Saturday, March 30, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Greeley (Greele) of Salisbury, Massachusetts

My immigrant Greeley (Greele, Grele) ancestor is Andrew Greele (as it was spelled in early records) who was in Salisbury, Essex County, Massachusetts by 1640. He died there on June 30, 1697. His wife was Mary Moyce (or Moyse) and they had six children. All I know of his wife Mary is her name and death date of December 24, 1703, in Salisbury (found in Salisbury Vital Records).

Salisbury, Essex County, Mass.
Source: Wikipedia Commons
I am not sure where Andrew Greeley came from or exactly when he arrived in Massachusetts, but by 1640, he owned land on a river in the area of Salisbury which is now part of Seabrook, New Hampshire. By the early 1650's, he had built a sawmill there, which was run by three generations of Greeleys until 1747, when it was sold out of the family. Andrew's name appears in various records in both Salisbury and Haverhill (three towns to the left of Salisbury in the image to the right) throughout the latter half of the 17th century, including records having to do with committees appointed to "lay out the lines" between New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

He is also noted as operating other mills, as well as running a ferry at Haverhill. It appeared that he was financially comfortable until he had to sell his Haverhill property to pay the debts of his son Benjamin, who died in December 1690. The following spring, he returned to Salisbury to live with his son Andrew. He remained in Salisbury until his death June 30, 1697.

Andrew and Mary had six children: Philip, Andrew, Mary, Joseph, Benjamin, and Westwood. All except Andrew, who was born in Haverhill, were born in Salisbury (found in Haverhill and Salisbury Town Vital Records).

Each generation seemed to have large families and they reused names, so I always need to refer to my genealogy program to remember who is who. Note that in my line there are five Samuel Greeleys in a row, and only the fifth one was given a middle name! I am descended from Andrew and Mary's fourth child and third son, Joseph.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grandmother's Birth Certificate ~ Pennsylvania Vital Records

Awhile ago, I wrote about how to obtain Pennsylvania Vital Records when I wrote about my great-grandfather's death certificate. Pennsylvania death certificates are available 50 years after the death date (so death certificates from 1906 - 1962 are available as of January 1, 2013). Birth certificates are available 105 years after the birth date, and records were kept at the state level starting in 1906. As of January 1, 2013, birth certificates for 1907 were made available, so earlier this year, I requested my maternal grandmother Helen Lysle Hunter's birth certificate.

Grandmother was the youngest of five daughters of Percy Hunter and Marguerite (Lysle) Hunter, who gave each of their daughters Lysle for her middle name:
Five Hunter sisters
Originally shared July 27, 2011
Marion Lysle Hunter (born 1899)
Caroline Lysle Hunter (born 1900)
Mary Lysle Hunter (born 1903)
Margaret Lysle Hunter (born 1905)
Helen Lysle Hunter (born 1907)

Because each of the four oldest were born before 1906, they do not have official birth certificates; in fact, I have paperwork from the Pennsylvania Orphans Court for my great aunt Margaret confirming that there is no birth certificate for her.

Following is my grandmother's birth certificate.

Handwritten entries are in blue. My editorial comments are bracketed.

Place of Birth
County of Allegheny
City of Allegheny
No. 3110 Perrysville Av
Full Name of Child: Helen Lysle Hunter
Sex of Child: Female
Legitimate? Yes
Date of birth: Feby 1, 1907
  Full Name: Percy Earle Hunter
  Residence: 3110 Perrysville Av
  Color: White
  Age at Last Birthday: 33 [Yes, he was born in October 1873.]
  Birthplace: Alleg City [Allegheny City is now the North Side of Pittsburgh.]
  Occupation: Mechanical Engineer [I wrote about Percy's occupation here.]
  Full Maiden Name: Marguerite L. Hunter [Actually her maiden name was Lysle.]
  Residence: 3110 Perrysville Av
  Color: White
  Age at Last Birthday: 30 [Yes, she was born in August 1876.]
  Birthplace: Allegheny City
  Occupation: House Keeper [And busy mother of four daughters.]
Number of child of this mother: 5
Number of children, of this mother, now living: 5
Certificate of Attending Physician or Midwife
I hereby certify that I attended the birth of this child, and that it occurred on Feby 1, 1907, at 11:20 AM.
(Signature): C. H. Voight
Address: 540 W. North Av [I found Charles H. Voight at 500 North av W in a 1907 city directory.]
Filed: Feby 18, 1907
[Illegible Signature of Registrar]

I didn't learn anything that I didn't already know, but at $3, this is worth having. Now, where are those death certificates I ordered...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun ~ How Many Surnames?

