Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ James and Mary Hunter

James Hunter
June 20, 1844 - October 17, 1902

Mary Freeland Hunter
February 11, 1850 - March 14, 1902

These are my second great grandparents. Both of them were born and died in Allegheny City or Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. According to the back of both photographs, these were taken at J. M & E. K. Abrams, (Successors to B. Uhle) Photographers, 90 & 92 Federal Street, Allegheny, Pa.

James and Mary were married in April 1871. I used the name of the photographer imprinted on the back of the photos to explore whether these might have been taken at the time of their wedding. However, I find A. B. Uhle, Photographer, at 92 Federal Street in an 1875 Pittsburgh City Directory, so these were taken after 1875. 

My descent from James Hunter and Mary Freeland > Percy Earle Hunter > Helen Lysle Hunter > My mother > me. 

Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun ~ Historical County Boundaries

Thank you to Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings for the idea for this blog post. See the challenge details at Genea-Musings. In a nutshell, I visited the Historical U.S. County Maps page on Randy Majors website at and chose a location to explore its historical jurisdiction in time.

I chose Winnetka (a village in the township of New Trier), Illinois (where the Greeley family was for many decades), but I could just as easily have chosen Chicago, Illinois (where the Adsit family was from soon after its founding) which is about 16 miles south of New Trier. Both communities are currently in Cook County. Because Illinois did not become a state of the United States until December 3, 1818, the very early history of the area had many jurisdictional changes, which made this more of a challenge than I originally anticipated. However, it is interesting to see how often these territory and county boundaries changed in these early years of our country.

Map images and descriptions of territory and county changes come from Randy Majors County Maps page.

07/13/1787: The U.S. created the Northwest Territory to govern all territory west of Pennsylvania, north of the Ohio River, and east of the Mississippi River.

Knox Co., NW Terr., 1790-1796

06/20/1790: KNOX (Ind.) created by the Northwest Territory from non-county area; included parts of present Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Wayne Co., NW Terr. 1796-1805

Between 1787 and 1818, when Illinois became a state, the area that is currently known as Cook County, Illinois, underwent many changes in jurisdiction. Early on, the area was known as Wayne County in Indiana Territory.

In 1809, Illinois Territory was created from Indiana Territory. The area where Winnetka and Chicago are now located was known (in chronological order between 1809 and 1818) as St. Clair County, Madison County, Edwards County, and Crawford County. This territory included land in present day Michigan and Wisconsin.

Illinois county
boundaries, 1818

12/03/1818: Illinois became the 21st state of the United States. The county of Crawford lost all territory in present Michigan and Wisconsin when the state of Illinois was created from Illinois Territory.

Illinois county
boundaries, 1830

Between 1819 and 1831, the county names of this area included: Clark, Pike, "non-county area," Putnam, then on 01/15/1831, Cook County was created from Putnam. Later in the 1830's, Cook County lost some area to the creation of McHenry County, then to Du Page County.

Moving along year by year with the Illinois map at Randy Majors County Maps page shows how the state was populated by people moving northward from south of present-day Illinois.

The Town of Chicago was organized in 1833.

Illinois county
boundaries, 1840

My second great (paternal) grandfather, James Monroe Adsit, arrived in Chicago in 1838. He lived the rest of his life in Chicago.

My second great (maternal) grandfather, Samuel Sewall Greeley, arrived in Chicago in 1853. His obituary indicates that he moved to the village of Winnetka in 1898.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mayflower Passenger Ancestors

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I share below my two known Mayflower lines. I've known about my descent from John Howland and Elizabeth and John Tilley (through my father) for quite awhile. A couple of years ago, I found that through my mother, I am descended from James Chilton.

Mayflower passenger names are bolded.

