Scholefield Family Tree

Do we believe an IGI entry and Charles’s biography when it comes to reporting his parents? Are two pieces of evidence enough? In this case, I will quickly survey additional options to prove his parentage. Due to the limits of this study (only online free resouces since I have randomly “adopted” this family), I hold little hope for an actual birth or death record, just a few additional secondary, indirect sources that can be used to compile a basic proof summary.

As already pointed out, one census record for Charles included a woman named “Abigal” Scholefield who was living with him in 1860. Relationships between household members was not noted on the census that year, but it adds weight to the assertion that his mother was named Abigail (or some variation). It is very likely that an elderly parent would live with and be supported by a child before the modern convention which engendered nursing homes.

One way to determine if Arnold could have been the father of Charles is to check the censuses before 1850. They only provide tick marks to indicate household members, but if Arnold has a male child who was born in an appropriate 5-10 year time span, he could be a match. In 1840, it looks like Abigail was already widowed and was living in Smithfield, Madison, New York.2 In the family were:

blockquote1 male 10-15
1 male 15-20 (presumably Charles at age +/-21)
1 female 10-15 (Charlotte age 14?)
3 females 15-20
1 female 50-60 (Abigail)

In 1830, Arnold was alive and the family looks to be living in Austerlitz, Columbia, New York.3

blockquote1 male 5-10
1 male 10-15 (presumably Charles at age 11)
1 male 40-50 (Arnold)
1 female 1-5 (Charlotte age 4?)
2 females 5-10
1 female 10-15
1 female 15-20
1 female 40-50 (Abigail)

And in 1820 in Plattekill, Ulster, New York:4

blockquote1 male under 10 (Charles age 1)
1 male 26-45 (Arnold)
3 females under 10
1 female age 26-45 (Abigail)
1 female 45+

This quick survey proves that it is possible that Arnold could have been Charles’s father.

A quick additional survey of online resources for Arnold and Abigail Burnham Scholefield turns up several books that provide a marriage date for the couple. The Burnham’s were connected to several families including the Olmsteads.5 Abigail married Arnold, a reverend, on 1 Apr 1814. She was born 8 Jan 1788 and died 20 Dec 1868.

It seems that the data is at least possibly correct.

1. See post dated 1 Sep 2008.
2. 1840 U.S. census, Madison County, New York, Smithfield Township, p. 92 (stamped), 181 (handwritten), line 7, Abigail Scholefield; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Mar 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 295.
3. 1830 U.S. census, Columbia County, New York, Austerlitz Township, p. 182, line 23, Arnold Schofield; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Mar 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M19, roll 87.
4. 1820 U.S. census, Ulster County, New York population schedule, Plattekill Township, p. 58, line 16, Arnold Schofield; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Mar 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M33, roll 76.
5. Henry King Olmstead and George Kemp Ward, Genealogy of the Olmsted family in America: embracing the descendants of James and Richard Olmsted and covering a period of nearly three centuries, 1632-1912, revised ed; Online images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : downloaded 30 Mar 2009), 37.

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Scholefield Family Tree

Alright, now that we are moving back, lets catch up on what we know about George Scholefield’s parents.

Census research led to the possible name of Charles M. Scholefield’s mother: Abigal.1 The IGI agrees on that point, reporting that his parents were Arnold Scholefield and Abegail Burnham. Also that he married Helen Marr DeGraff on 24 Aug 1859 and died in November of 1870.2 His headstone reports that his life spanned from 1819 to 1869.3 The couple had four children:

  1. George Parsons Scholefield, the beginning point of our search.
  2. Mary Virginia “Ginny” Scholefield who married Arthur E. McMillan.
  3. Florence Scholefield who married Norman Archibald Shaw.
  4. Mae Stuart Scholefield who married Guy J. Edwords.

Additionally, he was a politician and a short biography about him is available, but it is very vague about his parents:4

blockquoteMr. Scholefield was born in Goshen, Conn., and is thirty-six years of age. He is the son of a Methodist clergyman, and is one of the same stock to which Sir Henry Scholefield belongs. His paternal grandfather was a Major in the English army for some years, and distinguished himself as a brave and skillful officer.

Alternately, a biography of his son reported that Charles was born in Cooperstown, New York, instead of Connecticut and died at age 52.5 The confusion about Charles’s vitals can be explained through the fact that the sources were created at different times by different people. The more time that has passed between the original event and the record of an event, the more likely there is to be an error.


The information about Helen Marr DeGraff seems even more confused. She lived, according to her headstone, between 1842 and 1920.2 She married a much older man when she was young and survived him about 40 years. Her son’s biography stated that she was born in Amsterdam, New York, to the Holland native Emanuel DeGraff,5 But the IGI disagrees with a report that her parents were instead Harmonus DeGraff and Susannah Thomas.2

1. See post dated 1 Sep 2008.
2. See post dated 8 Dec 2008.
3. See post dated 11 Sep 2008.
4. Wm. D. Murphy, Biographical Sketches of the State Officers and Members of the Legislature of the State of New York, in 1859 (Albany: C. Van Benthuysen, 1859), 217-218; electronic text, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 16 Sep 2008); see post dated 16 Sep 2008 for entire text.
5. See post dated 13 Nov 2008.

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