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

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Iam feeling so personally violated that someone would rip off my article--and a librarian no less--that I have to rethink what I dare write in this space. I have written many things with a view towards eventually turning them into an article. Now that I see that nothing is sacred, I have to reconsider even writing in this blog. A personal journal would probably be a better idea.


This is a lesson I learned the hard way. I had a homework assignment for my National Genealogical Society Home Study Course which I had been working on since last Spring. I had to write an article on a library. After choosing a library with a good genealogicsl section and which I frequently visit, I started asking the librarian questions I could not answer with her input. After submitting to NGS, but just before submitting for publication in a local genealogical society newsletter, I asked the librarian to read it for accuracy, as I had never gained access to the locked drawers, etc. I made her minor corrections and sent it to our newslatter, which should be out momentarily (it was due in March). Today I got a newsletter from a regional genealogical society and was astounded to find that the librarian had written an article on the same library and followed my general format. Moral: Trust no one with stuff you are contemplating publishing. No Matter how mundane the subject might seem, there is someone out there waiting to rip you off!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ijust received the following e-mail, and am elated:
Now I can complete the applications of my grandchildren for CAR, and of my nieces and nephews who want to join. I joined through the Carpenter line, the progenitor of which was Samuel Carpenter who settled Pennsylvania with William Penn, and was the first Treasuer of the province. The Carpenters were Quakers, but Revolutionary War service was achieved bu eing paymaster and quartermaster for Salem and Gloucester Counties, New Jersey. Now I an going to apply for DAC, Daughters of American Colonists. I have decided to use a Fish line, probably Keteltas. My aim is to join the different organizations through different ancestors to document as many lines as possible. For the Mayflower Society I will have to use a Chapel line, as both of my known Mayflower ancestors come through this line. I am also being pressured to join Palatines to America. I will probably use the Eackers or the Herkimers for this. Huguenot Society also has several possibilities; I haven't decided which way to go for them. Now i am getting way ahead of myself. It took me long enough just to do the DAR! Not that it was difficult, I just don't have enough hours in a day. Barbara


Monday, April 16, 2007

A MAJOR SOURCE OF ERRORS: Secondary Sources Improperly Quoting Secondary Sources

Although this is just one little part of a much larger and more complicated family puzzle, it illustrates well how a misquote in a secondary source can be carried forth and infect all future secondary sources: one of the major reasons to always check your research yourself, even if it is only checking the sources quoted in another volume. I have not verified the immirant ancestor in this family, but I have illustrated a problem in finding such ancestor.

Immigrant Ancestor of Rev. Abraham Keteltas

Rev. Abraham4 Keteltas (1732-1798) and Sarah Smith (c. 1733-1815)[1]

The plethora of gentlemen of the eighteenth century named Abraham Ketektas led me on one of my many obsessive hunts which had me up late night after night. The double inter-marriages with my Fish family ancestors did not help, nor did the gaps in ages which led me at one point to question whether I was missing a generation. After working through most of these problems, and determining that “Rev. Abraham” (1732-1798) was the son “Abraham the Merchant” (1673-1744), I became intrigued with the lives of these Abrahams and the identity of their immigrant ancestor.

While in Salt Lake City in 2004, I found the following brief biographical entry for the Rev. Abraham in Franklin Bowditch Dexter’s, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale, pp. 289-90:

“ABRAHAM KETELTAS was born in New York, December 26, 1732, the eldest child of Abraham Keteltas (a well-known merchant of that city, the descendant of an emigrant from Holland in the 17th century)[2] and Jane (Jacobs) Keteltas. During his youth he is said to have resided for a considerable time in the Huguenot settlement at New Rochelle, near New York City, and thus acquired a good familiarity with the French language.

"He [Abraham Keteltas] studied theology, and was licensed to preach by the Fairfield (Connecticut) East Association of Ministers, August 23, 1756. Meantime he had married, on October 31, 1755 (the license being dated October 22) Sarah, the third daughter of the Hon. William Smith (Yale 1719) of New York City, a member of the Governor's Council.

"Early in 1757 he began to preach as a candidate for settlement in the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethtown, now Elizabeth, New Jersey, and after a satisfactory probation he received a call to the pastorate. He was ordained and installed there on September 14, 1757, with a salary of 130 pds.

