1818 Immigration Story: From England to the American Frontier

This got to me:

I am reading “Notes on a journey in America from the coast of Virginia to the territory of Illinois,” by Morris Birkbeck, an Englishman who decides to settle in the American frontier and essentially writes a travel book/memoir about the journey. It can be found on Google Books here.

I don’t know how it ends yet, but if you would like to read about a newcomer’s impressions upon landing in Virginia from England, past Washington, D.C., still recovering from the ravages of the British sacking of the city, etc., I recommend it.

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MDLandRec.Net A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland

Did you know you can view ALL Maryland land records online!?!?!?



A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland

A Joint eGovernment Service of the Maryland Judiciary and the Maryland State Archives

The Maryland Judiciary, the 24 elected Court Clerks of Maryland and the Maryland State Archives have joined in partnership to provide up to date access to all verified land record instruments in Maryland. This service is currently being provided at no charge to individuals who apply for a user name and password. Users are encouraged to provide feedback and inform the Maryland State Archives of any problems encountered.

via MDLandRec.Net A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland.

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Why share your genealogy on WeRelate.org?

I am considering adding this tool to my genealogy toolbox. This seems like a good way to collaborate on dead-end relatives with multiple researchers. It also looks like a good place to gather stories of a common ancestor from descendants with different perspectives and traditions.

These two uses are clearly not the only ways in which this site/tool could prove useful, but these are the ways I am thinking of using it right now. I encourage you to have a look at werelate.org, and let me know what you think of using this tool for genealogical collaboration and sharing.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Wordless Wednesday: Hay Baler, circa 1920

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Amanuensis Monday: Simon Lambertson (wife Laura Upright) Revolutionary War Pension Application File from Ulster Co., NY

This is no known relation to me, but I run a Lamberson surname website, and this is my first foray into documenting some of the Dutch Lambertson families who populated New York State for it. I have seen a few Revolutionary War pensions, and comparatively, Simon Lambertson’s settlement of $120 annually was very high.


New York

Lambertson, Simon (wife Laura) R6101

New York 30,800

Simon Lambertson of Ulster Co. in the State of New York who was a Sergeant in the company commanded vt Captain Riker in the Regt. Commanded by Col. Cortland in the N. York line for 2 years

Inscribed on the Roll of N. York at the rate of 120 Dollars – cents per annum to commence on the 4th day of March, 1831

Certificate of Pension issued thie 17th day of August 1836 and Sept. to January

Mitchell, Shawangunk. N. Y.

Arrears to the 4th of March ’31 600.00

Semi-anl. Allowances ending to Sep. “ 60.00

—- —-


{Revolutionary Claim Act June 7, 1832}

Recorded by D. Brown, cleark

Book E-2 Vol. 4, page 42


In the District of New York

Ulster County –

On the 5th day of July 1820, personally appeared in open court in the Court of Common Pleas it being a Court of Record for the said County of Ulster: Simon Lambertson aged sixty-two years and nine months resident in the said County of Ulster who being duly sworn according to Law doth on his oath declare that he served in the revolutionary war as follows. Enlisted March 13th 1776 with State of New York in Capt. Henry Riker’s Company Coll.Richmore’s Regt. New York Troops in the line of the State of New York; served until 1777 when he was discharged in Orange County NY – then enlisted 1777 in Fishkill in the State of New York in Captain Jonathan Hallet’s Company Coll. Phillip Cortland’s Regt. New York Troops for during the war and served until the 9th June 1783 when he was discharged in the town of New Windsor in the County of Orange N.Y. And has received a pension under of the Act of March 18th 1818. One hundred and thirty one Dollars and seventy three cents on the 4th September 1819 and $48 on the 4th March 1820 and that he is a laborer.

And I do solemnly swear that I was a resident Citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818 And that I have not since that time by gift sale or any manner disposed of my property or any part thereof with intent so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of the Act of Congress entitled An Act To Provide for Certain Persons Engaged in the Land and Naval Service of the United States in the Revolutionary War passed the 18th day of March 1818 and that I have not nor has any person in trust for me any property or securities Contracts or Debts due to me nor have I any income other than what is contained in the following inventory and by me subscribed except necessary Cloathing & Bedding viz. no Real Estate. Two Hogs worth $5 each 3 Pigs worth $1.50 no other property except household furniture. One son Selar aged nine years one daughter Maria Catherine aged six years one daughter Elizabeth aged 4 years And one daughter Hannah aged 3 years. My wife is 48 years. Deposant himself is unable to support himself from age and infirmity and that he was in the Battle of White Plains Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Saratoga and in the battle in which Cornwallis was taken.

