history-genealogy site

This is a site where I will discuss my family genealogy research and related history. When a blog deals with a particular family group, I will try to include it in the title so uninterested people can skip it without skimming it. It is my hope to get feedback on research methods, family members and historical context from other historians, genealogists, and researchers. (c) Barbara L. de Mare 2006, 2007

Location: Englewood, New Jersey, United States

Saturday, June 24, 2006


I have recently joined a few lists on rootsweb. The most active of those I joined are Rockland County, Dutchess County, and Dutch Colonies. All 3 mainly discuss Dutch families. I read them, check my database to see if I have the name, and then go on. Today, however, I found out why I bother.

A couple of days ago I had answered a post about an Evert Pels and his wife, who are my direct ancestors. They are not well researched lines (by me at least) so asked her if she had more information and sources that she wouldn't mind giving me. Today I got her response: about 40 pages of information complete with sources. As a matter of fact she went beyond including the sources, she quoted them!

With this goldmine I took a break from Phillips and Knapp collaterals and did some of my own work for a change, Pels work naturally. The Pels family married into the Van Wagener family. My 3G grandmother was Eliza Van Wagner--her father had shortened the surname. Evert Pels is a 9G grandfather. Another 9G grandfather is Aart Jacobsen, the Van Wagoner immigrant. The two families intermarried so much that I have had difficulty getting the correct families between these 2 9G grandfathers and my 4G grandfather Jacob Van Wagner. That problem wasn't resolved, but I learned a lot more about both families in the 17th century, and got the names of my 10th and 11th great grandparents in the line of the wife of Evert Pels, Jannetje Symens Floriszen. Her grandfather was born in 1560. I've spent all day, and only gone through the shortest document I was sent. I can't wait to start reading the long one! That is the one with the sources quoted, so I will study it intently.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I had the strangest experience Sunday afternoon. I went with a few others to visit Bob Phillips, an old man who still lives in Stony Point, and knows a lot of the family history. Fist thing he said was that he had a letter from Barbara someone outlining many of the heirs of Thomas Phillips with dates of birth, death, etc. When his wife brought it to me to look at, my eyes almost bugged out of my head. It was a part of Grandma Ferry's DAR application. The affidavits, etc., proving the Revolutionary Service were not there, but there were about 10 pages of family history which I had seen many times.

The document was sent to Mr. Robert Phillips by Barbara Robinson, 139 Pelham Island Road, Wayland, Massachusetts. The postmark was Boston, Mass, 22 Sept. 1978. All my siblings are listed except my youngest sister who was born in 1959. The notes and newspaper clippings are transcribed, and my Aunt Jay's notes and grandmother's notes are transcribed.

Does any body have any clue who this person may be (or have been)? I would love to contact her if she is still around. It would be nice to have some clue of her identity first, though.

Thanks, Barbara

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

PHILLIPS-KNAPP WEBSITE & Organizational Woes

I have been busy creating the new Phillips-Knapp website, so had little time for anything else. The URL for the site is:


I hope this entry comes out correctly. I have no idea why the last one refuses to format properly.

My niece Polly was here for the weekend, so we started another massive reorganization of my genealogy room. First stop: Staples. They had a floor model bookcase for $25, so i took that. Also got 6 milkcrates, and some plastic drawers which roll so I can organize the current research in a more orderly manner than my piles. One set of the plastic drawers is chuck full of my maps. Keeping them in a notebook just didn't work. That leaves me the other one with six drawers for my current printouts and other misc infomation which piles up on my desk.

