The Record Volume 151, Issue 4 is Online

The October issue of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record is out and available for NYG&B members to read online. 

The final issue of Volume 151 is packed with useful and fascinating articles. This blog will preview each article in the issue and contains the full "Editor's View" column—a wonderful introduction to each issue written by Editor of The Record, Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS. Enjoy!

Click here to read the full issue

The Editor's View

Planning research to answer a genealogical question usually results in a linear approach. We identify records that might provide answers and put those records in a logical order for examination based on our expectations of what they likely will provide. It isn’t often that a deed will identify a person’s children, but it does happen, as illustrated in this issue by author Amanda Wright Julian.

Julian offers several powerful lessons that might alter the way we approach research questions. Her ancestor Jacob Laucks left no will, and his estate was not handled in Surrogate’s Court, but a deed executed after Jacob’s death provided evidence of the names of his children and their spouses. That deed, along with other related instruments, was recorded more than twenty years after it was signed. Julian found additional land records for subsequent generations, each of which helped her make parent-child connections, identify spouses, and track locations. Her examples not only demonstrate the significant information that may be found in deeds and mortgages but also show the importance of expanding the search beyond the immediate time period of interest, as documents could have been recorded years later.

Also in this issue, author Harold Henderson, CG, a member of The Record’s editorial board, presents the first installment of his study of the John and Rachel (Lowe) Ackerson family. Henderson was blessed with a collection of family papers documenting the family of his English-born ancestors Segar and Elizabeth (Miller) Lowe, whose daughter Rachel was born in England in 1808. Segar, Elizabeth, and some of their children came to New York, but Henderson was uncertain if daughter Rachel was the woman who married John Ackerson. Part of his conclusion relies on interconnections between the Ackersons and known members of Segar’s family—including deeds involving land in Manhattan. Henderson explains the evidence and reasoning underlying his conclusion that John’s wife, Rachel, was the child of Segar and Elizabeth, and provides an extensive genealogy of Rachel’s children and grandchildren.

We might think of deeds as being humdrum documents recording the transfer of land, but in the hands of astute genealogists, they can be key pieces in the answers to our research questions.

Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS

Sorting Out Jacob Laucks’s Descendants with the Help of Deeds

Amanda Wright Julian's article expands on Henry Z Jones Jr.’s The Palatine Families of New York that identified Jacob Laucks and his family. She uses land records to locate some named heirs of Jacob and traces them based on the details in these records, creating a more complete picture of the family in the early 1800s. As the author reminds us, "Never underestimate the information that might be found in a land record. A seemingly mundane deed can harbor a remarkable collection of names and relationships. Unexpectedly, deeds are often recorded years after execution."

 A comprehensive genealogical summary is included in the article as well. 

  • Time Period: 1700s, 1800s 
  • Locations: Dutchess County, Columbia County 
  • Sources: Land records/deeds, mortgage documents, tax lists, death records, baptismal records (among others) 

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Ackersons Across America: Descendants of John and Rachel (Lowe) Ackerson in New York and California

Harold Henderson writes about Rachel (Lowe) Anderson, whose records did not include the names of her parents. Rachel was John Ackerson’s wife and relevant evidence regarding her is limited along with those of her children and grandchildren. The author takes this article as an opportunity to address this genealogical problem. A family overview and a comprehensive genealogical summary are included. 

  • Time Period: 1800s 
  • Locations: New York, California, England. 
  • Sources: Wills, censuses, death records, baptismal records (among others) 

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Revisiting the Stamford Pioneers of Halifax Parish, Yorkshire West Riding, England (concluded)

Louis G. Ogden and Brent M. Owen expand upon Matthew Wood’s 1989 Record article “English Origins of the Mitchell, Wood, Lum and Halstead Families,” which explored several of the pioneer families of Stamford. The two authors focus on Matthew Mitchell and Edmond Wood, two individuals from the group of families that originated in Halifax Parish.  This installment is part three of a serialized article: 

This article continues the genealogical summary from the previous article. Also included is information about John Lome and Henry Northend who both had connections to Wood families.   

  • Time Period: 1500s, 1600s  
  • Locations: Westercroft, Northowram township, Shelf Township, Hipperholme Township, West Morton Township, Bingley Parish,  
  • Sources: Parish registers, deeds, wills, estate papers (among others) 

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William Hill (1751–1823) of Ireland and New York City (concluded)

Jim Boulden details the life of Irish-born New York City merchant William Hill. Using Hill's personal papers and correspondence, Boulden tells a fascinating story of colonial and early-American business success and failure. This installment is part three of a serialized article:  

This installment of the article continues the genealogical summary.   

  • Time Period: 1700s, 1800s   
  • Locations: New York City, Westchester County, New Jersey, Pennsylvania  
  • Sources: Cemetery and church records, censuses, leases, Civil War draft registrations, probate records (among others) 

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Hugh Dugan (1826–1885) of Ireland, Pennsylvania, and Owego, Tioga County, New York (concluded)

Pam Pracser Anderson gives us the story of Hugh Dugan, “an industrious” and “shrewd businessman” from Ireland. Like many Irish citizens of his time, Dugan moved to the United States when the potato famine ravished Ireland. Sources of Hugh Dugan’s life in Ireland are light, but there is plenty of documentation of his life in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania and Tioga County, New York. Hugh Dugan’s children are also mentioned in the context of managing his business when he died. This installment is part two of a serialized article: 

This installment of the article continues the genealogical summary.    

  • Time period: 1800s  
  • Locations: Pennsylvania; Oswego, Tioga County, New York  
  • Sources: Death certificates, passenger lists, church records, censuses (among others) 

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