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

Sunday, August 19, 2007

CHAPEL post script

My new cousin Julie is also descended from one of our Mayflower ancestors, Thomas Rogers, so we are cousins 2 ways around.


The second nagging question I have had since discovering that Mary had married a Ransford is whether this is the same family as our Edward Raynsford ancestor who came to Boston before 1630. I can give more information on Edward in a different post if anyone is interested. I have not voiced this question, except in passing to Chip when the discovery was made. It should be noted, or maybe yelled from every mountain top, that cousin Chip Fish and his wife Joan are wonderful researchers, and, I might add, wonderful hosts. We have spent two wonderful weekends exploring places they had already scoped out and trying to prove or disprove theories they had worked out. I just come at the end, take pictures, and get the glory for their work by publishing it. Our Raynsford (as it was spelled then) ancestry is another female one. We actually do have 3 male ancestors in this country before it becomes a totally matrilinear line. I was stumped as to how much effort I should give trying to trace the paternal line to Albert Ransford when he isn't even an ancestor, collateral or otherwise. We would be a cousin of Mary's if it was the same family, so that aspect greatly interests me. It is fun to see the ebb and flo of the fortunes of our ancestors, the marriages made in the various stages, and the proximity of the families of the marrying couples to each other. It is only because of all the intermarriages that we don't have zillions more cousins. I am digressing again. I posed my question to our newfound cousin Julie who promptly replied that yes, she is a descendant of Edward Raynsford. She thinks the name change was as the result of a family feud in the early 1800s. She is descended from Henry, John's brother. John, as you may remember, is Mary's father-in-law. Remember we are discussing Mary Chapel who married a Ransford, not the other Mary whose tombstone I photographed. That Mary remains as of yet unidentified. Julie sent me her line of descent from Edward Raynsford, and I computed that she and I are seventh cousins four times removed. So I have indeed found us a new cousin. Most interesting of all is that Mary Chapel and her husband Albert were fifth cousins twice removed--hardly a prohibited degree of consanguinity. Interesting though that both the Chapels and the Ransfords ended up in Kinderhook, a remote river town of the day. And this Chapter of the Mathew Chapel saga draws to an end.


Ever since discovering that Mathew had a second set of children, I have wondered if there were cousins of ours out there some place who counted Mathew Chapel as their grandfather. From the census returns we know that Mary at least had a daughter Rosa Ransford. To date, I have located no further information on her sister Agnes. One of the problems with this quest is of course that it is an all female line, making Mathew's descendants from his second family, if there are any, difficult to find. With the discovery of Julie, who was born a RANSFORD, I know that we at least have half-collateral cousins. This isn't a blood relationship at all as Julie descends from the uncle of Mary's husband. It is, though, a start. And it is enough to keep me searching and reading the lists. This discovery was made on a Columbia County list. Julie supplied me with more information regarding the Ransfords. We both had the same census returns, but she had more answers concerning them. She couldn't however, answer the big one which I suddenly noticed yesterday. In the 1860 census when Mathew was an "INMATE" at the County Farm, the address of all inmates was given as "Moffat's Store." Yesterday while reviewing this census with Julie, I noticed that both Albert and his father John were listed as "farmers" in the same household, and that the address given was "Moffats Farm." More expanations needed. Could they have been independent employees of the farm? Were they somehow residents along with Mathew? Any other ideas out there? A month ago Chip and I had found the pauper's field for the County Farm. We went to search in the Columbia County Historical Society in the Van Der Poel house, and while I looked for cemetery records to completely nail down that I had found the tombstone of Mathew's mother Sarah (Smith) Chapel, Chip read the vertical files. He found an article about the field being repaired some years ago, with a description of its location and a picture. We were off and running! We were close but no cigar on our last search. There were no stones in the field, but obviously from the indentations many burials. So we still don't know where Mathew is buried, although our best guess at the moment is with Catherine without a headstone. Plenty of room for an extra grave there. I will send those pictures. If I already have, forgive the duplication. If I haven't written about the search for Sarah, please let me know and I will fill in that missing entry. She was found when I was not into writing in blogs, as I didn't think anyone read them. Now I know I have readers I am trying to be a more frequent writer, especially when I have something worthwhile to report. But I digress. Back to Mathew's second family. Why was their address Moffit's Farm? In the census returns over the years Albert had variously been called a blacksmith or a farmer. We have yet to do a deed search. So we know Mary had at least one child continuing the possibility that she has living heirs, but now we wonder why she resided near the poorhouse with the poorhouse address. As usual answers come with more questions. TO BE CONTINUED


If I remember properly, when we last left Mathew Chapel we had found the divorce papers from when Susan had divorced him after he had already married Catherine., to wit on 23 April 1826. I had not located Mathew, Catherine and daughter Mary (born 11 Oct 1828) in the 1830 census. However, by 1840 there was another daughter Agnes, and the family was residing in Kinderhook. By 1950, Mathew had disappeared from the census returns. Catherine and her girls were still in Kinderhook. Mathew was in the county poorhouse in the 1860 and 1865 census returns. Catherine had died in 1853. The whereabouts of the girls was unknown--at least to last October. Last October I attended a Palatines in America conference in Saugerties, New York, then went up to Niverville to visit cousin Chip and his wife Joan. We had a perfectly wonderful weekend exploring cemeteries. Chip and Joan had done their homework, and knew right where to take me to see the tombstones they had found. One of the cemeteries to which they took me was Chatham Union Cemetery. There they had found a tombstone reading "Mary J. Chapel, wife of Albert Ransford, Oct. 11, 1828, Dec. 22, 1894." Albert Ransford was also buried there, as were several other Ransfords. Fron the census returns, I surmised that Albert had a father named John, as John was living with Albert and Mary in 1870, and was the right age to be his father. In the 10 months since discovering the Ransford husband of Mary, I had had little luck learning more about the family. Then Friday night I hit paydirt! As I have commented in a previous blog, reading those lists does pay off! The Friday list had an entry from someone willing to do Chatham DRC look-ups. Many of these posts I deleted without reading. Then one caught my eye. The searcher had found no Ransford records. This was in response to the query "Iwould very much appreciate any RANSFORD mentions in those records. Thank you for your offer." I piped in with the entry: "I have pictures of some Ransford tombstones in Chatham Union Cemetery. My ancestor Mathew S. Chapel married (bigamously) as his second wife Catherine (Devo?) (Mosier), a widow. Their first child, Mary Chapel (11 Oct 1828 to 22 Dec 1894) married Albert Ransford(14 Feb 1826 to 5 June 1880), son of John Ransford. Mary and Albert as well as other Ransfords are buried in Chatham Union Cemetery. If you are interested in what I have on this family, or have information you can give me, please contact me." A response was instantaneous from our newly discovered cousin Julie. Actually it turned out that Julie is not a cousin through this line, as she is descended from John Ransford's brother Henry. We are, however, cousins through two other lines. I'll explain that in a second blog in the interest of keeping each short. These two little e-mails set off a weekend of correspondence from which I learned the answers to some of my most burning questions about Mathew Chapel's second family. TO BE CONTINUED