Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

April 20, 2010 – Alfred, New York April 20, 2010

So today I thought I’d share some pictures and discoveries from my trip to Alfred, NY last fall.  It was truly exciting to walk around places that so many generations of Stillmans and Crandalls have also trodden.

Upon my arrival in Alfred I first visited Alfred University.  Their history/genealogy department in their Library had some information they were holding for me.  I had contacted them in advance to see if they had anything on the Stillmans or Crandalls that I might find interesting.  I was able to get a photograph of my Great Grand Aunt Amelia Esther Stillman in a photograph of the staff of Alfred University.  Amelia was an Art Teacher.  She was a fabulous artist.  We still have some of her paintings in the family.  I’ll post pictures of those at a later date.  I was also able to get a copy of her obituary that ran in The Alfred Sun.   The Univ. had a file on her because she was a teacher.  Here is the front and back of that photo and the obituary.

After I left the Library at Alfred University, I drove down the street to see the house that my Great Great Grandfather, Phineas Crandall Stillman built and lived in with his wife Orpha Crandall located at 26 Church Street, Alfred, NY.  Sadly Phineas’ house is not fairing too well these days.  It is currently occupied with college students from the College and University.  It looks in need of a good restoration. 

Here is an excerpt from my Great Aunt Dot’s memoirs that mentions this home in Alfred:

“Mother’s family lived in a lovely old home in Alfred, New York.  It had a big kitchen with an exit onto a lovely garden above the brook a sloping hill in back on top of which was a sugar bush.  I think her father, Phineas Stillman must have owned the whole section ¼ mile above, for Uncle Albert Stillman lived up there and next to his place was an apple orchard.  Greenings were sent to us from it.  Mother owned that lot and Bill (William Rudiger Wells)  inherited it.  The only property he claimed and sold after mother’s death.  My mother’s father was Phineas, who married Orpha Crandall.  The children of Phineas and Orpha were Amelia (talented artist), she taught art at Alfred for 16 years.  Albert who ran a farm, married Celestia, had two sons, Luin and Clarke.  Eleanor, who went to Kentucky and the age of 16 to teach, met a young Captain in the Northern Army They had been married during, had a military wedding with swords crossed under which the bride and groom walked from or to the alter in the Seventh Day Baptist church in Alfred.  He was a Colonel at the end of the war and she always called him Colonel Ellsworth.    Bill lived with her 1906-1912.  For two years she, Bill and Forest together, for Forest went to Alfred from 1910-1914, she wanted all the children to get a college education and was glad to help the two boys who in turn worked to help her.  She had me come my first year at Alfred, as Forest was there.  We washed and cleaned, did dishes, etc. to help us.  Then my junior year, she had me again as her health was better.”

Here are some pictures of the house that I took on my trip and also a couple of photos of the house out of an old family photo album.  Those old pictures are probably dating back to the 1920’s.

 I next drove up Church Street to 70 Church Street, Alfred, NY.  The 1900 Census puts Albert S, Celestia, A. Clark, Eleanor and Amelia Stillman all living together at 70 church street.  Here is a photo of that house.  It is probably less than a mile up the road from Phineas’ House at 26 Church Street.

 I then drove over to 71 North Main Street to what is now the Alfred Univ. Welcome Center.  This house was lived in by my Great Great Grand Aunt, Amada Melvina Crandall. She was Orpha Crandall’s sister, sister-in-law to Phineas C. Stillman.   She is the Amanda Crandall Prescott mentioned below.  William Clarke Burdick was her second husband.  A picture of the house follows.

The article below (From: http://www.alfred.edu/map/fasano-house.cfm) gives the history of the house.

Alfred University Welcome Center at the Fasano House

The house at 71 N. Main Street in Alfred is an important structure not only for its architecture but also to the history of the village and Alfred University.

Originally constructed as a private home circa 1880 by William Clarke Burdick it’s a two-story, L-shaped frame structure with a cross-gable roof and gabled dormers. Intricate woodwork embellishes the eaves and dormers as well as other features of the house. As a notable example of the Eastlake style, the house is a contributing building to the village’s historic district.

Born in Alfred, William C. Burdick, a man of “sound judgment, of sterling business and Christian integrity” attended the Alfred Academy and was a prominent member of the local Seventh Day Baptist Church. He owned and operated the Allegany Cheese Company, the best known firm in Western New York because of his reliability and honesty. His love and support for Alfred University included generous philanthropic gifts as well as serving on the Board of Trustees for 45 years.

Burdick’s second wife, Amanda Crandall Prescott, was the daughter of Judge Clark Crandall, one of Alfred’s pioneer settlers. She also attended the Alfred Academy and was graduated in 1848; she furthered her studies elsewhere and became a music teacher. When her first husband, E.S. Prescott, died in 1879, she returned to Alfred and eventually married William Burdick in 1885.

In 1893, Amanda invited local women to meet informally in her parlor to establish a reading club. The next year it was officially organized and named the “Amandine Club” to honor Mrs. Burdick for opening her home for their weekly meetings. The club’s activities were, and still are, social and cultural. In 1936, the organization joined with another local group and is currently the Allen Civic – Amandine Club.

Following the death of William Burdick in 1902, Amanda was elected to succeed her husband on the University’s Board of Trustees. She established the Amanda Malvina Burdick Scholarship and gave to the University, with her stepdaughter, Susan M. Burdick, a men’s boarding hall (Burdick Hall) as well as the land currently occupied by Carnegie Hall.

Amanda died in 1920 and has been described as a person with “rare personal charm, broad sympathy, and wise judgment.”

Susan M. Burdick sold the house in 1922 to the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity which owned and operated its organization there until 2003 except for a short period during World War II. The University housed regiments of the Student Army Training Corps on campus and needed the main women’s residence, The Brick, for their barracks. Needing a place to now house the women, the University made agreements with the fraternities to use their quarters. Hence the Burdick/Delta House was turned over to the University and used as a women’s hall. It was there that the nurses corps was established; this corps later led to the formation of the University’s College of Nursing.

Fire twice damaged the house. In 1936 a fire caused by the blow torch of a painter gutted the attic and caused damage estimated at $8,000. A slate roof and the winding stairway made it a very difficult job for the firemen. In 1981 a fire broke out on the third floor, believed to be caused by faulty wiring. The fire and water damage was extensive.

The Burdick/Delta House represents the dedication of Alfred’s pioneers to working hard and succeeding, to be contributing members to their town and strong supporters of education, as well as supporting the education and cultural knowledge of women. As a fraternity house for over 80 years, it contributed to the life of hundreds of the University’s alumni, including a number of members of the Board of Trustees. It will continue to be a focal point for the University in its role as a welcome center as well as a reminder of Alfred’s rich heritage.

Alfred University stopped recognizing all Greek societies (fraternities and sororities) in 2002. Delta Sigma Phi turned its house over to the University. Members of the fraternity that had owned the house for more than 80 years led efforts to raise funds and contributed more than half the total needed to restore and renovate the house for its new life, (Jon Tabor ’55 matched dollar-for-dollar all contributions made to the renovation fund.) as an alumni welcome center and home to the Division of University Relations.

The Welcome Center at Fasano House is dedicated to Joseph, AU class of 1954 and the late Ann Saunders Fasano, class of 1953, and their late son, Patrick, class of 1980. Joe and Pat Fasano were both Delta Sigma Phi members.

Through the efforts of Robert Corbin, a 1956 AU alumnus, the University obtained the services of nationally recognized architect Elizabeth Corbin Murphy of Chambers Murphy & Burge Restoration Architects, Akron, Ohio. She worked with interior designer Vivian Hyde of Alfred to uncover and recreate the original architectural details, including intricately carved woodwork, stained glass and raised plaster decorations on the wall. They scraped through layers of paint and paper to determine original color schemes to make the restoration as historically accurate as possible. As much as possible, the exterior of the building and the first floor have been restored to their original Victorian character.

They called upon several local artisans to help them with the restoration. Artisans Joe Dosch, Leroy Herrick and Joe Fasano ’53 helped to create woodwork. John Gill ’75, professor of ceramic art, made molds so that the raised plaster designs could be replicated. Mary Harris ’91 made stencils used to decorate the downstairs meeting rooms. General contractors were Alan and Jason Burdick of Burdick Building Supplies of Alfred – and descendants of the family that originally owned the house.

 The Alfred Seventh Day Baptist Church is right down the road from Phineas’ house

The photo below was taken out the window of the Alfred State College Library.  You can see the Steeple of the 7th Day Baptist Church.  After the edge of the parking lot there is a steep hill that leads down the Church Street.  Phineas’ house is directly in the center of the photo at the bottom of the hill behind the trees.  Aunt Dot’s memoirs describe the farm up on the hill behind the house.  This was a Dairy Farm and would have been in the photo in the parking lot and Alfred State College Campus. 

Where the church is, is the lowest part of the valley.  Across the main street in town which is just beyond the church, is Alfred University.   Any building you see that is behind the church would be part of the University Campus.

Here is a picture of the main drag in Alfred. 

