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.
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.
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).