Friday, January 25, 2013

Joshua Barton of Liberty, Sullivan, New York: who was his wife?

Joshua Barton of Sullivan County, New York, and his wife Sarah conveyed land to Robert M. Weasmer, Alonzo Weasmer, and to W. L. Martin in 1859 as recorded in the county deed records. These records are referred to in later newspaper accounts. W.L Martin and his wife Eliza Jane later conveyed the land to John Young. The deed transfers are documented in the Monticello, New York Republican in 1912 (viewable in digital form on Old Fulton Postcards).

Sarah, wife of Joshua Barton, is identified as Sarah Acker by Adolph Law Voge in his records of the Barton family. Joshua Barton was born in about 1792 and Sarah was born in about 1796 in Westchester. Sarah has been identified as a sister of Alonzo and Robert Weasmer in some research of the Barton family, but this appears to be erroneous. A genealogist who viewed the land records indicated that this was the relationship. The interpretation has been passed on, as often happens.

Alonzo Weasmer was born in about 1830, and can be traced through the census. His siblings were born within the same decade, with a younger brother born in 1840. Alonzo and Robert Weasmer's father, Walter, was born in 1805. Sarah cannot possibly be the sister of the Weasmer sons. She would be older than her father (and this cannot be) and too much older than her brothers to be their sister.

Robert Weasmer did marry a Lora Martin in Sullivan County in 1858 (see transcription of Windham Journal records as transcribed on rootsweb), which may be where the idea of a sister relationship came from.

If Sarah is an Acker, as identified by Voge, who are her parents? There seem to be some Barton/Acker connections identified by Voge but not completely spelled out. Understanding the connections could illuminate and inform research on both the Barton and the Acker lines.

Small picture: The hope here is that someone will add some information or ideas on these people of the past.
Big picture: The main point is that the researcher needs to look at all clues, and to get as close to the actual source records as possible.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Civil War Carte de Visite id'd!

A Carte de Visite in a family photo album shows a man in Civil War uniform.The name on the back is W. Pyle, and the photograph was taken in Cincinnati, all good clues.

I was fortunate to find that a similar Carte de Visite of the same individual was for sale online, with the additional information that this was a Lieutenant General in the Union Army, and that the picture was taken in July of 1868, about six months before he died. I tried to find a Lieutenant General with a first name beginning with W, and last name of Pyle, who lived in Ohio. I was unsuccessful.

It is always good to let tough challenges in genealogy take a rest, and then go back to them with an open mind. Today I thought--his name might be George Washington Pyle, and he might have gone by Washington. George Washington was a very common first name.

Bingo! --George Washington Pyle, born in 1846, attended a military academy and was a second lieutenant in the Union Army of the Civil War. He died in December of 1868 of consumption, a common affliction. His service is documented in the National Parks Soldiers and Sailors System, and his biography appears online on other websites.

I don't yet know why my family would have had his picture, but biographies of his mother reveal that she was involved in the Underground Railroad, which was an important interest of my ancestors. The Pyle family appears to be of Quaker origins in Pennsylvania, and W. Pyle's mother's heritage is of New Hampshire.