I also visited Alfred Rural Cemetery.  Boy if you don’t know where this cemetery is, you’re going to have a hard time finding it.  The entrance is marked by the white sign (See Photo below) but unless you trip on it, you won’t see it.  The best way to say it is that the cemetery is hidden behind the Mobil Gas Station.  I was so lost trying to find it that I went inside the Mobil to ask for directions to the cemetery and the first gal I asked said she had no idea where it was.  She then asked the other gal who was working and she said that she thought there might be a cemetery behind the gas station but she wasn’t sure.  Yes, the driveway is right next to this gas station but the cemetery is completely unseen from the street.  Here are some pictures from the cemetery and a map.  All of the stones with pictures here are in the center of the map.  The two boxes that are shaded slightly darker is where they are. 

Here are some pictures of the Stillmans.   Wish I had better pictures of them.  Not sure where the originals are.  I got these copies of copies from my cousin Pauline but even she is not sure who has the originals.   The picture of Pauline and her twin as girls kinda creeps me out.  They look like the twins in The Shining.


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April 19, 2010 – Hesson Cemetery in Caldwell, OH April 19, 2010

I worked on my Cemetery List again today.  I’m trying to spice it up a little by adding where the person’s parents or children are buried if known to each person.  Of course this has ballooned it up to 75 pages so far.  I stress the SO FAR as it will probably end up being about 100 pages. 

Todays CEMETERY OF THE DAY is…. Hesson Cemetery, Caldwell, OH (Noble Co.)  It’s located about eight miles southeast of Caldwell on Ohio Route 564 (Frostyville Road). 23068 Frostyville Road, Caldwell, OH according to Google Maps.

*Wells, Barton Sr.(About 1781 – 1846)   3rd Great Grand Uncle, the Son of Randall Wells & Lois Maxson

*Wells, Hannah Unknown (1792 – Oct 2, 1835) w/o Barton Wells

So has anyone ever heard of the Stillmanville Woolen Mill in Pawcatuck, CT??  I found the attached info on it and would love to know if it’s still standing.  It says it at 75 Stillman Avenue, Patcatuck, CT.  It references Oremus Stillman.  (Wondering if that is a typo and it’s supposed to be Orsemus)



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April 18, 2010 – Is a Name Forever? April 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 8:18 pm
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I was thinking today about how easy it seems for a last name to die out.  Consider this, My Great Grandfather Thomas Geoghan came to the US about 1869.  You would think that in the 4-5 succesive generations, there would be many people bearing the Geoghan last name.   However, the number of male children bearing the Geoghan last name in his direct line is shockingly low.  My brother has 2 sons to carry on the last name.  I have a male Geoghan cousin but am not sure if he has any sons.  So right now, there are only 2 Geoghans to carry on the last name to the next generation to my knowledge.  I find this shocking.  I think Thomas would too!  It’s a matter of not enough male children being born in each generation and those that are, only have daughters or no children at all in most cases.  Could our line have died out if my brother had not had my nephews?   something to think about.  That wouldn’t happen you say but my Grandfather Geoghan married Elizbeth Kranz. in the Kranz family line, there are NO male Kranz’s left so the name had died out completely. 

My mothers family seems to fair a little better.  My maternal grandmother was a Weber.  The Webers liked big families.  I have a great Uncle that had 14 kids!    The Wells family is not a big in our line as one would think.  We run high in girls.  My grandfather Elliott Wells was one of 9 children, 6 of them were males.  2 of the 6 didn’t have any children at all.   3 of the 6 only had daughters so that leaves only 1 out of the 9 children passed on the family name to the next generation.    Go back one generation and of the 5 children in my Great Grandfather Wells family and my Great Grandfather was the only one to pass on the Wells family name.  Go back another generation and my Great Great Grandfather was the only one to carry on the Wells family name to the next generation.  He did have one brother who had a son but he died without issue.   You have to go back to my great great great grandfather to have a lot of Wells sons born. 

I read an article that said that the only reason the population of the US showed as increasing was because of the immigration of spanish speaking folk.  That on our own, the population of the US is really on the decline.   As as family, you have to have at least 3 children for the population to not be in decline and most families I know today are only have one or two kids.  When you consider how my family names are in the decrease, this population decrease seems a little more ominous.


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April 16, 2010 – Williams Rogers Wells April 16, 2010

Today the RELATIVE OF THE DAY is Williams Rogers Wells, my Great Grandfather.   Born June 9, 1855 in Hopkinton, RI to Jonathan Russell Wells and Martha Ann Rogers.

1860 Federal Census, June 19, 1860, Hopkinton, RI ….. William R. Wells ….. Age: 5 ….. Place of Birth: RI ….. Others living in same household: Jonathan R. (father), Martha A. (mother), Sylvia E. (Sister), Everett J. (brother), Sarah Holdridge (?), Chester B. Stillman (?), Two other people that look like Henry and Lydia Cooey.
1870 Federal Census, July 6, 1870  Hopkinton, RI … William R. Wells ….. Age: 15 ….. Occupation: At Home ….. Place of Birth: Rhode Island… Others living in same Household: Martha A. (mother), Sylvia Salisbury (sister), Everett J. (brother)
1880 Federal Census, June, 1880  Hopkinton, RI … William Wells ….. Age: 25 ….. Occupation: Manufacturer ….. Place of Birth: Rhode Island … Fathers Place of Birth: Rhode Island ….. Mothers Place of Birth:  Connecticut
Others living in same household: Martha A (mother), Sylvia Salisbury (sister)
1900 Federal Census, Hopkinton, RI June 21, 1900 … William Wells (head) age 44, born June 1855, married 20 years, born in RI, father in RI, mother in CT, Occupation: Super of Worsted Mill, Rents home, 
Pauline Wells (wife) age 45, born Oct 1854, married 20 years, born in NY, Housekeeper 
Everett S Wells (son) age 19, born Aug 1880, born in RI, Student 
Sylvia Wells (daughter) age 15, Born June 1884, born in RI
Orpha Wells (daughter) age 14, born Sep 1885, born in RI
William Wells (son) age 11, born Dec 1888, born in RI
Forrest Wells (son) age 9, born Dec 1890, born in RI
Dorothy Wells (daughter) age 7, born May 1893, born in RI
Nathaniel D Wells (son) age 2, born May 1898, born in RI
1910 Federal Census: Ashaway Village, Hopkinton Town, RI  May 9, 1910 (Broad Street) … William R Wells (head) age 54, married 29 years, born in RI, father in RI, mother in CT, Occupation: Commission (?) Woolen, home owned. 
Pauline R Wells (wife) age 54, had 9 children, 8 still living, born in NY 
Sylvia A Wells (daughter) age 25, born in RI, Single 
William R Wells Jr. (son) age 21, born in RI, Single
Forest A Wells (son) age 19, born in RI, Single
Dorothy P Wells (daughter) age 17, born in RI 
Nathaniel D Wells (son) age 12, born in RI 
Elliot E Wells (son) age 9, born in RI 
1920 Federal Census: Hopkinton Town, RI, January 5, 1920 (Broad Street) …. William R Wells (head) age 64, Home owned, born in RI, father in RI, mother in CT, Poultry Farmer
Pauline R Wells (wife) age 64, born in NY 
Orphia Timpson (daughter) age 34, born in NY
William J Wells (son) age 32, born in RI, worked on Poultry Farm
Elliot E Wells (son) age 19, born in RI 
Nathanial Wells (son) age 21, born in RI 
Allen A Simper (grandson) age 4, born in NY 
1924-5 Hopkinton City Directory, Page 77: … Wells, William R. h Broad, A, 28-R 13 W Ex
Wells, Elliott E. mill emp, bds W.R. Wells, A, 28-R 13, W Ex
Wells, Dorothy P. school teacher, bds W.R. Wells A, 28-R 13, W Ex
Wells, William R., Jr. (Gertrude) h Male av, A 5-R 6, W Ex
From the Sabbath Recorder … Wells – Williams Rogers Wells was born at Ashaway, R.I., June 9, 1855 and died within a few rods of his birthplace, Sunday December 26, 1926.   His parents were Jonathan Russell and Martha Ann (Rogers) Wells.  His education was at De Ruyter Institute, Hopkinton Academy and Alfred University.  He followed his father as a manufacturer, being for many years identified with the textile industry in his home town and in New York.  He was also for some time a manager of manufacturing plants an a commission broker.
On August 4, 1880, Mr. Wells was united in marriage with Pauline R. Stillman of Alfred, N.Y.  To them were born nine children, one of whom died in infancy.  The surviving members of his family are: Everett S. of East Greenwich Conn: Mrs. Hugh Eccleston of Ashaway, R.I.: Mrs. Orpha Gardner of Exeter, R.I.: William R. of Ashaway: Forest A of Reading, Mass: Dorothy P of Rockaway, N.J.: Nathaniel D. of New York: Elliott E. of Ashaway and twelve grandchildren.  Mrs. Wells died in 1922.
Mr. Wells took great interest in the Sabbath school of the First Hopkinton Church of which he was a member before going to New York.  He had been in poor health for some time and re-xxxxxx xxx a month in the Homeopathic Hospital in Providence where a surgical operation failed to prolong his life.  Memorial services were held at his late home, December 28, by his pastor, Rev. William X. XXXXX, assisted by Rev. William X. Burdick.  Burial was made in Oak Grove Cemetery, Ashaway.
From an original copy of William R. Wells’ Obituary in the Newspaper….
W. R. Wells of Ashaway Dies
Once Prominent Manufacturer Succumbs After Long Illness
POULTRY FANCIER   For Several Years He Was Official in South County Organization

