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Scholefield Family Tree

Two years ago, to the day, I began this project. Where possible using online resources I have traced the family back and branched out to include siblings and the birth dates of their children. I am ready to call this one as done as I am going to get it at this point. Another project coming soon!

Compiled Report

This is a report of findings as I have entered them. Some bits from the blog may not have made it into this report and if you want to understand the steps taken to produce this work, the blog is invaluable.

The Scholefield Project

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Scholefield Family Tree

After the DeGraff censuses prompted a list of questions, off I went to try to answer them.

The first question was about Catherine DeGraff born abt 1841 (actually probably closer to 1843 based on when Helen was born). Who was she? I still dunno! I can assume that she is a daughter, but that can be dangerous with older censuses which didn’t list the relationships. She could have just as easily been a more distant relative. I need a second source to make the connection stick. I searched the newspapers at Fulton History. I searched the databases on Ancestry. I checked the cemetery transcriptions which are available online. Nothing turns up. If she was a daughter who died young, she was not mentioned in her brother’s and sisters’ obits. That would likely be a result of not being alive to meet her nieces and nephews, so I can’t use that as conclusive proof either.

Susan born 1849 is “missing” in 1860. I can’t find her in the census with a regular search or near her family with searches using only partial data in the hope of catching a misspelling. Because people were “missed” somewhat frequently for any number of reasons, this doesn’t worry me, but it means there is no quick way to tie to a family that she might have been living with.

The DeGraff men who are nearby in the censuses are so varied a group that I can’t connect anyone of them with Harmanus with any certainty. It seems I would be in the same boat with each of them — there are no exact records on the internet that reveal which belongs to which set of parents. In fact, the names of these men are even harder to trace because the DeGraffs reused family names. Harmanus only showed up in a few family lines. It seem that every DeGraff had a son named John though! (Hence the THREE Johns nearby in 1870!) To work this out, I’d need to conduct a whole DeGraff family study. That might not be a bad idea for a future project, but probably not.

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Scholefield Family Tree

I feel that I have gotten close to a stopping point on this Scholefield Tree. My searches into the ancestral lines are not yielding results.

However, the internet is changing all the time. Since our defined limits for these cold genealogy projects for unrelated individuals state that only online research will be conducted, the information explosion is something to keep in mind. My last task before wrapping up and writing a report on the Scholefield family, is to make sure that nothing new has appeared on the internet and that I have looked at all of the things I planned to research.

Once that has been completed, the project really won’t be finished, but it will be to a point where I will want to write up what I know and put it aside. Maybe someday I will return to it.


First thing I find: In regards to Harmanus, I wanted to look at the nearby families and a pension record on Footnote that could have belonged to a family member.1 The censuses weren’t conclusive — I couldn’t even locate the pensioner who was living with Harmanus in 1830.

The pension records didn’t reveal anything helpful. John/Johannes DeGraff was born 19 Aug 1754 in Glenville, Albany (now Schenectady), New York, to Claas and Ariaantje Schermerhorn.2 He provided his baptismal record and described his service during the war. But he didn’t say anything about his current family. This is the correct John because his application states he was currently living in Johnstown, Amsterdam County, New York.

However, the later censuses for the family (after Harmanus’s death) reveal some interesting bits of information.

The 1850 Census for the DeGraff family listed:3

Susan Degraff age 33
Hellen age 10
Catherine age 9
Alonzo age 4
Susan age 3

On the same page are the families of: Frederick Degraff age 51, John J. Degraff age 44, and John Degraff age 40.

By 1860 Susannah and Alonzo are alone in the home, surrounded by DeGraffs: Abm DeGraff age 53, John A. DeGraff age 50, Frederick DeGraff, age 61, John G. DeGraff age 44, Garret DeGraff age 30, Emanuel Degraff age 50.4

The 1870 Census listed:5

Susan DeGraff age 51
Susan DeGraff age 22
Alonzo DeGraff age 24
Mary V Scholefield age 8

Again we see some of the same names appear nearby: John A. Degraff age 61, John G. DeGraff age 65, John P. DeGraff age 33, and Abram DeGraff age 62.

These censuses point to some questions!

Research Plan:

  1. Investigate Catherine from the 1850 Census. Was she a daughter?
  2. Where did Susan DeGraff, child of Harmanus and Susan, go during the 1860 Census? Could she be living with family?
  3. Is it possible that some of the DeGraff men who live nearby could be siblings of Harmanus? Or are there just too many of them to tell?