I used one of the milk crates for unfiled books. That way maybe the cleaning lady will keep her hands off them, and I'll get them entered on the computer before they are lost. I don't shelf books until I record them in my library list, but the floor piles don't stay very neat, and i buy faster than I can catologue. In addition to catologing by author and subject, I am going to have to list each book on my map of my room so I know exactly where they belong when they are taken out. The shelves are roughly divided by geographic area, but when I buy and shelf new books things get moved, and I can't find them again. I just have to be sure to readjust the map whenever I shelf. No wonder I get little research done--I am always organizing!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Salt Point & other Dutchess County reminiscences

I know--my posting has been remiss as of late. I spent a week in Paris, and then had to try to catch up at work. There has been a thread running through the Dutchess County list for the last two days about the history of the corner of Main and Catherine Sts in Poughkeepsie. At the same time, the Connecticut list has had a thread of reminiscences about life in a small Connecticut town in the 50s (can't find the name). I was thus compelled to reply with my reminiscences of Dutchess County in the 50s. Here's what I wrote in response to a listing of fondly-remembered stores on Main Street, Poughkeepsie: Ginny,
Our annual trip to Lucky Platt and Wallaces, usually with an aunt in Salt Point, was a high light. I drove down Main Street a month ago and wasn't even sure where they had been. Nothing looked like the buildings--of course I was driving and my 20 year old niece who was with me never heard of them. Are the buildings still there?

This also reminds me of why I was in Poughkeepsie that day. While touring Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery and talking to my niece, I realized she knew nothing about the area in general and Salt Point in articular. It created a panic that I was probably the only one of my generation with genealogical interest who would remember the town.

The next day we drove through Poughkeepsie and took pictures of the theater my mother used to frequent when she cut classes in High School (cell phone call to her confirmed correct theater). Once in Salt Point we went all around town taking pictures of everything I remembered: my paternal grandparents house on Hibernia Road, my uncle's house next door, De la Verge's store and their house across the Street, the Presbyterian Church and my paternal grandparents headstones in the churchyard, the house on Cottage St. my maternal grandparents lived in for a couple of summers when living in the same house with my aunt and uncle no longer worked (it was originally my grandparents farm, but oldest son got it before I remember. He then gave my grandparents a home for summer; they wintered in Florida), my grandparents big house on Allen Road which subsequently belonged to my aunt and uncle, the house my uncle built for my grandparents, the one-room school house my mother attended, then back down Allen Road past Hazel Rogers house, Ethel Timmers house, Doc Allen's house. I also tried to photograph the hill where we went tobogganing with our cousins, and Allen Road itself where we would sled until the sand truck came. In my mother's day there were no sand trucks or snow plows, so they could make it all the way down Allen Road from Broadview (my grandparent's original farm) to Clifford Buck's house in the village. Then we went over to Clinton Corners to the Grange Hall where my grandparents met and to the cemetery where my maternal grandparents are buried.

On the way back to New Jersey we stopped in Beacon where my great-aunt had lived with her parents while teaching school there. Now I was really stretching my mind. She moved in with us in 1953, the end of third grade for me. We found the old high school without much trouble, and St. Luke's Church which she attended is right on Route 9D through town. I had my laptop computer with me which had the address on Verplanck St. where she lived when my great-grandmother died in 1945. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the house I had visited as a young child. In those days we had to take the ferry across the River; there was no bridge. The only house we found to have been torn down in the whole weekend adventure was the Beacon house on South Cedar Street where my great-aunt lived when her father died in 1931.

Getting all these pictures taken made me feel much better; I knew that to some extent these memories weren't lost and gone forever. My 20 yr old niece knows what the pictures are of, and she wrote a commentary. Now she is going to do a Power Point show. Anyone have any ideas how to get oral descriptions to go with the Power Point show? Anyone make it this far through my nostalgic moment?

The H-Connecticut website has had a thread going of memories of a little Connecticut town. It and this post once again reminded me of my March trip to Dutchess County. I should do the same thing for places where I actually lived, but sadly the house I grew up in in Columbia County (near Linlithgo) is no longer there--an historic house torn down by the subsequent owner solely to lower taxes. Fortunately I have a couple of old pictures of it.

Thank you Ginny for this nostalgic moment. Now I just have to go to Pleasant Valley for the Howe house and my great-grandparents graves and great-aunt's tombstone in St. Paul's churchyard so I can do an all Dutchess presentation.