William Rogers Wells died at his late home Sunday after a long illness.  For a month he was in the Homeopathic Hospital in Providence where he underwent an operation that failed to prolong his life.    He returned to his home ten days ago, where he was attended by a nurse and by his son and daughter-in-law,   Mr. and Mrs. Elliott Wells.
His last wishes were for his family and friends for whom he dictated many names and addresses for Christ man remembrances.   Mr. Wells was born at Ashaway June 9, 1855. His parents were Jonathan Russell and Martha Ann (Rogers) Wells. He died in the house where his father’s family lived man; years and within a few rods of the old “Red House”, his birthplace.   At the age of fourteen he entered DeRuyter Institute in New York state and, having attained his full stature during his two years’ stay in that school, he was often taken for mature man. His education was continued in Hopkinton Academy am Alfred University.
As his father was a manufacturer he followed the same vocation, and for more than a quarter of a century; he was prominently identified with the textile industry in his home town and in New York as owner and manage of manufacturing plants and as commission broker.   After retiring from mercantile pursuits he became interested in raising high grade poultry and originated new strains.    For several years he was an influential member of the South County   Poultry Association of which he was first vice president for two years and president three years, spending much time and thought for the upbuilding of that association.
On   August 4, 188O, he was married to Pauline R. Stillman of Alfred N. Y.    To them were born nine children, one of whom died in infancy.  The surviving members of his Family are   Everett S. of   East Greenwich; Mrs. Hugh Eccleston, Ashaway; Mrs. Orpha  Gardner,  Exeter;   William  R. Ashaway;  Forest A,, Reading, Mass, Dorothy P.,  Rockaway,  N.  J.; Nathaniel D., New York;   Elliott E., Ashaway, and twelve grandchildren.
After the death of his wife in 1922, Mr., Wells’ health began to fail and he was obliged to refrain from active labor, but he was able to make a home for Allan Simpson, one of his grandsons.
He took great interest in the work of the Bible School of the First Hopkinton Church of   which he was member before going to New York where he lived a few years, and he especially enjoyed arranging for affairs that would bring together all parts of the community.   Besides his immediate family that are many relatives and friends who will miss the hospitality of his home.   The funeral will be held from his late residence on Broad Street on (Rest is cut off)
At age 14 he entered DeRuyter Institute in N.Y.S. for 2 years.  Then he went to Hopkinton Academy and Alfred University.   He was the owner and Manager of Textile Manufacturing Plants and a Commission Broker.  After Retiring, he raised high-grade poultry and was a member of the South County Poultry Assoc.  His Funeral was held on Tuesday, December 28th at 2pm at his house on Broad Street.  He lived with his family in New York City at the same time when his children were being born. Orpha was born in the City. While in the city he had an office and worked as a Commission Broker on the stock market.   He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetary in the Wells Plot.


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April 15, 2010 – Geoghan Family of Sligo County Ireland April 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 5:17 pm
Tags: , ,

So my cousin on the Geoghan Side of the Family thinks there’s probably not much to know so this one’s for her.  Here’s what we know about the Geoghan’s…

There once was a couple in Sligo County, Ireland with the last name of Geoghan.  They had a son named Thomas H. Geoghan.  Thomas H. was born about 1863.  I’m going to say he was born in Ireland.  We’re 99.9% sure about this.  The only reason I would have to doubt it is that on the 1920 & 1930 Census, it lists his place of birth as Scotland.  Some time about 1866 or 1869 he immigrates to America.   Considering that he was just a small child at this time, I’d assume that his parent’s came with him or at least a close relative.  Now I’ve heard talk of Ellis Island amongst the Geoghan Clan but Ellis Island didn’t start operation until 1892 so the Geoghan’s did not come through Ellis Island.  I’ve been unable to locate any immigration records on them yet, but I’m still looking. 

According to my aunts and uncles, Thomas H. Geoghan moved to the US, missed home or didn’t like it that much here and went back to Europe. Probably Ireland but maybe he was in Scotland.  Was only back in Europe for a year or two at the most and then returned to America.  This could explain why on some of the Census records it says he was from Scotland and some from Ireland.  Would depend on how the question was asked by the Census Taker.  Where were you born as opposed to where did you emigrate from.  Most likely he was born in Ireland (as lived in an Irish neighborhood in Brooklyn and closest family connection in Connecticut was with the Doolans) and lived in Scotland for a short time when went back to Europe.

The first real paper trail we start to see on Thomas H is in the Farmington/Unionville, CT Town Clerks Office.  I got this info in an email from them “We show a Thomas Geohagan (note spelling) married to a Nellie Stapleton on October 28, 1883 – this is the only marriage record we show for the entire family. “

Thomas H’s wife has quite a few names.  Nellie, Alice, Helen, Ellen and Elizabeth to be specific.  I believe they are all the same person but in documents and census records, she goes by all these different names.  She was born about 1863. My aunt says that she was from Scotland.  The 1920 Census says she was born in Ireland.  The 1930 Census says she was born in Tipperary with both her parents also being born in Tipperary.  The 1930 Census also says that she immigrated to the US in 1880.

So now Thomas H Geoghan and Alice (as we’ll call her) Stapleton are now married and living in Unionville, CT.   That same email from the Farmington/Unionville, CT Town Clerks Office said “We show the parents of Thomas Geogham (note spelling) as Thomas Geogham and Alice Stapleton for the date of April 4, 1887.  No other records – I checked land/burial/birth/death/marriage.”  This son was Thomas F. Geoghan.  No one seems to know what the H. in Thomas H. or the F Thomas F. stood for.   My aunt says that in Unionville, Thomas traded race horses and grew Onions and Shade Tobacco.

 Here’s Thomas H Geoghan’s Census Information.  There are no Geoghan’s on the US Census in earlier years in the Unionville / Farmington, CT area.  I looked through them ALL.:

1920 Census: January 1920, Address: #38 Ten Eyct Street, Brooklyn, NY

Thomas Geoghan (Head), Age at last Birthday:55, Place of Birth: Scotland, parents both born in Scotland, Occupation: Papermaker in Factory

Helen Geoghan (Wife), Age at last Birthday:54?, Place of Birth: Ireland, Parents both born in Ireland, Occupation: None listed

John Geoghan (Son), Age at Last Birthday: 31, Single, Place of Birth: Connecticut, Father born: Scotland, Mother born: Ireland, Occupation: Automotive Mechanic in Garage

Harry Geoghan (Son) Age at Last Birthday: 21, Place of Birth: Connecticut, Father born: Scotland, Mother born: Ireland, Occupation: Engineer


1930 Census: April 11, 1930, Address: South First Street, Brooklyn (Probably #396)

Thomas H. Geoghan (Head) Rent or Own: Renter, Age at last Birthday: 67, Place of Birth: Scotland, Parents born in Sligo Co., Age at First marriage: 21, Year of immigration: 1866, Naturalized or Alien: Naturalized, Occupation: Paper Maker, Veteran: No

Ellen Geoghan (Wife) Age at last Birthday: 67, Place of Birth: Tipperary, Parents born in Tipperary, Age at First marriage: 21 … Year of immigration: 1880, Naturalized or Alien: Naturalized

Thomas F. Geoghan (Son) Age at last birthday: 42, Place of Birth: Connecticut, Fathers Place of Birth: Scotland, Mothers Place of Birth: Scotland, Occupation: Transfer Clerk- Railroad, Married or Single: Single

Thomas H. Geoghan died on May 11, 1947.  At the time of his death, he was living in a small apartment in Brooklyn, NY.  He died in his chair while smoking his pipe.   We’re not sure when Alice, his wife died.  Probably between 1930 and 1935 in Brooklyn.  I’ve been told that they buried in one of the large cemeteries in Brooklyn, NY but no one seems to know which one.

Here are the children that we know of Thomas H. and Alice:

Thomas F. Geoghan,  Born April 4, 1887

John Joseph Richard “Dick” Geoghan,  Born August 1, 1888

An Infant Girl, born after 1888 who died very young

Henry “Harry” Joseph Geoghan “Geaghan”, born May 11, 1892

Eugene Geoghan,  Born August 8, 1893

All of these children were born in Unionville.  

Thomas F. Geoghan married a woman names Josephine sometime before 1916. Called “Tommy”, he worked for the New York City Transit Authority.  Tommy and Josephine had a daughter named Mary about 1916.

1920 Census: January 9, 1920

42 Maujer Street, Brooklyn, NY

Thomas Geoghan, Age at last birthday: 31

Place of Birth: Connecticut, Parents Place of Birth: Scotland

Occupation: Ticket Agent …Also living in same household: Wife with name I can’t read(Joayshis?) and Mary Geoghan (daughter)


From His WWI Draft Registration Card

Thomas Geoghan, Address: 137 No 7th (or 74) Brooklyn NY

Date of Birth: April 4, 1887   Place of Birth: Unionville, Conn

Occupation: Ticket Agent…”Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or brother under 12, soley dependent on you for support?”  Wife and Child

Height: Medium  Eyes: Blue  Hair: Brown


From his WWII Draft Reg Card:

Thomas F. Geoghan … Address: 392 So 1st St. Brooklyn NY

Birthdate: Apr 4, 1887 … Place of Birth: Unionville, Conn

Next of Kin:  Thomas Geoghan, Father 392 So 1 St.

