Friday, May 25, 2018

Russel R.G.E. Chauncey (1774-1859)

Russell Chauncey was the son of Israel and Elizabeth Petty Chauncey.  He was the father of Sarah Angeline Chauncey Scott.  She is the grandmother who knew our family history like the back of her hand, knowledge she passed on to her granddaughters. My grandmother Zilpha being one of those young ladies.

The earliest records of the Chauncey family date back to the 11th century.  Chauncy de Chauncy (1045) was a Norman nobleman who came into England with the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror.  Chauncy came from Canchy, Normandy, France.   Since he was a nobleman he may have had a family crest similar to this modern day rendition of the family crest.

Russell Rawson Graham Estabrook Chauncey was given the last names of four of his father's  uncles, all of whom were ministers, when he was born on December 7, 1774, in Canaan, N.Y.  There must have been a whole lot of religion in that family!  

Russell's parents were attracted to the community of the Shakers when he was a youngster.  The Shaker community, founded by Mother Ann Lee, was known for their unusual frantic dancing until the Holy Spirit came down! They lived in separate facilities that separated men and women, practiced celibacy and banned marriage.   Maybe that was the attraction for Russell's mother: no more sex! She had given birth to 7 children by the time they joined up with the Shakers: Rocksena, Cynthia, Levi, Rozzel, Lucinda, Salome and Russell R.G.E. Chauncey, my great, great, great grandfather!

Young Russell was admitted to membership in the Shaker Society when he was 13.  His father, Israel, and grandfather, Charles, had both died 2 years earlier while members of the Shaker's.  Evidently the Holy Spirit came down on them!

So, I know the first thing you are thinking is that since the Shakers practiced celibacy and therefor did not leave any descendants how are we descended from someone who belonged to the Shaker Society!  Well, my great, great, great grandpa Russell R.G.E. Chauncey wised up and left the order on January 4, 1796 after nine years of membership.  His brother Rozzel also left, but the girls all remained with the Shakers throughout their life times.  

Russell was 22 years old when he left the Shakers.  He moved to Ashfield, Massachusetts where he met Mable Porter.  They were married in 1802, afterwhich Russell brought Mable back to New York.  They settled in Ghent, Columbia Co., New York, just a few miles south of the Shaker Community in Canaan.

I found this genealogy chart among the family record papers my father, Richard L. Hughes, had kept.  The chart was prepared by his mother Zilpha Estep Hughes. Not only does Grandma show the children of Russell and Mable, but she also shows  the ancestors of the two of them.  This tree most likely  reflects the oral and written history passed down from Sarah Angelina Chauncey Scott.  

Russell and Mable were the parents of fifteen children, but only eleven of them lived to become adults.  First was a boy born on June 16, 1803 who died in infancy followed by John Andrew, who was born on June 10, 1804 and died 1832.  Mable, who married William Mitchell, was born June 4, 1805 and died 1856. Her sister Elizabeth who married George Porter was born September 19, 1806.  Two sons Levander, born March 3, 1808 and Russell, born October 2, 1809 died in infancy.  Those names were used again when Russell Levander was born November 18,1810. Russell Levander married Aurelia Crane and died May 7,1893.  Next were two daughters who also died in infancy, Flora Judith, born December 18, 1811 and Sarah Angeline born March 14, 1813.  Alford Gaston who was born June 17, 1815 died in California on May 1, 1888.  William Ross was born November 20, 1816, married MaryAnn Austin and died January 7, 1886.  A son, Austin, was born on December 25, 1817.  On April 24, 1820 my great, great  grandmother, Sarah Angeline, was born. She married Hosea P. Scott and lived to be 101 years old when she died on May 21, 1921.  Her brother Israel was born on April 27, 1821, married Charlotte Leadbetter and died in 1901. The last child was Edwin who was born on January 16, 1823. He married Christina Peck and died on December 30, 1877.

Russell and Mable lived out their old age with their son William R. Chauncey.  They are buried in the Spencer Cemetery outside of Maryland, New York. My cousin Jane Dean visited there in 1994 and shared these photos with me. 

So, thank you Grandpa Russell for leaving the Shaker Community and realizing that you wanted to be a family man!  If not, I guess I wouldn't be here to tell your story. 