I have been busy and have not been able to blog much recently, but Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun was an interesting and fun task.

1) Go into your Genealogy Management Program (GMP; either software on your computer, or an online family tree) and figure out how to Count how many surnames you have in your family tree database.

2) Tell us which GMP you're using and how you did this task.

3) Tell us how many surnames are in your database and, if possible, which Surname has the most entries. If this excites you, tell us which surnames are in the top 5! Or 10!

I use Family Tree Maker for Mac 2.

I have 4,530 individuals in my database. At the Plan Workspace there is a section that includes facts about the tree and when I look at "More" Statistical Information About File", it tells me I have 777 surnames. However, I estimate fewer unique surnames, because quite a few are unknown.

When I run a Surname Report, sorting by surname count, the top surnames are as follows (not including Last Name Unknown, which would be at the top):

Surname   Count    Male   Female   Earliest   Most Recent

Chapin         100       50       50          1591          1858
Pyle              87       58       29           1594          2008
McAlpin        72       41       31           1781          1931
Stanton         72       31       41           1617          1790
Copeland       71       38      33            1603          1938
Greeley         70       37      33            1617          1932
Lowell           62       33      29            1571          1897
May              60       33      27            1590          1800
Smith            56       36      20            1601          1887
Adsit             53       36      16            1652          1897

Pretty evenly divided between paternal ancestral families (Chapin, Pyle, McAlpin, Stanton, Adsit) and maternal ancestral families (Copeland, Greeley, Lowell, May, and most of the Smiths).

Monday, March 4, 2013

Military Monday (Maybe) ~ James McAlpin

As I recently wrote about, my 3rd great-grandfather, James McAlpin, arrived in America in 1811. Searching in can turn up some interesting results.

The following was found in's War of 1812 Papers, 1789-1815:

The header reads:
"A Return to the Department of State of Alien Enemies who have reported themselves to the Marshal of the District of New York from the twelfth to the seventeenth day of October 1812 both days inclusive."
The columns indicate:
Name: James McAlpin
Age: 29
Time in the United States: 1 yr 3 months
Families: wife + 2 children
Place of Residence: Clinton [Dutchess County]
Occupation or Pursuit: ditto [Weaver]
Date of application to the Court to be Naturalized: [blank]
Remarks: [Blank]
Because the country was at war, the Department of State had increased duties, which included U.S. marshals collecting names of non-citizens in their districts. Unfortunately, the names of his family members are not included, although the description from the National Archives indicates that these names should be listed.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ McAlpin of Dutchess County, New York

My immigrant McAlpin ancestor is James McAlpin. He was born about 1780-1783 in Scotland or Ireland.

One of the (secondary) sources I have [1] tells me that he was born in Scotland because his son's 1901 death certificate noted that his parents were born in Scotland. Although no primary sources are noted, I'm a bit more inclined to believe the other secondary source [2], which tells me that he was born in Muckamore, County Antrim, Ireland. According to this (unsourced) research, this branch settled in Northern Ireland during one of the many colonizations by the Scots. At some point I need to research the primary sources for this ancestor.

Courtesy: Wikipedia
The secondary sources agree that James McAlpin sailed from Belfast, Ireland to New York on the ship Jupiter in the spring of 1811. He arrived with wife, Jane, and one child. He settled in Pleasant Valley, Dutchess County, New York, in what was known then as Clinton Township, later moving to Fishkill, also in Dutchess County.

His wife was Jane Hunter, born in Muckamore, Antrim, Ireland, May 11, 1786. They married in Antrim, Ireland on July 14, 1809.