Employers name and address: B.M.J. Board of Transport

Place of Employment:  385 Flatbush Ave, Ext, Kings, NY


1930 Census lists him as back living with his parents and marital status as Single.  We have no idea what happened to the daughter Mary. 

Henry Joseph Geoghan went by “Harry Geaghan”.  I was told he changed the spelling of his last name because it was easier for him in the Navy.  I believe it.   Henry was married but at the time of his death he was a widower.  He had no children.  He worked as an engineer on a Tug Boat that sank off of Sandy Hook, NJ in the winter.  He survived the sinking but died later of Pneuma.  He was in the Merchant Marines and had a military funeral.  He was a boxer and won boxing tournaments in the fleet.   Here’s a copy of thier marriage certificate


1930 Census: April 10, 1930, #21 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn NY

Harry Geoghan …Age at Last Birthday: 38

Age at first marriage: 33 …Owner or Renter: Renter

Place of Birth: Connecticut … Fathers Place of Birth: Scotland

Mothers Place of Birth Ireland …Occupation: Engineer, Marine

Veteran: Yes …What War or Expidition: “WW”

Alo living in same household: Caroline Geoghan (wife)


Harry appears as “HJ Geoghan” on the crew list of the Steamship Schoodic on September 28, 1919 upon arriving in New York after departing from Southampton, England.  He is listed as 3rd Engineer from Connecticut, age 27.


WWII Draft Reg Card says:  Address: 1471 Bushwick Avenue, Brookly, NY

Telephone: Glen. 2-8196 … Place of Birth: Unionville, Conn

Date of Birth: May 11, 1892 … Next of Kin:  Caroline Geaghan, 1471 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn

Employer name and address:  Oil Transfer Corp.  17 Battery Pl, NY

Place of employment:  Same, – Tug Samson


Internment information: Name: Harry Joseph Geaghan

Service Info: Ensign US Navy, World War I

Birthdate: May 11, 1892 … Death Date: Feb 19, 1953

Service Start Date: May 25, 1917 .. Internment Date: Feb 25, 1953

Cemetery: Long Island National Cemetery, 2040 Wellwood Avenue, Farmingdale, NY  11735. Buried At: Section N, Site 29967


Eugene Geoghan.  Eugene never married and had no children.

WWI Draft Registration Card:  Eugene Geoghan… Address: 38 Ten Eyct Brooklyn New York

Birth date: Aug 8, 1893 … Place of Birth: Westport, Conn

Occupation: Machinst Helper … Where Employed: Mount Sinai Hospital, 100 st & Madison Ave, New York

Marital Status: Single … Height: 5-6 …. Medium Build, Grey Eyes, Black Hair

Dated June 5, 1917 … (Eugene’s brohter John’s WWI Draft card has the same date on it and they both put the same home address down)


The US declared War on Germany on April 2, 1917.  According to his Draft Card, Eugene was living in Brooklyn in June 5, 1917.  According to the family, Eugene was in the Merchant Marines and died in the big Halifax Explosion where 2 ships collided in Halifax Harbor.   This explosion occurred on December 6, 1917.  Eugene’s name does not appear on a list of those killed but about 2000 people died in the explosion and the list of names is incomplete.  The explosion destroyed all the ships in the Harbor and the entire waterfront and surrounding areas.

John Joseph Richard Geoghan, called “Dick”.  Born in Unionville, CT.  While living there as a small boy, John was kicked by a horse and lost one of his eyes.  When still very you, the family moved to Brooklyn, NY.  John was an auto mechanic in Brooklyn.  Family stories tell of he recalling how the Mafia would bring in their cars to be fixed including “Milk” trucks full of liqueur during Prohibition.   He started the Well Drilling business during the depression.  He choose Well Drilling because it was a necessary occupation and he could get extra ration stamps for things like gas and tires.  He had a friend named John Brown who taught him the business.  They moved to Sound Beach, NY.  When he first started, his wife Elizabeth was his helper and they worked out of their house. They later built the shop in Mount Sinai.  John smoked a lot and died of a heart attack.

John married Elizabeth “Elsie” Kranz in Brooklyn, NY, exact date is unknown.  He died on October 20, 1858 at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson, NY.  Elizabeth died Jul 16, 1997 in Port Jefferson Station, NY.  John started the Geoghan & Sons Well Drilling business.  They served most of Suffolk Co., NY up until the late 1990’s sometime.

Here’s John’s census info: 

1930 Census: April 5, 1930  1017 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn NY

John Geoghan (head) age 48, Age at Marriage: 37, born in CT, father in Scotland, mother in Ireland, Occupation: Auto mechanic- Repair shop

Elsie Geoghan (wife) age 23, Age at Marriage: 18, born in NY, father in Germany, mother in Austria

Madeline Geoghan (daughter) age 2, born in NY, father in CT, mother in NY

Eugene Geoghan (brother) age 1/2, born in NY, father in CT, mother in NY


WWI Draft Registration Card: 

John Geoghan … Address: 38 Ten Eyct Brooklyn New York

Birth date: Aug 1, 1888 … Place of Birth: Unionville, Conn

Occupation: Auto Mechanic … Where Employed: 1505 Bradford Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Marital Status: Single … Physical Defects: Lost one eye … Dated June 5, 1917

Here’s a picture of John as well..


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April 14, 2010 Wells Mystery Letter and Beaver Creek Cemetery April 14, 2010

Sometimes I’m amazed at the kindness of strangers.  I realized that the First Baptist Church of North Stonington, CT  had to be in the general vicinity as the Pendleton Hill Cemetery.  I sent and email to the church through their website asking if it was nearby and just the next day, today, I got an email from a lady at the church saying the cemetery is right behind the church.   I got a lot of help a gal with the Grafton, NY Historical Society in locating a couple of cemeteries there.  I’m always getting help from volunteers on findagrave.com.   This is one of the reasons I love to help folks with their trees and to pass on all the knowledge I have gained.  Genealogy research is something that you can take to your grave.  If you don’t pass it on and share your work with others, what’s the point?

 Here is the second Wells Mystery Letter that I purchased on EBAY.

Wells Mystery Letter Two

 Envelope addressed to:   Miss Mary A. Wells,    Oak Ridge, Hancock Co. Ohio, Care of H.G. Coats

 Stamped:  Garrettsville O. Nov 10

                                                 Hiram   Nov 9th / 65

Sister Mary,

                        I expect you are

Looking for a line from us

before this.  I have been waiting

to hear from Aunt Olive

they was quite alarmed about

her.  I went to see her yesterday

she is better.  Frank is so he

gets all around now + does

the chores.  His limb trembles

him yet + I guess it always

will   it swells worse now then

it ever has, but does not

pain him, he eats + grows

fat   XX Henry’s folks are all well

they were all here Sunday.

  Mrs Heath that boarded

to your house was here + stayed

all night last week

she was right disappointed to

find you gone.  Her health is

quite good + they all say she

looks just as young as she

did when she lived here.

    Mrs Drecher gets along finely

so she walks about house

as she please, Huldah Heath

was buried died week ago last

Tuesday with fever, Steve

Wheellseks body was brought

home week ago last monday

Mrs Silas Hopkins was buried

today,    Frank thinks the

sheep are younger than he

would like to buy, thinks

the chance here first about

as good, as to the widower

you mentioned Alice thinks

you had better look out

for number one first

as long as he has plenty

of money,  Tell Alice Jennie

as got a big saving in the wood

house + is making great

calculation on swinging when

she gets home, raths about it

a good deal, I think I

had told you all she news

a I am tired of writing with

such a pen + you will get

more tired trying to read it

you must write when to meet

you to the cars, for you have

no stoping place now, Mason

Tilder  Tilders (Tilden?) has bought

The Allen farm + got moaed

    Give our best to all

        Sophie A. Wells,

PS Frank has his law suit to

Tomorrow with mesenges


What I know about these folks from this letter:

Letter 2  Dated 1865

Sisters…Mary A Wells in Oak Ridge, Hancock Co, OH, staying with HG Coats, had a Mrs. Heath board at her house.