Simon Lambertson

Sworn to and subscribed on this day July 1820 in open Court before me Lucas Elmendorf first Judge of the Court above mentioned


To the Hon. The Secretary of War

Dear Sir being a Pensioner of the United States under the Act of March 1818 I beg to State to your Honour that I am set forth in my Certificate as a private in the army of the Revolution having lately learned that a sergeant is entitled to more pay and having always served as such in the Army I beg leave to explain a mistake must have taken place in my application originally for a pension (my application was made by — — – in the year 1819.) and a cetificate forwarded to me having date 30 April 1819. Signed J. C. Calhurn No. 10.034. I expect from the fact that the said certificate so recd. And by me now held. My application must have been made as a private when in fact I was a sarjeant and could not have understood that part of my affidavit which set me forth as a private (if it did so) – I will briefly set forth my enlistments and officers and if there is any record in the department it will be so found I first enlisted for one year under Capt. Riker as a Sarjeant in the militia in thr Regiment of Col. Richmore I think it was in the Spring of 1776 and was marched to Quebeck and from thence back to Long Isand and was in the Engagement at Brookline & Cooped? into ikw? Took from thence to Hardrain? Heights thene to White Plains at which engagement I was in there and I think to Peckokill? Where the Company of captain Riker joined the Regiment of Col Cortland (I think it was later in the fall of 1776 in the latter part of December about the sam time General Washington took the Hessian prisoners at Trenton) when I then enlisted in Colonel Cortland’s Regiment for 7 years or during the War and still continued in the Company of Capt. Riker until his death when Capt. Hollet took the Command of said Company. I was in all the Engagements of said Regiment of Col. Cortland from its first organization to the peace under Capt. Richard Hallet as a Serjeant – and was discharged at New Bergh? At Washington’s Head Quarters and recd. a Written discharge which I gave to a merchant at New Windsor to whom I sold my bounty land – and cannot tell what he done with it but presume he left it at the land office at Washngton or the Capitol of this State N. Y.

I wish you to inform me whether from the Records & from the above statement of facts it will be sufficient for me to send your Honour my Certificate that I now hold to entitle me to the benefit of the Act of June 7th 1832. and the pay of Serjeant – or whether I must support my present related story by prooff – which I am abundantly able to do by 5 living witnesses who served with and know me in said Regminet of Col. Cortland – I am well satisfied that my present application will conflict with my original applicaion in 1819. but rely upon the truth of my can? for explanation and as far as the original application I could not have understood it – there were a number of other applications made out by E. P. Kaim? On the same day and they were hurried off. Be so kind to address your answer to me at the Shawanjunk? Post Office Ulster County N.Y. And confer a favor upon a Humble but thankful individual. Simon Lambertson

Shawangunk N.Y

7th July 1836


State of New York

County of Orange

On this 8th day of March A.D. One Thousand Eight hundred and fifty three personally appearee before me James W. Fowler Surrogate in and for the County of Orange in the State of New York aforesaid Laura Lambertson a resident of said county aged 81 years who being duly sworn before me the Surrogate in open Court and on her oath states that she is the widow of Simon Lambertson deceased a late resident of the county of Ulster in said State who was a soldier and served in and during the war of the Revolution and that she makes this declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress approved of February 3rd 1853 Entitled an Act Granting Pensions to Certain widows of soldiers who served in and during the war of the Revolution. She further declares that she was married to her husband the said Simon Lambertson in the county of Ulster in said state on or about the fifth day of July 1810 by Moses Freeley who was then a pastor of the Shevangarde Church, and that her said husband died on or about the 23 day of June 1845, and that he was in the Receipt of a Pension at the time of his death at the rate of $120 per annum under the Act of Congress passed March 18th 1818, and that she has not intermarried since the death of her said husband, and that she is still a widow. She further states that her name was Laura Upright before her marriage to her said husband the said Simon Lambertson deceased. Sworn to & subscribed on the day and year above written before me James W. Fowler Surrogate

Laura ( her X mark) Lambertson


State of New York

County of Orange

I hereby certify that the foregoing declaration was made, subscribed and sowrn to before me James W. Fowler Surrogate of Orange County in open Court.

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Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter: President Obama Descends from 14 Revolutionary War Soldiers

President Obama Descends from 14 Revolutionary War Soldiers

An article by Rosemary E. Bachelor in the Suite101.com web site claims that

President Obama can count 14 Revolutionary War soldiers in his family tree. Indeed, the further back you go, the more ancestors you have in common with others. Hundreds of thousands of Americans share at least one of these ancestors with the President, making them distant cousins.

The article gives brief, one-paragraph biographies of each Revolutionary War soldier found in Obama’s ancestry.

You can read the full article at http://tinyurl.com/34ukoa3

via Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter: President Obama Descends from 14 Revolutionary War Soldiers.

