The October Issue of THE RECORD Has Arrived

What an Issue! 

Autumn had produced a fine crop of articles in the October issue of The Record. Per Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS, “Brick walls are challenging, but they are not indestructible.”1 And for her work in this issue, NYG&B member Denise Cross won the American Society of Genealogists’ Scholar’s Award. NYG&B members can read the issue online.  

Each issue begins with the Editor’s View, a great way to understand why the articles were chosen. Here’s Laura Murphy DeGrazia’s thoughts on the October issue: 


The Editor's View

Brick walls can develop gaps. At first an opening might be just wide enough to allow a bit of light to enter, but that flicker can draw our attention. As we focus on it, we might be able to see things that had been obscured. Pieces of evidence begin to fit. Relationships, origins, and identities become clear. Such was the case for authors of articles in this issue of THE RECORD.  

Faced with difficulties in identifying the former residence of a settler in a newly opened area of New York, Denise E. Cross explored a clue found in a published local history. That clue—pointing to Vermont as the man’s possible previous residence—was the break she needed. Researching in both New York and Vermont records, Cross explored information about locations, migration routes, settlement patterns, and the subject’s associates and extended family. She developed a convincing body of evidence to establish that Samuel Fletcher of Westville, New York, had previously lived in South Hero, Vermont. 

Thomas W. Jones cleared up what he called the “murky” origin of Henry Tucker, who composed a Civil War-era song that was once considered the “most popular song ever written in America”. A grave marker and a will helped establish the names of Henry’s parents, clearing a path for further study. Jones’s article memorializes Henry and his family, a fitting tribute to a nineteenth-century composer whose music is still enjoyed today. 

Authors Michael Rudy and Harry Macy Jr. used a record pertaining to the marriage of Jacobus Cox and Catharina Davids as a springboard for additional research and analysis. Their work resulted in the identification of Catharina’s parents and maternal grandparents. Rudy and Macy analyzed Catharina’s choices for baptismal witnesses and children’s names. The authors considered places, people, events, and traditions as they documented multiple generations in Catharina’s family. 

Brick walls are challenging, but they are not indestructible. If we pay attention to slivers of light that pass through crevices, we may be able to pry open those gaps. The tools we need are research, analysis, and an open mindset. 

-- Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS  



What's your favorite Record article of all-time? Let us know! 


New articles in October 

“Identifying Samuel Fletcher (1758–1826) of South Hero, Vermont, and Westville, New York” 

by Denise Engelhardt Cross  

Elusive origins often contribute to genealogical road blocks. In her introduction author Denise Cross reveals, “No record identifies his [Samuel Fletcher’s] specific place of origin, and none names him as the father of any child, but associations among his neighbors, siblings, children, grandchildren, and grandnephews connect the New York man to his previous residence in South Hero, Vermont.” Careful tracing and analysis of suspected family members and, importantly, associates allowed the author to smash this former brick wall. Following jurisdictional changes, people’s migrations, and records available led to a conclusion. 

Cross is also the author of two New York Researcher articles, one in 2018 and one in 2015.  


“Henry Tucker (1825–1882): Composer of an Erstwhile ‘Most Popular Song Ever Written In America’.” 

by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG 


Listening to “Weeping, Sad and Lonely” is a wonderful way to understand why Tom Jones wrote this article on the origins of Henry Tucker, a New Yorker for a good part of his life as shown by Jones. Searches on YouTube and other sites provide many opportunities to listen, and after reading this article you will have a better understanding of Tucker’s life and enduring legacy. That legacy includes “Now Let Us Rejoice,” and enormously popular hymn.   


“The Hendricks-Burger Parentage of Catharina Davids, and Her Four Marriages” 

by Michael Rudy and Harry Macy Jr., FASG, FGBS   


Following his solo article in the July issue, author Michael Rudy teams up with Harry Macy Jr. to add to our understanding of working through genealogical problems in the colonial era. While the Dutch no longer controlled the area, their influence and the changing traditions of naming patterns are demonstrated in this article, as is methodology of examining and building on earlier work.  


Several articles are continued from the previous issue, one of which concludes. 

“Andrew Sinclair (circa 1795–1874) of New York City and His Family” (continued ) 

by Scott Wilds, CG  

“Early Sicard-Secor Families of New York: Origins of United Empire Loyalist William Secord” (continued ) 

by R. Kirk Moulton  

“The Bengali and English Ancestry of New York City Immigrant Thomas2 Chapman (1777–1862)” (concluded ) by Meryl Schumacker, CG  



1 Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS, editor, “The Editor’s View,” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, vol. 150 (2019): 243.  




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