Sophia A Wells in Garretsville OH. (Hiram, Portage Co Ohio)  Has neighbors of: Mrs. Dresher, Huldah Heath who just died

Steve Wheellseks body was brought home week ago last monday.  Mrs Silas Hopkins was buried today.  They have an Aunt Olive.  Frank (maybe a husband of Sophia’s).  Henry whose parent’s just visited.  The 1930 Census Sophia A Wells wife of J Frank Wells

SCANS OF LETTERS…. Letter 2 envelope  Letter 2 page 1  Letter 2 envelope

 Here is the CEMETERY OF THE DAY….Beaver Creek Cemetery (AKA  Beebe Cemetery #11), Brookfield, NY …Opposite the school house. Overgrown with Bushes. Several slate stones, no markings show now.  I found a old school house called the Giles School House located next to the Brookfield Historical Society at approximately 10554 Main St, Brookfield (West Edmeston) but I’m sure if this is the school house they are talking about. http://home.comcast.net/~ingallsam/Cemeteries/Brookfield/Brook14.htm

 Babcock, Hezekiah (Jul 17, 1784 – Nov 28, 1862) 2nd Cousin 5Xs Removed

Babcock, Nancy Burdick (Jul 18, 1786 – July 17, 1858) 2nd Cousin 5Xs Removed  And also w/o Hezekiah Babcock (Nancy’s parents, Henry Burdick and Judith Maxson are buried in the Spafford Cemetery, Spafford, NY)

*Wells, Joshua Sr. (Oct 29, 1773 – May 28, 1834) Relationship Unknown

*Wells, Sylvia Bentley (abt 1751 – Feb 15, 1837) w/o Joshua Wells

 So it occurred to me that maybe the reason why on one is leaving a comment is because it seems to me a very well hidden secret as to how to leave one.  If you go to the bottom of each post, there is a section will small lettering.  On there you will see LEAVE A COMMENT in very small letters, click on there to leave a comment for me.  I’m thinking about changing the theme of the page.  Maybe a different one will make leaving a comment more obvious.


Come visit my website at www.FamilyHistoryDetectives.net and let us help you trace your family tree!


April 13, 2010 – Ledyard Union Cemetery April 13, 2010

So I see people seem to visiting my blog but no one is leaving any comments… So who are you people??  Leave me a comment and let me know.   

So today I thought I’d share a few interesting items I have.     Here are Russell Wells and his wife Lydia Rogers Crandall obituaries out of the Sabbath Recorder.  Also Phineas Crandall Stillman and his wife Orpha Crandall’s pictures and obituaries out of the Sabbath Recorder. Another thing I like to look for is old handwritten genealogies.   My Great Grandfather Williams Rogers Wells of Ashaway, RI must have been a genealogy buff as well as he seemed to write down the family trees.  Attached is a hand written chart of the descendants of Randall Wells (1747-1821).    Randall would have been Williams’ Great Grandfather.     Another item he wrote out is his line back to Thomas Wells.  The last item is a Stillman Family Tree starting with Phineas Crandall Stillman and going back to George Stillman (1654-1728) and his wife Jane Pickering (1659-1684/85).  Now I say this Stillman lineage was written by Williams Rogers Wells.  Williams was not a Stillman, his wife was.  I think he was the one that wrote it because the hand writing looks the same but also because when I turned the paper over it was written on a piece of letter head paper of a company that Williams owned.  The White Wyandotte Poultry Farm in Ashaway, RI.   When Williams got older and retired he started a poultry business.  He really loved chickens.  I attached a scan of the back of the paper so you can see the letter head. 

So the CEMETERY OF THE DAY is…  Ledyard Union Cemetery, Ledyard, CT ..This cemetery is located at approximately 377 Colonial Ledyard Highway.  Having entered Colonel Ledyard Highway at the road’s intersection, with Route 184, proceed north 1.1 miles.    You will first find a paved entrance to the newer southern section of the cemetery, just before the beginning of the stone wall.   The old section has a separate entrance a few yards further north.   Immediately after passing the cemetery there will be church on the right side of Colonel Ledyard Highway. 

*Rogers, Henry Sr.(Apr 8, 1813 – Aug 18, 1848) 1st Cousin 4Xs Removed 

*Rogers, Henry Jr.(1845 – 1848) 2nd Cousin 3Xs Removed 

*Watrous, Asaph (1814 – Jan 31, 1892) 1st Cousin 4Xs Removed  


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April 12, 2010 – The DAR and Wells Letter April 12, 2010

I’ve been thinking about joining the DAR.   Seems like you have to pay a lot of money and I’m not really sure what you get in return.  Do people my age join the DAR (I’m a late 30’s age) or will I be alone among the blue hairs?  Do tell if you know.   I always visit the DAR Library in DC when I’m visiting our nation’s capital and would save the admission fee to get in as it’s free to members of the DAR.   It shouldn’t be too hard for me to join as I have a great aunt who was a member and we have her certificate. Any thoughts of pros and cons of membership?   I’m on the fence about it so any imput would be appreciated.

So every now and then, I like to troll EBAY for Wells family items.  You’d be surprised what shows up on EBAY for sale  if you’re luck enough to be looking when something gets listed.  Last year I came across some old letters from the 1800’s written by and to some Wells family members.  I have yet to figure out how these people fit into the family tree or if they will at all but I’m hopeful.   I’d at least like to find out who they are so that maybe I could see if they have any descendants out and about today that would like them.  If I’m still unable to figure out who these folks are in the next year or so, I’ll probably donate the letters to a Historical Society near where they were written from.  So here are some pictures and transcripts f the letters.  If you have any information on them, let me know.  I’ll post more of the letters in future entries.  I have to say I’d never heard of anyone collecting old letters as a hobby.  I found out that the letters that are sold on EBAY are usually collected for their post marks and not for the letter itself.  Some letters are collected for their subject matter like if they had details about the Civil War or something like that.  I guess there’s a hobby for everyone.

Letter One (Here is a scan of the letter below: Letter 1),

 Portage Co, Oho 

Stamped:  Cleveland O,  Sep 15

                                                Independence Sept 13 / 57

 Dear Brother,

                        Having an opportunity to send a few lines

to you by the hand of Dr. Wright   I thought I would

write a short letter    We have been expecting you out

here for some days,  but as you have not come, Emma

will start for the East tomorrow morning, to see her

friends + will return 3 weeks from tomorrow

I shall keep bachelors hall whilst she is gone  

Mary Jane is still at Oberlin, but will be at

home in about 7 weeks, as there will be

a vacation of three months_________________

Busines here is very dull, but little money stiring

+ hard times a head for loafers___________

You must be sure + come + see us as soon as

Emma returns + bring along the baby_______

I have just learned from Lyman, that the Dr has gone

to Cleveland + will not return this may + shall put

this in the Cleveland office in the morning______________

I have not heard from John since he was here

last season___ I read a letter from Adeline

a short time since, they were all well when

she wrote___ Give our love to all

                                                Your affectionate Brother

                                                            E Wells

Brothers:  E Wells in Independence who lives with Emma and Mary Jane

Wm H. Wells in Garrettsville, Portage Co. Ohio.  Had a baby in house in 1857

 possible Family Members: Lyman, John Adeline

Here is another item I bought on EBAY.  It’s an advertisement for the A.L. Wells Carriage Manufactory in Hopkinton, RI.  A.L is Augustus Lewis Wells and the E.S. Wells on the ad is his brother Edward Sheffield Wells.  Both are my 2nd cousins 4 times removed, sons of Edward Sheffield Wells Sr. and Deborah Hoxsie Lewis.  Augustus’ house is still standing today on the main drag in Hopkinton.  He didn’t build the house but basically moved in a few years after it was built and lived there till he died. 


Come visit my website at www.FamilyHistoryDetectives.net and let us help you trace your family tree!


April 9, 2010 – Little Rhode Island Cemetery April 9, 2010

So today I worked on the cemetery listing update again.   I thought you might be wondering exactly what this listing I’m working on is so I scanned the original that this an update to and am attaching it here for you to see: Cemetery listing from Vol 3 of OUR FAMILY

Here’s a funny cemetery story for you….  Pecans in the Cemetery  On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts. “One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me,” said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.  Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, “One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.” He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along. “Come here quick” said the boy, “you won’t believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls.”   The man said, ‘Beat it kid, can’t you see it’s hard for me to walk.” When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery.   Standing by the fence they heard, “One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.”   The old man whispered, “’Boy, you’ve been telling’ me the truth. Let’s see if we can see the Lord.”  Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.  At last they heard, “One for you, one for me. That’s all. Now let’s go get those nuts by the fence and we’ll be done.”……They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the kid on the bike.

Todays CEMETERY OF THE DAY is……Little Rhode Island Cemetery, Genesee, NY  (AKA Little Genesee Cemetery)  Located at Salt Rising Road & Hibbart St., Little Genesee, NY (www.paintedhills.org/ALLEGANY/littlericem.html)  I visited this cemetery last fall when I did a genealogy road trip up through PA, NY, CT and RI.