1. See post dated 30 Nov 2009.
2.”Revolutionary War Pensions,” database and images, Footnote (http://www.footnote.com : accessed 16 Jan 2010); John De Graf (De Graff, De Graaf), New York, pension no. S.15090; Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M804.
3. 1850 U.S. census, Montgomery County, New York population schedule, Amsterdam, p. 125A, dwelling 251, family 271, Susan Degraff household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 532.
4. 1860 U.S. census, Montgomery County, New York population schedule, Amsterdam, p. 524, dwelling 177, family 180, Susannah DeGraff household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 787.
5. 1870 U.S. census, Montgomery County, New York population schedule, Amsterdam, p. 78B, dwelling 1054, family 1190, Susan DeGraff; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 974.

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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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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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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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I located one obit for Alonzo. There are likely more out there because this was one picked up by a nearby paper in a different county. The moral of this story is that you might find a news item about your family in an unexpected paper. Nearby papers would reprint news from the surrounding areas — especially if they wanted to cover a large area and thereby increase their subscriber base. Papers from a place where a person was a previous resident would carry an obit — like Susan Miller’s Amsterdam obit. And if it was sensational, sometimes the story would make national news. Really, this is not too different from nowadays! Of course, the more a story was reprinted, the more likely there is to be an error.

blockquoteAMSTERDAM, Sept 21.–[Special,]–
Captain Alonzo H, DeGraff, 48 years of age, died here to-day after a long illness of Bright’s disease. Captain DeGraff had been superintendent of the water works ever since its construction, about twelve years ago. He went to the front at the breaking out of the civil war as a drummer boy, being scarcely 14 years of age. He soon afterward shouldered the musket and carried it thro’out the struggle, winning honors several times. He bas been a prominent G. A. R. man. He was a staunch republican, but never took an active part in politics. A widow, three sons and two daughters survive.1

And just as fun to find are articles printed years after an event. Papers regularly published bits about what had been in the paper 25, 50, or even 100 years before. Many times, they would even pull information from the society pages, which are the best place to learn about the day to day goings on of those who were fashionable. Here are some excerpts from an article entitled “How Many Remember? Old Resident Inquires.”

blockquoteHow many Amsterdaminans can remember:

When 40 couples attended a ball given at Pythian Temple in honor of college boys who, having passed a pleasant Summer vacation at their homes, were about to return to their studies? . . .

When the Merchants and the Bankers played baseball for the benefit of the City Hospital on the Y. M. C. A. grounds in the West End? The Merchants won by a score of 14 to 12. . . .

When Miss Mary Jane Doak, daughter of Supervisor James Doak, was struck by lightning while attending to her household duties? She was confined to her bed for two days but recovered rapidly.

When Captain Alonzo H. DeGraff, superintendent of the city waterworks system and one of Amsterdam’s best known and most popular citizens, died at his home on West Spring Street? Captain DeGraff was born December 12, 1845, in the old DeGraff homestead, about a half mile east of the city boundary line, on the Cranesville road. The war of the Rebellion broke out while Alonzo waa attending school. In 1862, leaving the old Amsterdam Academy on East Main Street, he enlisted in the Twenty-Fifth Albany Regiment. After three months’ service as a private at Suffolk. Va., he re-enlisted at Utica in the Fourteenth New York Heavy Artillery, with which he remailed until September, 1865. He was promoted in succession to sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant, and then captain. He participated in the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, Bethesda Church, North Ann River and Petersburg. On June 17, 1864, he was wounded in the right hip in a charge on the enemy’s works in front of Petersburg. Captain DeGraff was one of the leading spirits of post E. S. Young, G. A. R. A. H. DeGraff Camp, Sons of Veterans, was named after him. In 1875 Captain DeGraff married Miss Mary M. Smith of Fish House. A man of strict integrity, his death brought deep grief to a large circle of friends.2

The second type of article is harder to find than the first. Articles printed years after an event are best located through a service like the Fulton History site or GenealogyBank.com where every word of every page has been digitized and made searchable. (Remember there are errors so something still may be “impossible” to locate, but at least you have a chance!)

To find the first type of article, look at areas surrounding the location of interest and at papers in towns that a person lived in during their life. In New York, you can consult the New York State Newspaper Project to find the names of papers held on microfilm in various repositories. If you can examine a sample of the paper, you will quickly notice if it contains a section for area news. Then check for the news for about a week after the event date — the further away from the event location, the further the date of publication of an article will be from the event date.

