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


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


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