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.
Mrs. 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).