Saturday, October 22, 2016

Oswald Freeland ~ 1851 Passport Application

As I shared in my previous post about my 4th great grandfather, David Freeland, a fifth cousin of mine shared a privately published family history that indicated that he had one child born after emigrating from Scotland with his wife and older children.

According to the book, son Oswald Freeland was born in Canada after the family arrived there in 1821.

The only document I have found that mentions him by name is an 1851 U.S. Passport application (referenced in the family history). This is the oldest passport application I have in my family database.

NARA Series: Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Roll #37: 23 may 1851-30 Sep 1851. Record for Oswald S. Freeland, 1851.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

David Freeland, 4th Great Grandfather in 1830 U.S. Census

Almost three years ago, I connected with a fifth cousin via Ancestry because we share David Freeland as a common fourth great grandfather. (Her tree had a death date for his wife and I wondered what the source was.) This cousin shared some information about David that she had obtained from a privately published family history about another ancestral line. (This genealogy is not a Freeland family genealogy.)

Recently, she shared images of the two pages that mention the Freelands. The Freeland family information came from an interview of Barbara Elizabeth Curtis Rubins (1840-1929), a first cousin 4x removed of mine and my fifth cousin's 2nd great grandmother. She mentions her grandparents, David Freeland and Barbara Fullerton Arrold [sic: should be Arroll], and the six children that she knew of: Barbara, Anna, James, Mary, Margaret and Oswald. The older five were born in Govan, Scotland (which I had found at and blogged about at Tuesday's Tip ~ Scotland, Births, Baptisms, and Marriages) and the youngest was born in Canada (and I didn't know about him).

Additionally, she reported that, after living for five years about five miles from LaChine Rapids, Quebec, Canada, they moved to Utica, New York. This is new information to me. (My ancestor, James Freeland, ended up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)

Since I knew they immigrated from Scotland in 1821, this statement implies that they moved to Utica, New York, about 1826, and I should find David Freeland in the 1830 U.S. Census. When I did a search for David Freeland in Utica, Oneida County, New York, in this census, the first result was for David Garland in New Hartford, Oneida County. (This is a town southwest of Utica.)

I took a look and third from the bottom was David Freeland with handwriting that was indexed as Garland:

Source: 1830 U.S. census, Oneida County, New York, population schedule, New Hartford, p. 55 (handwritten), line 25, David Freeland; digital image, ( accessed 10 October 2016); citing NARA microfilm publication M19, roll 99.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday ~ McAlpins at Green-Wood Cemetery

In addition to my Pyle second great-grandparents plot at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, we also visited the plot of my McAlpin second great-grandparents.

This obelisk is eight-sided and five of the sides have inscriptions.

Friday, September 30, 2016

David Freeland ~ 4th Great Grandfather

I wrote about David Freeland three years ago in my Surname Saturday post for my Freeland line.

He brought his family to Canada from Scotland in 1821. Later, David Freeland and many of his family members ended up in Great Lakes states (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois).

What I didn't know when I wrote the Surname Saturday post were the names of all David's children and when and where he and they died.

A few months after I wrote the Surname Saturday post, I found that has indexed some records for Scotland. (See Tuesday's Tip ~ Scotland, Births, Baptisms, and Marriages.) So now I know that David Freeland was born on February 14, 1783, in Glasgow, Scotland, and that he married Barbara Fullerton Arroll on July 30, 1809, at Govan, Scotland. He had six children, all born in Govan, Scotland:
Barbara (1809-1887)
Anna (1812-1889)
James (1814-1863)
Charles (1816-????)
Mary (1818-1903)
Margaret (1820-????)
And a seventh, Oswald, born about 1823, in Canada.

The Scottish emigration record (Directory of Scottish Settlers in North America, 1625-1825. by David Dobson, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Vol. 5. 1985)) suggests that David left Scotland and arrived in Canada with his wife, one son and four daughters. Charles must have died young, which would leave James, Barbara, Anna, Mary and Margaret traveling with their parents to the New World.