John Tilley (1571 - 1620) and Joan Hurst (about 1568 - 1621)
Elizabeth Tilley (1607 - 1687) and John Howland (1592 - 1673)
Desire Howland and John Gorham
Mercy Gorham and George Denison
Thankful Denison and Thomas Stanton
Robert Stanton and Anna Stanton
Thankful Stanton and Lodowick Stanton
Mary Stanton and Jedidiah Willett

James Chilton (1563 – 1620) and wife unknown
Mary Chilton (1607 – 1679) married John Winslow (brother of Gov. Edward Winslow)
  (Tradition says that Mary Chilton was the first woman who came ashore from the Mayflower.)
Susanna Winslow and Robert Latham
Mercy Latham and Isaac Harris
Desire Harris and John Kingman
Mary Kingman and Samuel Copeland
Samuel Copeland and Mary Owen
Abraham Copeland and married Elizabeth Tupper
Nathaniel Copeland and Mary Page
My mother and Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Susan Arville Chapin Adsit

Susan Arville Chapin Adsit  (June 9, 1820 - May 6, 1906)

The handwritten "Grandma Adsit" was written by Elizabeth Adsit, my grandmother. This is her grandmother, Susan Arville Chapin. She married James Monroe Adsit and her son (my great grandfather) is Charles Chapin Adsit.

When she was twelve, she embroidered the Family Register sampler that I wrote about on Monday. 

Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Amanuensis Monday ~ Chapin Family Sampler

An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin – some we never met – others we see a time in their life before we knew them.

On the wall of my parents' bedroom when I was growing up was a framed sampler that had come down in my father's family. When my mother downsized, I was given this wonderful sampler. Now that I have a Flip-Pal scanner, I tried scanning it. The scan came out pretty well despite the fact that I scanned it through the glass. Due to the frame, the scan does not go all the way out to the edges of the sampler, but you do see just about all of it below.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Workday Wednesday ~ First Chicago Banker

A paternal second great grandfather of mine, James Monroe Adsit, is considered the first banker in Chicago.

Found at The Internet Archive is an 1899 book with a biography of James M. Adsit on pp 123-125.

Album of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois: with portraits (1899). (Chicago, Illinois: La Salle Book Company, 1899) Digital images. The Internet Archive, accessed 27 October 2011, is the source for the following transcription. 

Note that the images that I have inserted are NOT from this book, but are images from Chicago City directories found at Fold3. My additional notes and editorial comments are in red.


To have been among the first in Chicago to engage in any honorable calling is quite sufficient to make such a one a local historical personage for all time to come, and so the career of James M. Adsit is filled with unusual interest, because of the conspicuous fact that, apart from his being an exceptional character, he was among the first bankers to enter upon a career of finance within the present limits of Cook County.

Mr. Adsit was born February 5, 1809, in Spencertown, Columbia County, New York, unto Leonard and Frances Adsit (nee Davenport). His father dying when the son was but six years of age, he went to live and remain with his grandfather Adsit, and after finishing the common-school education customary for those early days, went for a time into employment in his uncle Ira Davenport's store.

On April 2, 1838, he arrived in Chicago, then a city of but a single year's standing, consisting of only a few streets stragglingly built up; and, as one of the earliest pioneers, founded a private bank at Number 37 Clark Street in 1850, having up to that time, from the date of his arrival, been engaged in loans and investments on Lake Street. [The first Chicago City Directory I find James M. Adsit in, he is a carpenter in 1844.]

1844 Chicago City Directory, page 21

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

(Not quite) Tombstone Tuesday ~ James McAlpin

In October, we visited Dutchess County, New York, with the hope of finding the gravesite of my third great grandfather, James McAlpin. According to Pyle, Smith, and Allied Family Histories (privately pubished, 1951), James McAlpin died on July 28, 1849. According to McAlpin(e) Genealogies 1730-1990 (Baltimore, MD:  Gateway Press, Inc., 1990), by Doris McAlpin Russell, he died in 1849 and was buried at Fishkill Landing, Dutchess County, New York.

Fishkill Landing was combined with another village, Matteawan, in 1913, to form the city of Beacon. With assistance from people at the First Reformed Church of Fishkill, at the public library in Fishkill, and at the public library in Beacon, I found the cemetery where I believe he is buried.

At the Fishkill Public Library I found a book that I had previously found a transcription of online. Old Gravestones of Dutchess County, New York, Nineteen Thousand Inscriptions, (Vol. II), collected and edited by J. Wilson Poucher and Helen Wilkinson Reynolds, was published in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1924. Pages 92-97 list the 343 inscriptions collected by volunteers of the Dutchess County Historical Society.

From page 92 of Old Gravestones of Dutchess County, New York

Page 92 indicates that the Dutch Churchyard at Fishkill Landing was in an "overgrown and disorderly" condition in October 1915 when the volunteers named in the image above transcribed the gravestone inscriptions.