 in Manhattan, New York. This source comes back to batch file M005937 which again has no specific source information.

Archibald Robert Shaw — A record for batch C00118-8 for an unknown film records that he was born 16 Aug 1889 in Manhattan, New York. This record doesn’t even report that the records were location specific.

Carl Burnett Scholefield — A patron submission reports his marriage date as 11 Aug 1911. A second submission gives his place of birth as Globe, Gila, Arizona (one of the two possible places which are alternatly reported for his birth), and clarifies his death place as San Jose, Santa Clara, California.

Helen M. Scholefield — A patron reports her middle name was Mae (she may have been named after her aunt).

Charles M. Scholefield — A patron reported that his parents were Arnold Scholefield and Abegail Burnham, that he married Helen DeGraff on 24 Aug 1859 when he lived in Utica, Oneida, New York, and has a death date of Nov 1870 which conflicts with the date I have of 1869.

Helen Marr Degraff — A patron reported that she was of Amsterdam, Montgomery, New York, and that her parents were named Harmonus Degraff and Susannah Thomas.

James Armour Moore — An index record for The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record reports his baptism on 1 May 1825 at Christs Church, Rye, Westchester, New York, and his parents as Michael Moore and Susan. However, there is also a patron submitted record for a James Armour Moore who was born 19 Apr 1825 (I have 4 Apr) in New York who died in 1882. It is possible that there are two men who share the same name.

Matilda Jane Burnett Moore — A patron reports that she was born in Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina.

Blissie Helen Scholefield Lee — She apparently joined the LDS Church and therefore her record can be considered reliable. Her birth date matches the one I have, and her birthplace is specified as Oakland. She married a Harold Sniffen Lee on 28 Sep 1935 in Yuma County, Arizona, and died on 17 Sep 1995. A patron submission clarifies that she died in Globe, Gila, Arizona.

It is possible that since Blissie was LDS, she was the one who submitted some of the above information. However, since some data doesn’t match with what I have, other bits may also be incorrect.

Specific citations available upon request.


Scholefield Family Tree

As I go back in time, I find more people! To help myself as well as you, the reader, the following links provide a visual representation of George Scholefield and Clara Moore’s siblings, nieces and nephews.

Family Charts

George’s parents were Charles M. Scholefield and Helen Marr Degraff.
Descendants of Charles M. Scholefield

Clara’s parents were James Armour Moore and Matilda Jane Burnett. Matilda had previously married a John Crampton, so there are half-siblings.
Descendants of Matilda Jane Burnett

**These are large files.


Scholefield Family Tree

I tried to run additional searches for Mary Virginia Scholefield McMillan. Knowing that she went by the name Jennie, or Ginny, I searched using the second spelling. Why you might ask? Well, because the ranked search on will pull up Jennies automatically among the results.

I ended up zeroing in on a Jennie M. McMillan who lived in Otselic, Chenango, New York. In 1900, she is living with her husband James C. McMillan, born Nov 1858, and they have been married for one year. The same in 1910 except her name is indexed as Jenney M. McMellon. By 1920 she is a widow with A. as her middle initial and a boarder in the home. In 1930 she has two boarders. Jennie reportely never had any children.

Unfortuntately, a gut feeling is not enough to connect this Jennie into the tree. She is the right age — born in Aug 1861 according to the 1900 census — and her birth place and those of her parents match what we know. However, since those three places are all “New York,” they are not unique enough to point to this woman and say that she is the one.

So, here I sit with a woman who looks like she could be the one I am looking for, an hour of searching for her in the censuses, a run through of the cemeteries posted online, and a search of the Chenango County GenWeb to see if I could force her to fit. No luck.

And…if that weren’t enough, James’s occupation in 1910 is pretty normal (carpenter), but in 1910 he is a ginseng digger. Yup, ginseng. Being a curious person, off I go to Google to learn about ginseng. Apparently, the plant grows quite well in central New York. There are even populations of wild American Ginseng in the forests of the area, and Ginseng growing workshops are offered on a regular basis in central New York. This is aside from all the information out there about how to use ginseng for cooking and medicine.

My gut still likes this Jennie M. McMillan (M. for Mary?), but additional research will be needed to see if my gut is right — or just hungry.


Scholefield Family Tree

Swapping to the other side of our tree, we need to repeat the process just completed for Clara’s siblings on George’s. Some might wonder why I did Clara’s first. It is mainly because I knew there were vital records online for Arizona! New York will be a bit more difficult. Instead of focusing on a state run vital records site, I will need to rely on the whims of transcriptionists — what they have found interesting enough to submit to resources like USGenWeb and FamilySearch.

Therefore, I will instead begin with the census records for the McMillan, Shaw and Edword families. This will give me the basic family structure for each and names of the children (FamilySearch will not allow a search with ONLY parents names). Once I have the basics, I can then check for vital records. Our beginning points for each family are the gravestone findings at Spencertown Cemetery.1

Mary Virginia Scholefield (1862 – ?) married a McMillan. There are a high number of Mary McMillans who were born about 1862 in New York, so can’t narrow my results enough to locate her.