Crandall, Susannah Wells (Nov 14, 1789-Apr 29, 1861) 3rd Great Grand Aunt

Crandall, Ezekiel  (Sep 7, 1783 – Jul 15, 1855)3rd Great Grand Uncle

Rogers, Lydia Stillman (Aug 16, 1812-May 18, 1845) w/o Clark Rogers 2nd Great Grand Aunt

Wells, William Oscar (Feb 18, 1836 – Oct 11, 1837)4th Cousin 2Xs Removed

Crandall, Ezekiel Rogers (1820 – 1915)1st Cousin 4Xs Removed

*Crandall, N. Celestia Unknown   (Dec 27, 1825 – Nov 14, 1878)w/o Ezekiel R. Crandall

*Babcock, Lucinda Brown (Jul 21, 1803 – Feb 2, 1840) w/o Peleg Babcock Jr. who was also 3rd Cousin 4Xs Removed

Babcock, Anson (1839 – Feb 1840)4th Cousin 3Xs Removed

Babcock, Baby  (X – Feb 2, 1840)4th Cousin 3Xs Removed

*Rogers, Elizabeth (X – May 31, 1827)2nd Cousin 4Xs Removed

*Rogers, Ephraim (Apr 15, 1775 – X)2nd Cousin 5Xs Removed

*Rogers, Esther Ranson  (X – Mar 12, 1852) w/o Matthew Rogers 3/5

*Rogers, Emily E. (X – May 18, 1817)4th Cousin 4Xs Removed

 *Wells, Joseph (May 7, 1783 – Jun 1, 1837)2nd Cousin 4Xs Removed

*Wells, Lydia Maxson(w/o Joe 1783)   Oct 14, 1785 – Mar 26, 1861)2nd Cousin 5Xs Removed

Children of Joseph & Lydia Wells:

*Wells, Joseph Willard   (Feb 9, 1808 – Sep 19, 1855)3rd Cousin 3Xs Removed

*Wells, Emma Elizabeth (Jul 15, 1827 – Dec 1, 1878)3rd Cousin 3Xs Removed

*Wells, Daniel Babcock (Aug 15, 1811 – Sep 12, 1871)3rd Cousin 3Xs Removed

*Wells, Sarah “Sally” Burdick (Jun 24, 1809 – Apr 27, 1846)w/o Daniel B. Wells

*Wells, Harriet Jenette Lewis (Jun 10, 1822 – May 21, 1876)w/o Daniel B. Wells

*Wells, Samuel  (Jul 27, 1817 – Nov 27, 1897)3rd Cousin 3Xs Removed

*Wells, Lucy W. Clarke (Jun 30, 1818 – Dec 26, 1864)w/o Samuel Wells

*Wells, Emily Clarke (Apr 3, 1827 – Nov 18, 1916)w/o Samuel Wells


Come visit my website at www.FamilyHistoryDetectives.net and let us help you trace your family tree!


April 8, 2010 – Alabama Cemeteries April 8, 2010

So today I discovered an Alabama Connection to the family.    A branch of the Burdick family that settled down in Alabama from the Spafford, NY Area.    This is a new state for me to add to my Cemetery Listing so I was excited.  It would be fun to find us in all 50 states.  Who knows maybe I’ll find that eventually.    So here is the info on the Alabama Connection:

Burdick Family Cemetery, Houston, AL (Winston Co.)  From Arley Town Hall go north on County Rd. 41 .9 mile, turn left on Houston Rd and go 4.9 miles. Turn left in front of old jailhouse then immediately left on the dirt road. Cemetery is .4 mile on the left. 

*Burdick, Fernando “Frank” Cortez (Aug 26, 1838 – Apr 10, 1884)3rd Cousin 4Xs Removed (Frank’s parents, Russell M. Burdick & Esther Whiting are buried in Spafford Cemetery, Spafford, NY)

*Burdick, Nancy Margaret Feltman (Apr 5, 1848 – Sep 16, 1937)w/o Frank C. Burdick

Children of Frank C. Burdick & Nancy M. Feltman:

*Burdick, Samuel Ira (1873 – 1949)4th Cousin 3Xs Removed

*Burdick, Lillie Etta Cowart(1877 – 1966)w/o Samuel I. Burdick 

Fairview Cemetery, Double Springs, AL (Winston Co.) The Church and cemetery is about 1.8 miles west of Addison, Winston County, Al. on Hwy 278, on the left. Probably near County Road 3016. 

*Burdick, Frank Oscar (Jun 22, 1867 – Aug 20, 1940)4th Cousin 3Xs Removed      (Frank’s parents, Fernando C. Burdick & Nancy M. Feltman are buried at the Burdick Family Cemetery, Houston, AL)

*Burdick, Narcissus Catherine Hill (Oct 29, 1874 – Jul 11, 1938)  w/o Frank O. Burdick

Children of Frank O. Burdick & Narcissus C. Hill:   *Hilton, Kate Vashti Burdick (Oct 29, 1901 – Sep 26, 1991)5th Cousin 2Xs Removed 

Forrest Cemetery, Gadsden, AL (Etowah Co.) 700 South 15th Street, Gadsden, AL  35901  Phone: 256-549-4693 

*Campbell, Viola Margaret Burdick(Oct 31, 1896 – Apr 14, 1966)5th Cousin 2Xs Removed (Viola’s parents, Frank O. Burdick & Narcissus C. Hill are buried at the Fairview Cemetery, Double Springs, AL)

*Campbell, John Hosmer (Aug 4, 1890 – Oct 2, 1978)h/o Viola M. Burdick 

Tuscaloosa Memorial Park, Tuscaloosa, AL (Tuscaloosa Co.) 5434 Old Birmingham Hwy, Tuscaloosa, AL  35404   Phone: (205) 553-3141 

*Burdick, Alton Blaine(  Mar 7, 1904 – May 18, 1997)5th Cousin 2Xs Removed (Alton’s parents, Frank O. Burdick & Narcissus C. Hill are buried at the Fairview Cemetery, Double Springs, AL)

*Burdick, Nina Eleanor Falls (Jul 5, 1911 – Aug 20, 2003)w/o Alton B. Burdick

I scanned and attached the first two chapters in my first book on my family and am attaching it to this post.  It deals with the Wells and Stillman Lines of my family tree.  Here is the link to the attachment: Wells and Stillman Family Info out of Vol 1 of OUR FAMILY


Come visit my website at www.FamilyHistoryDetectives.net and let us help you trace your family tree!


April 7, 2010 – Meadow Lawn Cemetery April 7, 2010

Genealogy is a hobby that no matter how hard I try to “Finish”, I never will.  Case in point, today I found more burial information on some relatives.  Today I added the Spafford Cemetery in Spafford, NY.    Located on Mason Street at the South end of Mason after it crosses Clark St.   Buried there is Henry Burdick (Dec 16, 1755 – Apr 7, 1755) my  2nd Cousin 6Xs Removed and his wife Judith Maxson (Jul 19, 1756 – Jun 13, 1838) my 1st Cousin 6Xs Removed.  They are both cousins of mine who married each other.   When I tell friends of mine in casual conversation that I have 1st cousins in the family tree that married each other, they get all grossed out.   I wonder when in our societal consciousness it became taboo to marry a cousin?   150 years ago, I don’t think anyone would have batted an eye at it but today, well today it’s a different story.  I love Jane Austen books and in her books cousins are always marrying cousins.  Any thoughts …. let me hear em.       

So the CEMETERY OF THE DAY is…..  Meadow Lawn Cemetery, Petersburg, NY, From the junction of NY State Route 2 and NY State Route 22 in Petersburg, take Route 22 south towards Berlin. After about 0.25 of a mile, bear left onto Coon Brock Road. The cemetery will be on your left.

Hartshorn, Parmelia L. Wells (   Jan 29, 1840 – 1920) 4th Cousin 3Xs Removed

Hartshorn, Henry R.(Jan 1840 – 1919) h/o Parmelia Wells

Wells, Horace Waite (Aug 9, 1824 – 1907) 4th Cousin 3Xs Removed

Wells, Huldah Jane Young (Aug 9, 1836 – Jan 10, 1931) w/o Horace W. Wells

Wells, Clarence (Dec 1876 – 1947) 5th Cousin 2Xs Removed

Wells, Milo M. (Apr 1857 – 1937) 5th Cousin 2Xs Removed

Wells, Grace E Unknown (1869 – 1951) w/o Milo Wells

Wells, Mary A Shutters (Aug 1853/1862 – 1945) w/o Milo Wells

Wells, Clara (Jul 1889 – 1974) 6th Cousin 1X Removed

Wells, Willie E.  (Jun 1, 1861 – Apr 25, 1862) 5th Cousin 2Xs Removed

Wells, Arthur M.(Jun 4, 1874 – Jun 22, 1956) 5th Cousin 2Xs Removed


Come visit my website at www.FamilyHistoryDetectives.net and let us help you trace your family tree!


April 6, 2010 – Jonathan Russell Wells April 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jgeoghan @ 11:33 pm
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I got home this evening to find an envelope from my Aunt Dorothy.  I haven’t heard from her in over 20 years I’d guess.  I sent her a Christmas Card this past holiday in an attempt to reconnect with my Dad’s side of the family.  She sent me some family info.  Most of it I already had but among the bits and bobs was the death date of my great grandfather Thomas H. Geoghan – May 11, 1947.   No know I’d talked to knew the date so this will help me I’m sure, somehow.    The Geoghan’s are the elusive side of the family.  Irish immigrants who I think avoided census takes for decades (not unlike my father, so maybe it’s a family thing).  They first show up on the census in 1920 living at  #38 Ten Eyct Street, Brooklyn, NY.  We know they immigrated from Ireland to the us about 1866-69 and ended up in Unionville, CT where he met his wife and married her and had all their kids.  Their marriage record and some birth records are on file there but then all of a sudden they show up in NYC.  I’m guessing it was for economic reasons.  Must have been better job opportunities there than in rural CT.  They moved to a big irish neighborhood and may have known people there or had family.  But it’s a big gap in the census records from when they arrived til the 1920’s.  They missed the 1870, 80, 1900 and 10 census’.  I’ve scoured ancestry.com for info in Unionville and Brooklyn for them but no luck. 