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Sunday’s Obituary: Thomas Jefferson “Jeff” Andrews

This was originally published in the newspaper of Vandalia, IL, approximately the last week of December, 1939:

Thomas J. Andrews, father of Mrs. Murl Henderson of this city, who had been ill for three weeks with heart complications died at his home one mile south of Mulberry Grove December 17 at 3:30 in the afternoon. He was 74 years 3 months and 27 days old.
Thomas Jefferson Andrews was the son of Thomas and Eliza Elam Andrews, born in Fayette County August 20 1865. He left this county 40 years ago end moved to Bond County to the home where he died. He was married October 7 1890 to Mary Viola Carroll, who died April 18, 1936. He is survived by three sons. Murl. of Greenville; Wayne, of Libertyville; Glen, of Pleasant Mound Township, Bond county; two daughters, Mrs. Silas Crutchley, of Pleasant Mound; Mrs. Murl Henderson. of this city; and seven grandchildren.
The body was cared for at the Runells Funeral home in Mulberry Grove and then taken to the home of Mrs. Crutchley Monday afternoon where it remained until funeral services which were held Tuesday morning, 11 o’clock at the Christian church with Rev. Dellas Newby officiating. The body was brought to McInturff for burial.
Card of Thanks
To those who expressed their sympathy in so many beautiful and practical ways during our recent bereavement, the death of Thomas Andrews, we extend our heartfelt thanks.

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Black Sheep Sunday: Edmond Henderson

The Family Of Wayward Edmond And Saintly Sarah

First, let me tell you the facts, then I’ll mix in some fiction, and hopefully then come back around to find some truth in this, my family’s tale…  Edmond David Henderson was born 13 Sep., 1849 in Lapeer Co., MI, to Zina A. Henderson and Orit L. Lee. Zina was the grandson of James Henderson, Revolutionary soldier, buried in Henderson, New York. The Hendersons were Scots-Irish.

O.K., now for the juicy part… One day in the early 1890’s Edmond simply disappeared. He was never seen again by his wife or children. He reportedly wrote a very few letters from Michigan, but one day the letters stopped, and not another word was heard from him.

Of course, the shock to the family was immense, and it still reverberates through the family today. Growing up, I heard a variety of stories about Edmond’s disappearance, and some are pure fiction. My favorite was probably the story my grandfather, Murl Lee Henderson, Edmond’s grandson, liked to tell. It goes something like this:

Warning: TALL TALE ALERT!!! Edmond was a horse doctor, the kind that knew how to doctor up a horse right before a race so he would run faster. Of course, the horse might drop dead afterwards, but then that was another matter. The trick was to win the race and not get caught.

Inevitably, one day, Edmond did indeed get caught practicing his illicit brand of medicine, which no doubt involved massive doses of coca-based medicines (i.e., cocaine). So Edmond was obliged to quickly and quietly exit the scene, stage West. Running from the law, he ended up in the Oklahoma Territory, where it is said he was scalped by the Indians.

…I should say that this is my interpretation of Grandpa’s story, not his verbatim account of it. GrandpaMy grandfather, Murl Lee Henderson, around 1940. He was always a natty fellow. would tell the tale with a unique combination of reserve, bluster and jauntiness that I could never duplicate. He was a man of very few words, but on most occasions, the few he offered were gems. Growing up, my brother and I would sit in his room for hours watching TV with him and waiting for a quip. All the while, Grandma would walk to and fro, talking incessantly (while Grandpa said little, Grandma easily made up for his reticence). Eventually (and often just as Grandma was out of earshot), Grandpa would say a very few words related to Grandma’s roving conversation, and my brother and I would find ourselves on the floor, rolling and laughing, prompting Grandma to reappear with hands on hips, insistently asking, “What’s so funny!?” So I guess I would say that a whole story told by Grandpa was a memorable treat.

Left with a family to raise by herself, Sarah worked tirelessly and became a much-revered matriarch. She did endless amounts of laundry in Fillmore and did whatever work that needed to be done to get her family by. Sarah lived to be 96 and was beloved by everyone who knew or met her. My Mother is still inspired by her and vows to live to be 100, an age her dear great grandma aspired to but did not quite make due to tripping over some stairs at church on Easter Sunday. (While taking a picture outside the church on Easter Sunday, Sarah backed up and tripped over the stairs up to the front door, breaking her hip I believe.) If history is any indication, Mom has a good shot at achieving her great grandma’s goal. It’s in the genes: Hendersons often live into advanced age.

In Fillmore’s Glendale Cemetery, there is a large stone that in my mind stands out from the others near the front of the cemetery. On it are written the names of Sarah A. and Edmond D. Henderson; Edmond‘s date of death is glaringly uncarved, and we wondered about him for over 100 years.