1. “Montgomery County: Amsterdam,” Utica Weekly Herald, 26 Sep 1893, p. 12, col. 4; digital images, Fulton History (http://www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 31 Dec 2009), Utica NY Weekly Herald 1889 – 1892 – 1061.pdf.
2. Frank B. Engel, “How Many Remember? Old Resident Inquires,” Amsterdam Evening Recorder and Daily Democrat, 12 Apr 1945, p. 8, col. 4-5; digital images, Fulton History (http://www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 31 Dec 2009), Amsterdam NY Daily Democrat and Recorder 1945 Feb-Jun Grayscale – 0603.pdf.

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I seem to be stonewalled on exactly which Harmonus is the correct man. Therefore, I am going to take one step back. Instead of trying to step push to locate the next DeGraff generation, I will be stepping back and looking at the children again. It is possible that something about Harmonus’s kids will reveal another avenue of investigation.

What we know: Harmonus married Susannah Thomas.1 One of their children was Helen Marr DeGraff Scholefield. There were two others: Alonzo H. DeGraff and Susan DeGraff Miller.

As stated earlier, my goals for this project include locating the “vitals” for siblings of the direct ancestral lines of the Scholefields I chose randomly, but also the birth information for each of their children. To that end, I returned to the Fulton History site to search through more old newspapers. And I found an obit for Susan DeGraff Miller which will help me to fill in quite a bit about her!

blockquoteMrs. Susan DeGraff Miller.

As already stated in The Recorder, word has been received in this city of the death of Susan DeGraff Miller, at her home in San Diego, Cal., October 18. Mrs. Miller was born at the DeGraff homestead, east of this city, and was about 65 years old. She was a sister of the late Capt. Alonzo H. DeGraff, who was superintendant of the water department of the city of Amsterdam for a number of years. Her early live was passed on the farm east of the city, and she was one of the pupils at the Amsterdam academy. She had many friends among the older residents of this city. A number of years ago she was united in marriage to Fred C. Miller, of Jackson, Mich., who died last fall.

Mrs. Miller resided in San Diego for twenty years. Many years ago she was attached rheumatism and for the last 25 years of her life was unable to walk, moving about the house in a wheel chair. Since the first of July she has been confined to her bed and had suffered a great deal. Hers was a cheerful disposition and despite her affliction she had a kind word for all. She was an extensive reader. Amsterdam, and the friends of her girlhood days, occupied a place in her heart that distance could not erase and she kept fully informed of the happenings in and about Amsterdam and the doings of her old schoolmates. Her cheery ways endeared her to the residents of San Diego, the people of that city speaking of her as “The Sunny Face at the Window.” Her last visit to Amsterdam was made thirty years ago. Besides nephews and nieces in this city, she is survived by a sister, Mrs. H. M. Scholefield, of New York, and a daughter, Mrs. Ford Barnes, of San Diego. Mrs Barnes says: “Even in her suffering she was the same bright, patient mother we have always known, interested in all our joys and sorrows, and the affairs of the city, country and the world.”2

Research Plan:

  1. Check for an obituary for Alonzo DeGraff.
  2. Investigate the Miller family. What was Susan’s date of birth? What was her daughter’s first name?

1. See post dated 5 Sep 2009.
2. “Obituary: Mrs. Susan DeGraff Miller,” Amsterdam Evening Recorder and Daily Democrat, 30 Oct 1915, p. 3, col. 4; digital images, Fulton History (http://www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 30 Dec 2009), Amsterdam NY Daily Democrat and Recorder 1915 Oct-1916 Feb Grayscale – 0215.pdf.

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My last post was found by Peter Cross — a DeGraff researcher. He offered some information about an additional Harmanus DeGraff in the area. I emailed him and he provided the following:

His “Harman” was 31 at the time of the 1860 Census. His wife was Harriet Ann Wilde and his children were named Theresa, George, Carrie, John, and Hattie. The family lived in Amsterdam, Montgomery, NY. “Harmonies” died in 1922 and an obituary that Peter holds states that Mr. DeGraff was “born November 19, 1829, on the Widow Susan Road, just east of the present Amsterdam city line, Mr. DeGraff was a son of Nicholas and Catherine Travis DeGraff.” Mr. DeGraff’s youngest sister was named Harriet DeGraff Sparkbeck, and she died in 1906

The name Harmanus was apparently a popular name in the DeGraff family, and this Harman is not the one I am looking for — wrong birth year, but Peter did give me another name to use in searches!

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