So instead of a cemetery of the day today, I’ve decided to do a RELATIVE OF THE DAY.  Today’s relative of the day is my Great, Great Grandfather, Jonathan Russell Wells.  Jonathan was born Feb 26, 1819 in Hopkinton, RI and died Dec 8, 1864 also in Hopkinton.  On August 21, 1845, he married Martha Ann Rogers in Waterford, CT.  Martha’s family had been living in the Waterford/Montville area for many generations.  Both are buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Ashaway, RI.   I’ll post a couple of pictures I have of Jonathan and Martha as well of pictures of the house mentioned below.  Here are my notes out on my genealogy program on good old Grandpa Jon.

From: Washington County, Rhode Island Births 1770-1850, By Alden G. Beaman, Ph.D.  1976  Page 177…”Wells, Jonathan R. of Russel & Lydia  24 Feb 1819  Ho”
1850 Federal Census, August 1850, Hopkinton, RI

Jonathan R. Wells ….. Age: 31 ….. Occupation: Farmer ….. Place of Birth: RI
Others living in same household: Martha A (wife), Mellisa J. (daughter), Sylvia E (daughter),  Matilda M Holdredge (? Martha’s sister Sarah married a Holdredge),
1860 Federal Census, June 19, 1860, Hopkinton, RI

Jonathan R. Wells ….. Age: 41
Occupation: Manufacturer ….. Value of Real Estate: 1000 (might be different hard to read)
Value of Personal Estate: 4000 ….. Place of Birth: RI
Others living in same household: Martha A (wife), Mellisa J. (daughter), Sylvia E (daughter),  Everett J (son), William R. (son), Sarah Holdridge (?), Chester B. Stillman (?), Two other people that look like Henry and Lydia Cooey.
1863 Tax Records for Division No. 6 of Collection District number two of the state of Rhode Island.

Sept 1 ….. Name: Wells Jonathan R.  …. Location: Hopkinton
Quantity: 1 ….  Article: Carriage …Rate: 1.0  ….  Valuation: 70 (or 75)
Claim A, B or C: C …Total amount of Tax: 1

Sept 1 ….. Name: Wells Jonathan R. ….. Location: Hopkinton
Article: Income … Valuation: 7800.18
Claim A, B or C: A …Total amount of Tax: 234

Sept 1 ….. Name: Wells Jonathan R. ….. Location: Hopkinton
Article: Income … Valuation: 7881.04
Claim A, B or C: A …Total amount of Tax: 236.43

Right above Jonathan on this tax list is: Wells A.S. and Company…Manufacturer….
1864 Tax Records for Division No. 6 of Collection District number two of the state of Rhode Island.

May 1 ….. Name: Wells Jonathan R.  ….. Location: Hopkinton
Article: Income … Valuation: 9308.00
Claim A, B or C: A …Total amount of Tax: 279.24

May 1 ….. Name: Wells Jonathan R. ….. Location: Hopkinton
Quantity: 1 ….  Article: Carriage …Rate: 1.0  ….  Valuation: 75
Claim A, B or C: C …Total amount of Tax: 1

Right below Jonathan on this tax list is: Wells A.S. and Company…Manufacturer….
1864 Tax Records for Division No. 6 of Collection District number two of the state of Rhode Island.
(this is a different page than the above 1864 records)

No Date ….. Name: Wells Jonathan R. ….. Location: Hopkinton
Article: Income … Valuation: 9512.00 ….. Tax Rate: 5 …Total amount of Tax: 475.60
History of Washington and Kent Counties, Page 841-842

Jonathan R. Wells was born February 26th, 1819 in Wellstown, and after his school days were concluded, entered the Bethel Mill where he became thoroughly conversant with the appliances connected with the spinning department.  Later, in company with his uncle Lester Crandall, he became lesee of the Laure Dale Mill, and afterward operated the Ashaway mill.  He then formed a business association with his brother Randall, and with him assumed control of the Bethel mill, which he successfully managed for several years.  Mr. Wells soon extended his milling operations, and with his brother controlled at various times mills in Washington county and points adjacent, including those already mentioned, the Woodville and Oakland mills, and the Clark Falls mill in North Stonington, in Connecticut.   He was ranked among the representative manufacturers of the state, evinced great sagacity in business operations, and possessed a happy faculty of controlling and winning the loyalty of those in his employ.  As a diversion from the arduous labors involved in a life of active business, he gave much attention to a farm he owned and improved, in the town, known as the Grinman farm.
Mr. Wells formerly a director of the Niantic Bank and president of the Ashaway National bank.  A whig in his political affiliations and later a republican, he represented his district in the state legislature, and bore a leading part in all measures affecting the development of his town.  In religion a Seventh Day Baptist, he was a member of the church of that denomination at Hopkinton City.
Mr. Wells was married August 21st, 1845, to Martha A., daughter of Daniel Rogers, of Waterford, Conn.  Their children are: Melissa Jane, Sylvia E., Everett J., William Rogers and Martha Lillian.  William R., the only survivor of this number, married Pauline R., daughter of Phineas Stillman, of Alfred Centre, N.Y. and has four children: Everett S., Sylvia A., Orpha and Willie R.
From the Sabbath Recorder, December 15, 1864
“In Hopkinton, Dec. 8th, 1864, of pulmonary disease, Col. J.R. Wells, President of the Ashaway Bank, in the 46th year of his age.  A man of great energy  of character, whose loss will be seriously felt, not only by his own family, but by the community at large.”
The Westerly Sun, November 7, 1966
Ashaway to Lose One of its Historic Homes

The Jonathan B. Wells residence on Broad Street, Ashaway, one of the palatial homes in the early history of the community, is being removed from the scene.   The home, now the property of the Ashaway Line and Twine Manufacturing Company, will fall under the wrecker’s big hammer tomorrow when William Latter starts to tear the three-story structure to pieces.
Once it is removed from the site across the road from Our Lady of Victory Church, the area will be leveled and landscaped, and strangers passing through the village will never know a grand old house once stood on the spot.
L. Robert Crandall, an executive of the Ashaway Line and Twine Manufacturing Company, said the aged condition of the house and the high cost of maintenance has led the company to take the removal action.
The Wells house today still holds some of the great architecture of the past, but it is a far cry from the magnificent house the late Jonathan R. Wells built in 1857. There was a huge piazza all the way around the square type building, and on its roof rested a cupola, similar to the lookouts from which anxious wives watched and waited for their seafaring husbands to come back from the sea.
A fancy wooden fence encircled the property, and the Wells Family, a most prominent family of its time, owned stables and horses and had hired help to care for them.
The late Jonathan R. Wells in his day, was an illustrious and   highly   regarded   man,   a banker   and   businessman   who owned the largest house in town.   He   was   president and cashier of the National Bank in Ashaway, and owned   three mills, the   Ashaway   Mill, the Bethel Mill and the mill in Clark Falls.

Mrs. Sylvia Eccleston, Jonathan R. Wells’ grandaughter; remembers the house very well; She was born in it and lived there for many years. Her father was the late William R, Wells, and she said he was two years old when her grandfather built the home.
William R. Wells, like his father, was a mill man too and was active and prosperous in the industry for years.
Mrs. Eccleston recalled the many rooms, the wonderful stairways and the strong construction, and of the many rooms she said, “I used to clean and take care of them” She now resides at 8 Spring I Street here in town. According to the family history, she said the first Wells to come to America was a friend of Roger Williams, and it was Roger Williams who obtained for him a grant of land from the Indians in Hopkinton where Well’s resided for years.  Wellstown in Hopkinton was named after the family, and not far from Wellestown Road near the Cottrell Farm is a Wells Burial Grounds.
Mrs. Eccleston recalls the plans for the doomed house were copied from the southern homes, and while it lacked the columns so characteristic of the south, there were smaller columns on the porch that encircled the building.
The Ashaway Line and Twine Manufacturing Company has owned the residence for nearly 20 years.
But now its number is up and tomorrow there will be the pounding of heavy hammers as time takes its toll of another landmark of the past.
(Our Lady of Victory Church: 169B Main St. Ashaway, RI 02804 (401) 377-8830)
DEATH: From: http://www.geocities.com/sneezykat2003/NewEnglandWells/RhodeIslandWells.html

HOPKINTON, RI. DEATH RECORDS: 1-Jonathan R.:~1819, Hopkinton-Dec 8 1864, 45 yrs., 9 mos., 12 days, Ashaway, RI. White. Mar. Manufacturer. Consumption. HO 1:10.  Mar: Martha A. (nee?)
A Modern History of New London County, CT, edited by Benjamin Tinkham Marshall, Lewis Historical Pub.Comp., 1922, v.3, Page 215

CHARLES HENRY HOLDREDGE, “Mr Holdredge is a son of Hibbard Henry and Sarah (Rogers) Holdredge, and comes of one of the old familes of New London county.”
“He died in Waterford in 1853, and is buried there.  Of the nine children of his union two are now living; Amanda, now Mrs. Greene, who since her husband’s death has made her home with her two children in Springfield, Massachusetts; and Charles Henry.”
“After the close of the Civil War, Mr. Holdredge returned to Ashaway, Rhode Island, where he was in the employ of Colonel Wells, in the woolen mills, for some time associated with A.L. Wells, in the wagon shop, which the latter conducted there, working also for a short time”

–Personal Note: I’m wondering if “Colonel Wells” might be Jonathan Russell Wells.  Jonathan was a manufacturer in Ashaway and would have been Charles’ Uncle.  Charles’ mother Sarah was the sister of Jonathan Wells’ wife (Martha Ann Rogers)


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April 5, 2010 – Stillman Village Cemetery April 5, 2010

As is most of my research these days, today I worked on my family cemetery listing.  This giant Opus of a listing of all the burial places of my family.  I think most of the info on the family is in there now.  Just need to add in maps, locations and some pictures to jazz it up a little.  Hope to have it done in a week or so.  It’s up to 60 pages now. 