"Before long some difficulty arose, which led to his withdrawal from his office in July, 1760, though his formal dismission did not take place until September. The language of admonition used by the Presbytery of New York in declaring the pastoral relation dissolved, caused Mr. Keteltas to appeal to the synod for relief, and the Presbytery in consequence took further action, intended to do away with the appearance of censure; the breach was not healed, and he withdrew from the Presbyterian body, between May, 1764, and May, 1765.

"Before the close of the year 1760 he had settled in Jamaica, Long Island, where he resided until his death. During these years he held no regular pastoral charge, though preaching abundantly, as occasion offered. His familiarity with their languages made him an especially welcome preacher in the Dutch and French Reformed [p. 290] congregations in and near New York City. In particular, for about two years after his removal to Jamaica he supplied the Reformed Dutch Church in that town; and again for most of the time from September, 1766, to April, 1766, he officiated every third Sunday as the regular supply of the French Protestant Church of New York.

Baxter, in her Godchild of Washington, p. 97, describes Althea Ketektas (906W1C1) daughter of Abraham the Merchant and his second wife Anneke Courten, as a “sister of the celebrated clergyman and member of the Continental Congress[3], Rev. Abraham Keteltas, and great-granddaughter of Rev. Evert Pieterse Keteltas ‘consoler of the sick, and schoolmaster, who assisted so materially at the settlements of the South River (Delaware) in 1650-1656.”


Aitken, William B. Distinguished Families in America: descended from Wilhemus

Beekman and Jan Thomasse Van Dyke. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1988.

Baxter, Katharine Schuyler. A Godchild of Washington: A Picture of the Past. New

York: F. T. Neely, 1897. Digitized Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, 2004. Accessed through Ancestry.com 27 Feb 2005.

Dexter, Franklin Bowditch. Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College:

with Annals of the College History. volume II Annals. New York: H. Holt &

Co., 1885-1912.

Flint, Martha Bockee. Early Long Island: A Colonial Study. New York: Putnam, 1991.

Digitized Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, 2004. Accessed through Ancestry.com 27 Feb 2005.

Hatfield, Rev. Edwin F., D.D. History of Elizabeth, New Jersey, including the Early

History of Union County. New York: Carlton & Lanahan, 1868; digitized by Google Books.

[1] Although both Aitken and Baxter (infra) refer to the birth of Abraham the Merchant as having occurred in New York, Rev. Edwin F. Hatfield, D.D., History of Elizabeth, New Jersey, including the Early History of Union County (New York: Carlton & Lanahan, 1868; digitized by Google Books) , p. 399 states without source or other justification in reference to Rev. Abraham Keteltas, that “He was the son of Abraham Keteltas, a well-known merchant of New York City, who emigrated thither from Holland at the close of the seventeenth century.”

[2] Hatfield most likely obtained his statement from an improper quote of the passage in Dexter, Biographical Studies: that Rev. Abraham was, the eldest child of Abraham Keteltas (a well-known merchant of that city, the descendant of an emigrant from Holland in the 17th century). The entire meaning of the quote is changed by Hatfield’s omission of the phrase “the descendant of an emigrant.”

[3] Early Long Island, p. 350 “We appoint for our Committee of Correspondence Revd. Abraham Ketektas. . .”

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I have received word that my DAR application is almost approved. As soon as it is, my 4 grandchildren are anxiously waiting to send in their CAR applications. Yesterday they attended their first CAR meeting. Mandy handed out programs, Stephen led the America's Creed and Donald was a flag bearer. Timmy was supposed to be the other flag bearer, but decided not to go. They were all adorable. Poor Mandy had a bad stomach ache so didn't enjoy herself as much as she had hoped, but is now looking forward to the next meeting. That pretty much occupied my whole day. No chance for real research, homework, or anything else. I'll try again today to accomplish something, and have something good to write about. I have been contemplating the line I should use for my DAC application. I am trying to use different lines for different things so that more of my ancestors are well researched. It just makes a lot more work to put it all in the proper form, etc. I did spend a little time checking it out, and think the Keteltas, Hon. William Smith, Rene Het lines might be fun. Now to narrow it down to one of them!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Filing Memories