Because of a scrap of paper with a rudimentary family tree, I have married surnames for three of the four daughters, but I don't know what happened to Margaret.

I had found David in the 1850 U.S. Census living with his son, James, in Pittsburgh. By the time of the 1860 U.S. Census, David was living with his daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Frederick Wolf(e), in Buffalo. He was 77 years old and since I couldn't find him with any family in the 1870 U.S. Census, I assumed he died between 1860 and 1870. When I discovered that there is an 1865 New York State Census, and he was not listed, that narrowed my search for his death date.

Once again, Facebook has proved to be a useful resource, specifically, the group for the Western New York Genealogical Society (WNYGS), which I joined last spring. I shared my query about David Freeland, and got a helpful response: Freeland is not a common name in Buffalo, and there is a burial record for David Freeland on February 25, 1862, in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo.

Recently, these burial records have been digitized and made available at the website for Forest Lawn Cemetery. (See the search page at Locate a Loved One.)

Searching for David Freeland, I found a burial record. The record is on one line over two pages and the transcription is below with my notes in [square brackets].

Name: Freeland, David
Place of Birth: left blank
Place of Death: Buffalo
Time of Death: Feby 20, 1862
Married or not: left blank

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Surname Saturday ~ Smith of Massachusetts and Maine

Watertown, Mass. from Wikipedia.
My immigrant Smith ancestor is Thomas Smith, who was born about 1601 and died in Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, on March 10, 1692/93 (Watertown Vital Records).

There are a few online family trees that have a birth location for Thomas Smith in England, and although I'm pretty sure he was born in England, until I see a primary source for a specific birth location, I don't plan to include it in my family tree database.

It is unclear as to when he arrived in Massachusetts, though there is a suggestion that he arrived in 1635. Robert Charles Anderson states that this Thomas Smith is no relation to other Smiths in Watertown at this time.

He was definitely in Watertown by 1637, when he was admitted as a freeman on May 17, 1637, and owned land in Watertown.

His wife was Mary Knopp, daughter of William Knopp and Judith Tue. Thomas and Mary had ten children, not all of whose births are recorded in the Watertown Vital Records.

His will was dated March 16, 1687/88, in Watertown and he died March 10, 1693. His will leaves 40 shillings to "his grand child James Smith of Pascattaqua." This indicates that this family was just north of what is now known as the New Hampshire-Maine border.

I descend from his eldest son, James (father of the grandchild James mentioned in Thomas' will).

Generation 2:
James Smith the son of Thomas and
Mary Smith born the 18th - 7 m Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988
"Watertown, Massachusetts, Births, Marriages and Deaths." 1637 record of birth for James Smith

James was born on September 18, 1637, in Watertown, Massachusetts, to Thomas and Mary Smith.

By 1668, he was in the area of York, Maine when he appears in deed records.

York County, Maine
The U.S. Wills and Probates collection at is worth the subscription price for the wealth of information that can be found for early American ancestors. Although there are several online family trees that have James Smith dying in 1701 (that's a different James Smith), I know that he died between August 10, 1687, when he wrote his will, and September 14, 1687, when his will was probated in Berwick, York County, Maine. The will bequeaths half of his land and houses to his eldest son James when he reaches the age of 21, implying that the son James was born after 1866. (A later document indicates that he was born about 1675; he was 63 in July 1738.)

Her married Martha Mills, daughter of Thomas Mills and Mary Wadleigh and had at least four children (who were mentioned in his will): James, Mary, Elizabeth, and John.

I descend from his oldest son, James, who was mentioned in his grandfather Thomas' will (as noted above).

Generation 3:
James Smith (about 1675-17??) married Martha Bragdon and had six children: Joseph, James, Daniel, Mary, Martha, and Ebenezer

I descend from his oldest son, Joseph. This James is my weakest link in this Smith ancestry.  I need to dig into probate and land records and possibly other unknown-to-me local records in order to confirm this connection with more authority.