So today’s CEMETERY OF THE DAY is…. The Stillman Village Cemetery.  Here is the info out of my book on the cemetery and my relatives buried there.

Stillman Village Cemetery, Petersburg, NY Stillman Cemetery is off of Stillman Rd. There is no road that brings you into the cemetery or any real path up to it. It does not have any easy access and is a very small area. Most of the headstones are unreadable.

Wells, John Sr.( Dec 3, 1763 – Oct 17, 1821) 1st Cousin 5Xs Removed

Wells, Sarah Rider/Ryder(1770 – May 4, 1831) w/o John Wells Sr.

Wells, Elizabeth (1806 – Dec 18, 1854) 2nd Cousin 4Xs Removed

Wells, Jason (1808 – May 27, 1835) 2nd Cousin 4Xs Removed

Wells, Alonson (Aug 22, 1810 – Feb 6, 1850) 2nd Cousin 4Xs Removed

Wells, Polly (1790 – May 21, 1825) 2nd Cousin 4Xs Removed

Wells, Nancy (Nov 25, 1793 – Nov 25, 1875) 2nd Cousin 4Xs Removed

Wells, Jason (1843 – Aug 15, 1846) 3rd Cousin 3Xs Removed

I’ve never been to this cemetery.   It’s up in Rensselaer County and when I was up there last year, I was only able to visit ones in Allegany County.  I hope to get up to Rens.  County in the next year or so.  I have no pictures of this cemetery or the stones.  So… if you do, I’d sure like to know.

I posted pictures from the Randall Cemetery (see last week), which you can see  to the right.


Come visit my website at www.FamilyHistoryDetectives.net and let us help you trace your family tree!


April 3, 2010 – The 2010 Census April 4, 2010

Busy day today.  Didn’t do any new research on the tree.   So you know you’re a genealogy geek when you get excited that your 2010 census came in the mail.  So I filled it out and mailed it back in.  I have to say I’m a little disappointed that they don’t ask more questions.  They don’t ask you what you do for a living or any specific information that would be helpful to future generations .    What’s going to happen 72 years from now when my grandchildren are researching me and my parents?   I mean from a census point of view, I’d know more about my grandparents then they’d know about me.   So…. I figured, they’ll be scanning my census and that scan will be their for them to see…. so… I wrote these future generations a few notes on my census.   Wish I could be around to see their faces.  :)

So speaking of the census, I watched a pretty good movie today.  “Population 436″  I’d never heard of it before.  It’s about a census taker who goes to investigate a town that ‘s population hasn’t changed from 436 people for over 100 years.   Strangeness ensues.


Come visit my website at www.FamilyHistoryDetectives.net and let us help you trace your family tree!


April 2, 2010 – Dead People don’t need Addresses April 2, 2010

Worked on my cemetery listing more today.  My biggest pet peeve about cemetery research is that cemeteries don’t seem to have street addresses.  My life would be considerably easier if they did.  I dont’ know why they don’t, They’re on streets, they must have some official street number.  I mean I guess they don’t need to publish it, the people there aren’t going to be getting a lot of mail but still, would it kill someone to slap the street number on the post out front!   When I find info where someone is buried, I look them up on www.findagrave.com to see if they are there.  If they are, there might be a picture of the gravestone there or at least a photo of the cemetery.  Most cems there have a map to where the cem is but not all.  Some will just have a town, county, state listing and some just county, state.  Still, tons of great info there.  From the map on findagrave, I go to www.vpike.com a great website where you can put in a street, town, state and it will give you a 360 degree street view of where you’re looking for (most of the time, not all streets are in there, main streets mostly but some side ones as well).  From here, it will give you an approximate street address of what you’re looking at and if I’m lucky enough to be looking at the front of the cemetery, Voila!  Sometimes, it works, sometimes not.  Like I said yesterday, what did we do before the internet!

Nothing to do with the above but I was thinking yesterday about my trip up to RI, CT, NY last fall.  One of the big difference between those states and FL where I live is the surprising lack of rock walls in FL.  I love old rock walls and New England is crazy with them.  I don’t know why I love them.  Maybe it’s because they were probably there for generations of my family to look at and sit on.  They have permanency.  Orlando if decidedly un-permanent.  The whole town is transient and temporary.  The few rock walls here are at Disney and I hate to break it to you but as a Disney employee, I can tell you that rock wall… it’s fake and probably fiberglass or concrete to boot.

So since I have like hundreds of cemeteries I’m working on, I decided to do “Cemetery of the Day” and showcase my relatives in that cemetery for a day.  So today’s cemetery is: The Randall Cemetery in North Stonington, CT

Randall Cemetery, North Stonington, CT   41 Norwich-Westerly Road, North Stonington, CT.   Buried here is Dr. Thomas Thompson Wells (  1790 – Oct 7, 1842 ) my   3rd Cousin 4Xs Removed.  Thomas was married to Desire W. Randall which may explain why he is buried here at the Randall Cemetery.  Also here is Abigail M. (Randall )  Chesebro (Apr 26, 1773 – Jan 20, 1849) who is my 3rd Cousin 5Xs Removed.  I visited this cemetery last fall.  It only has a few stones but is in a large stone enclosure.  I got the impression that the whole enclosure probably had graves but that only a few stones seemed to remain. 

The Randall Cemetery is on property currently owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.  Prior to their purchasing the land, the property was known as Randall’s Ordinary. 

I found this description of Randall’s Ordinary on line:


“Much more than your typical country inn “getaway,” Randall’s Ordinary Inn & Restaurant offers a unique opportunity to experience life in the 1600s. The farmhouse, built in 1685 by John Randall II, features our three oldest guest rooms as well as our restaurant. The barn and silo, built in 1819, house our lobby, office and twelve guest rooms. Three more rooms are located in a log cabin that rests atop an open field just yards from the restaurant. Ideal for a family reunion or a corporate retreat, this spacious cabin features a large kitchen and living room area with a majestic stone fireplace. Randall’s Ordinary offers authentic colonial cuisine prepared in an open-hearth fireplace. Enjoy the warmth of a crackling fire as a harpist spins colonial melodies. More than just a dining experience, it is a cultural experience, one that transports you all the way back to 1685.”


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Day One April 1, 2010

So I decided to start a blog to share my research on the Wells Family of Ashaway, RI.  Of course when I say the Wells Family, I also mean all allied families which would also include the Stillman , Rogers, Crandall, Weber, Erbig, Green, Vincent, Maxson families and many more.   I started working on my family tree for s school social studies project back when I was in 8th grade.  I was lucky that I was just one in a line of many generations of members of my family that had been interested in recording our history.  I’ve worked on the tree off and on for years after that but about ten years ago,  I got back into it full time because of all the new information that was coming out on the internet.  What would a genealogist do these days without the internet!!!!  It’s such a blessing and a curse as well.  So much information, so hard to tell what’s really accurate!  So many people will publish their family tree on the internet and not bother to check the facts.  Family rumor quickly turns into gospel online.  

So my current projects include creating a book with all the known burial places of our family.  This has turned out to be a much larger project than originally anticipated.  My first pass at this project yielded about 30 pages.  This was in one of my Family Tree books that I’ve made for a small number of relatives and family enthusiasts.  My “update” to that edition is now over 55 pages in length and includes none of the information in the first edition.  I’m limiting what I list to only those burials inside the USA.  So far their are 20 states and well over 120 cemeteries.  Whew!  The greatest concentrations are in NY, CT and RI with runners up of OH and WI.   I’ve found this project to be a real eye opener in showing how the family migrated in waves from the RI/CT/NY are out West.   before a couple of years ago, I really had no info on the wave of the family that migrated West except for a great Aunt Sylvia Wells who went West.  I didn’t really have much info on her but a couple of year ago I came across this book called Matthew James of New Hampshire.  This book opened up that whole side of the family. 

I’m also working on a series of articles for my next book that are on the houses of our family.  They include the Randall Wells house in Ashaway, RI, The Phineas Crandall House in Alfred, NY, The Thomas Wells House in Hopkinton, The Thurston-Wells House in Hopkinton, RI, the Jonathan Wells House in Hopkinton and a few others.

So, this is day number one of my blog.  I’m going to try to update everyday weekday with things that I discover.  So are you a Wells Family researcher?  If so I’d love to hear from you.



Come visit my website at www.FamilyHistoryDetectives.net and let us help you trace your family tree!



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