Florence Scholefield (1864 – 1923) m. N. Archibald Shaw (1861 – 1935)
bulletIn 1900, they are living in Manhattan, New York City.2 This census gives us Mr. Shaw’s first name: Norman. He was born in Sep 1861 in New York. Florence De was born in 1866 in New York. They had been married for 12 years. She had 3 children, 2 still living. Norman was a proffessor. They have two sons: Norman A. b. Aug 1889 in New York and Donald b. Oct 1898 in New York. Also in the home are a 17 year old Robt. DeGraff who is a boarder (and possibly a relation to Florence’s mother Helen DeGraff Scholefield?) and six black servants.
bulletIn 1910, they are still in Manhattan.3 Archibald was aged 48 and was born in New York. Florence D. is listed as age 45 and born in the District of Columbia. The couple had been married for 22 years, and they are both teachers at a private school. In a ?huh? moment, Florence looks to be listed as having 1 child, but 2 still living. The numeral 1 is a bit thick though, so it might be a squished 4. We can verify the two living children because they are both in the home: Archibald R. (likely an alternate name for Norman A. listed above) is aged 20 and Donald is age 11, both born in New York. In the household are also four servants (three black) and two young boarders who attend private school.
bulletQuick searches don’t turn up the couple in 1920 or Norman Archibald in 1930. Some creative searching will need to be done if these two censues are to be located. (By quick, I mean full name with date and place of birth. No wildcards — yet.)

Mae Stuart Scholefield (1870 – 1917) m. Guy J. Edwords
bulletIn 1900, the couple is living in Franklin, Essex, New Jersey, and Helen M. Scholefield is living with them.4 Guy was reportely born in March 1861 in Illinois. He was a lawyer. Mae was reportedly born in Dec 1871. They had been married for a year and had not had any children. Mother-in-law Helen was born in April 1842 in New York. Her four reported children matches the number of children that are known. Her father was born in Germany and her mother in Scotland.
bulletIn 1910, Guy J. and Mae are in Nutley, Essex, New Jersey.5 Helen is again in the household, and Guy V. Edwords, age 18 and born in New Jersey, is living with them as a son. Guy J. is listed as being in his second marriage, so his son was presumably from his first marriage. Mae is again listed as having no children. Helen’s information differs only in that her father is reported to have been born in New York.
bulletQuick searches don’t turn up Guy J. in the 1920 census. It is possible that he had died by then, especially since he was older than Mae.

1. See post dated 11 Sep 2008.
2. 1910 U.S. census, New York County, New York, population schedule, Manhattan, enumeration district (ED) 1297, sheet 3A, p. 159 (stamped), dwelling 2, family 85, Archibald Shaw household; digital image, ( : accessed 21 Oct 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 1045.
3 1900 U.S. census, New York County, New York, population schedule, Manhattan, enumeration district (ED) 513, sheet 5, p. 78 (stamped), dwelling 13, family 14, Norman A Shaw household; digital image, ( : accessed 21 Oct 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1105.
4. 1900 U.S. census, Essex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Franklin, enumeration district (ED) 194, sheet 9B, p. 163 (reverse, stamped), dwelling 156, family 173, Guy J Edwords household; digital image, ( : accessed 20 Oct 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 696.
5. 1910 U.S. census, Essex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Nutley, enumeration district (ED) 7, sheet 7B, p. 251 (reverse, stamped), dwelling 122, family 137, Guy J Edwords household; digital image, ( : accessed 21 Oct 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 881.


Scholefield Family Tree

I posted the photographs of the graves located in Tucson to Find A Grave. While I was there, I searched the database for other Scholefields since the name is uncommon. Only 49 memorials have that last name (including the three I added).

One is an entry for George Parsons Scholefield who was born in 1860 but is listed with an unknown death date. Since the George I have been tracing has the same birthdate, I checked it out and discovered that the person who posted this memorial posted the BACKSIDE of a stone and added the data as if the people were acutally buried there (and, yes, I tried to point this out to the person, and she refuses to understand the concern and got touchy when I suggested to her how she could make the situation clearer).

Luckily, since this is the same George, and the person did photograph both sides of the stone in question, memorials were also created for his parents1 (however, their memorials are missing the backside of their stone ::sigh::).

Spencertown Cemetery
Columbia County
New York

Major Charles M. Scholefield
1819 – 1869
Helen Marr DeGraff
His Wife
1842 – 1920
Faithful Unto Death

Their Children
George Parsons Scholefield
1860 – ____
Virginia Scholefield McMillan
1862 – ____
Florence Scholefield Shaw
1864 – ____
Mae Scholefield Edwords
1869 – 1917

Hunting through the other memorials in the cemetery, I find that Florence is buried in Spencertown Cemetery with N. Archibald Shaw.2 He is presumably her husband. Her death date is listed there as 1923. Mae’s middle name turns out to be Stuart, and she married a man named Guy J. Edwords.3 Virginia is not buried there under the last name McMillan.

The foremost question to be answered after locating this cemetery is: Why is the family buried in Columbia County, New York, instead of Oneida County where they lived from 1850-1870? Especially since that date includes Charles’s death date of 1869? And most especially since Utica and Spencertown are 125 miles apart?

Research Plan:

  1. Determine the family connection to Spencertown.
  2. Locate George’s siblings on the censuses to fill in the basic information about their families.

1. Jim Tipton, Find A Grave, digital images ( : accessed 11 Sep 2008), photograph, Major Charles M. Scholefield (1819-1869) and Helen Marr DeGraff Scholefield (1842-1920) gravemarker, Spencertown Cemetery, Spencertown, Columbia, New York.
2. Ibid., photograph, N. Archibald Shaw (1861-1835) and Florence Scholefield Shaw (1864-1923) gravemarker, Spencertown Cemetery, Spencertown, Columbia, New York.
3. Ibid., photograph, Mae Stuart Scholefield Edwords (1870-1917) gravemarker, Spencertown Cemetery, Spencertown, Columbia, New York.