We all spend a lot of time looking for events from the everyday lives of our ancestors. But what we doing for our descendants? An easy way to preserve some memories for them is to just make a copy of every childhood (or adult for that matter) memory you enter onto the internet for any purpose. Discussion groups are good for this. A group of us who got to "know" one another through the MyFamily courses started our own group with our own weekly chat. The chat isn't doing well at present due to the busy schedules of all involved, but the message board-like portion is very active. Tonight I read a thread in which many people were recalling making aprons from flour sacks. This reminded me of the skirts I made from feed bags. I hadn't thought about those skirts in 50 years. Once I wrote my entry, I copied it into a Word document and saved it in a file labelled simple "me." The file is full of such trivia, but stuff I would love to know about my ancestors. The entry tonight was simply as follows:
Barbara deMare ~ NJ - Apr 11, 2007 Edit | Delete | Viewers | Reply to this item
You guys bring back the best memories! At one time in my life I was a good seantress. I mande all my daughter's clothes, including her wedding gown. I also made a wwedding gown for my "adopted" daughter. Then I quit sewing. I got my sewing start with feed bags--akin to flour sacks. My mother couldn't sew but she had a friend who could. I remember being about 8 years old and going to the friend's house (Mrs. Moody) with my feed bag, and being very proud of turning it into a gathered skirt--the kind we wore in those days.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Where does the time go?

I just noted with horror that I hadn't written in here since 2006. As a result, in addition to my time sheets for work, I made a list of the genealogy stuff I had done here and there. This led to a list of my current genealogical responsibilities. Then I could see why I never seem to get to my blog! I just have to make a determined effort to write every day, at least before i go to bed. My pressing genealogical duties include getting an article written for the March issue (yes, I said March) of the newsletter of the Genealogical Society of Rockland County. For some reason, inspiration didn't seem forthcoming this month. As President, I write a regular column. I finally decided to rewrite and improve upon the 20 Don'ts I originally published on this blog. I finally finished the first draft of the rewrite. I am also trying to write some articles advertising our forthcoming programs. I missed step one in this discussion--making sure we have the programs. Equally pressing is completing a brochure for the GSRC setting forth all our programs for the forthcoming year. I have gotten us a table at the Patricia Law Hatcher seminar being put on in a week and a half by the New Jersey and the Bergen County Societies. Rockland is also involved in this day-long event. As we (Rockland) have determined to prepare a new brochure and a new packet for new members, I want to have these items available at this conference. That means I have to complete the copy, send it to our newsletter editor for preparing for print, and wait for her to get it to the printers, printed, folded, and returned, all by April 21st. A few days later we have a table at the NewEnglandCONNects conference in Hartford, Connecticut. My Genealogical Society of Bergen County activities consist of arranging trips. I have done a couple of surveys, talked with various places, and decided what we should do. Now I have to make final arrangements for the next few months. I spend a lot of time on the NGS Home Study Course. This consists of three CDs. A year is allowed to complete each CD. I am on my second extension for the first CD. The work isn't difficult, just time consuming, especially with my penchant for perfection. As a result of taking this class, I am in charge of a get-together of all class participants attending the National Genealogical Society annual conference in Richmond, Virginia. Trying to figure out what I should be doing is the hardest part of this activity. A couple of months ago I submitted my application to the DAR. Today I learned that I need a couple more items to complete it. I have the items; I just need to remember to bring them to work and fax or e-mail them. On a related topic, my four grandchildren (who now live with me) are all very anxious to join the CAR. Most excited is the 4 year old. She will be the most happy when my application is finally approved and I can submit the CAR applications for her and her brothers. There is a joint DAR/CAR meeting Saturday in which all four will be participating. My correspondence of the day included a couple of smaller items: upcoming conferences for the Palatines to America and the New York Historical Society. The Palatine tricentennial is forthcoming in 2010, and--you guessed it--I am on the committee. Tomorrow I will check my tasks list and see what pressing matters I didn't deal with today. Hopefully I will get more homework done when I go home tonight. I stayed at work to do my writing, as it is calmer than with the four kids wanting grandma's attention. I love having them, but they are another time user. Now that I wrote this I don't feel quite so bad that I seem to accomplish very little geneaogy in a day. If I didn't have to work for a living, I might maybe have enough time, but i wouldn't have a roof over my head, so that wouldn't help anything. Tomorrow i will try to write about real things.