Now let me fill in some more details… Edmond’s father left Michigan in 1859, bound for Illinois, with his wife and sons Zina AlfonzoEdmond DavidCharles Freesnant M. His sons grew into men and married, and then things started to go very badly for Zina. First, his wife Orit(Oretta) died some time in the 1880s and Zina remarried to Lucy Henry Moon in 1888. Next his son Alfonzo died in about 1890. Alfonzo had been a school teacher, and he died in the middle of the term, so Edmond taught the remainder of the term. Then son Charles died in September,  1892. Zina’s second wife also died about 1892.

Whatever reason Edmond had for running away, Zina was no doubt distraught at seeing his family wither. Zina ended up returning to Michigan and living with his sister there, where he is last seen in the 1900 census in the home ofhis sister, Helen Groff and husband in Oakland County, just over the line from his previous home in Lapeer County. There is little doubt that Edmond decided to go with his father, but his leaving without a single word of parting is jarring.

Why did Edmond leave? While it is true that Edmond was his day’s equivalent of a veterinarian, noone really believes there was anything untoward involving fixing horses for races. Edmond’s father, Zina, was known to raise stock on his farm, and it would seem that Edmond had a taste for working with the animals. What is known is that there was a certain amount of scandal involving one of Sarah’s close relatives and Edmond. This certain person was branded home-wrecker by the family. As a boy we would go with Grandma and Grandpa to put flowers on the graves of all our ancestors every year for Memorial Day. I still remember walking past her grave in McInturff Cemetery, Vandalia, IL, with wariness and a scowl. Perhaps this scandal and the grief of Edmond and his father were the impetus for Edmond’s cowardice. In any case, this theory is likely the best answer we will ever have as to why he left.

Having started genealogy as a 9-year-old boy, I loved going to see all the relatives that Grandma and Grandpa constantly visited and hearing their stories. However, my favorite trips were those to see AuntAunt Ethel at her 100th birthday party; with a daughter and granddaughter. Identity Pending..Ethel, Edmond’s ancient daughter. Knowing the story of Edmond could whip me into a frenzy of fascination, my grandfather ordered me not to ask Aunt Ethel about her father so as to not upset her. Being a typical Henderson, Aunt Ethel was no China doll, however, and I would go to see her and gently ask my dear old Great-Great Aunt what questions I could, waiting for the day that she would mention her father to me without my asking. Indeed one day she did tell me about him, and you have read the bulk of what I remember of her account. She asked me why I had not inquired of him before, and I explained thatGrandpa wouldn’t let me. (I was a handful as a child, but disobeying Grandpa on a matter like this was truly unthinkable.) While she dismissed the notion that she would get upset at talking about her father at the age of 98 or 99, she was certainly as wistful as one so old can be when talking of him. When she finished, I told her solemnly that maybe I could find out what had happened to him, and she inferred that finding her father would truly be something wonderful to her.

Aunt Ethel’s granddaughter, Sharon Cothern Carroll (my family partner in the hunt), and I were hot on his trail for the first time in over 100 years. We believed that the Edmond Henderson, veterinary surgeon, listed in the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 Amesbury, Essex Co., MA, censuses, is our ancestor. One day, in the summer of 2005, I got a letter for the Amesbury, MA, town clerk. In it was the death certificate of one Edmond Henderson, who died 19 Nov., 1938, in Amesbury, Essex Co., MA, of stomach cancer. His parents? Zina Henderson and Oriette Lee.

We found him, Aunt Ethel. We have found your father.

via Greg Lamberson’s Genealogy Website – Edmond Henderson Family.

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Family Recipe Friday: Grandma’s Devil’s Food Cake

Before we found this recipe after my grandmother’s death, there was serious talk of bulldozing her house in hope of finding this recipe, which perhaps was stored in some secret chamber underneath the floorboards.

Looking at this recipe today, it almost makes my heart stop, given its 4 cups of sugar and half cup of shortening for what isn’t that large a cake to begin with.

I am posting this as-is, with no explanation of how to perform the soft ball test or how to know when milk is properly sour. The mice got to this copy and chewed off the word ‘devil,’ and I only slightly pause to wonder why those demonic mice would want to hide the devil’s hand in this concoction.

Here it is, world: The Secret Chocolate Cake Recipe. May God forgive me.

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NSSAR Research Library, Louisville, KY: Almost Done! Watch The Video

The NSSAR is on track for their members-only ribbon cutting ceremony on the 25 of September and their goal of opening to the public in the latter half of October! This library, which is made up of a significant number of genealogies, is an exciting expansion of the offerings of the Sons of the American Revolution.

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