  • Family history of Cynthia Hughes Smith
  • Cemetery photos courtesy of Jane Wodarski Dean, 1994
  • Mount Lebanon Shaker Society.
  • Find A Grave Memorial #86496615, Russell Rawson Graham Estabrook Chauncey
  • John M. Smith's History of the Town of Sunderland, Massachusetts, 1899 edition, Israel Chauncey married Elizabeth Petty, Feb. 16, 1763.
  • "History of Northfield, Massachusetts", page  515, Elizabeth Petty born
    19 Nov 1744.
This page  © 2018, Cynthia H. Smith

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Wilson Graver (1872 - 1954)

I always thought Wilson Graver must have been a stinker to have gone off and left his young wife with a boat load of kids to raise. At least that was the way he was portrayed  by his daughter, Beatrice, my husband's grandmother. But after much research I have come to know him better and just maybe he wasn't such a bad guy after all.

               Photo of Members of the Ed Graver family
He is recorded with his parents on the 1880 census in Franklin Twp., Carbon Co.,PA. Ed Graver is a 45 year old farmer  living with his wife 46 year old Elizabeth who is keeping house. Seventeen year old Thomas is a laborer, daughter Carrie is 11, Wilson is 6 and Sarah is  4 years old.

This tin type picture of the Ed Graver family is a treasure. Here you see Ed and Elizabeth along with Wilson in the middle back row flanked by a brother and sister. I am not sure if the brother is Thomas or which sister this might be. However Wilson was identified; a handsome fella indeed!

Twenty-five year old Wilson married Jennie Lauer when she was still a teenager and needed her father's consent to marry. Jennie had just turned 16 when she and Wilson were married on the 4th of July in 1898. Must have been a shotgun wedding because their first child, Helen, was born five months later on January 4, 1899. A search of census records shows that  in 1900,  26 year old Wilson is married to 17 year old  Ellen J (Jennie), living in  Lower Towamensing Twp., Carbon Co., PA.  with two infant daughters, Helen, age 1 year and Beatrice,  4 months of age.

The 1910 census record for  the Wilson Graver family included Wilson, age 37, Jennie E. age 28, Helen M, age 11, David D., age 6, Naomi, age 4 and Ida A, age 3. According to the 1910 census his daughter Beatrice was living with his brother,  Uncle J. David  Graver and his wife Annie in  East Allen Twp., Northampton Co. By 1911 the family had grown to seven children; Helen M., born January 4, 1899,  Beatrice,  born January 16, 1900,  Arthur born circa 1902 and died circa 1902,  David, born December 14, 1904,  Naomi I., born March 17, 1906,  Ida A.,  born December 23, 1907 and Thomas, born June 1911.  Wow!  Seven kids in 7 years!  Beatrice remembered that her  father left the family  in 1912 and skedaddled  to Ohio. 

The fact that Wilson was in Ohio in 1918 is evidenced by his World War I Draft Registration Card which shows wonderful personal information about him. Wilson Sefelen Graver, the son of Edward and Elizabeth Trach Graver, was born  Aug. 15, 1872 on a farm near Lehighton, PA.  His birth date and  middle name were recorded by him on the draft card which was filed Sept. 10, 1918.  Wilson notes that he has blue eyes. He lists his occupation as a bricklayer working for  a construction company and his next of kin is older brother Thomas E. also living  at  118 E. 32nd St  in  Lorain Ohio.  It appears that these two brothers were living together.  Perhaps, he went to Ohio to find work to support his large family in Pennsylvania. 

Three of Wilson's  children  are listed as "inmates"  in the Ebenezer Orphanage Home in Seneca Co., Ohio. On the 1920 census Naomi is 14, Ida is 13,and Thomas is 9 year old. Naomi and Ida are known to have been deaf.  So Wilson must have arranged for these children to live at the orphanage and be closer to him.  I have not found a 1920 census record for Wilson so he may have been serving in WWI at that time as he was drafted in 1918 in Lorain Ohio. 

Fifty-six year old Wilson is living in Akron Ohio as recorded in the 1930 Census where he  gives his occupation as  bricklayer.  He reports that he is  divorced and was first married at age 25. He is living alone with property valued at $1500.  In 1940 he owned his house at 553 Pricilla St in Akron, Ohio.  The house is valued at $2000. He says he is widowed.  He is a bricklayer.  He attended school through the 5th grade.  

He died in Akron in 1954. No mention is made in his obituary that he remarried after leaving  Jennie and the children in Pennsylvania.  He is buried  in Stow Twp. Cem, Summit Co., OH.

Wilson's obituary was published in the Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH on Saturday,  July 17, 1954. "Wilson S. Graver, of 553 Highgrove Blvd, who continued work as a stone mason and bricklayer in his 80's, died Friday night in City Hospital.  He would have been 82 in August. He was active until last summer when he became ill.  Born in Walksville, PA., Mr. Graver lived in Lorain, Cleveland, Columbus and Tuscarwas County before moving to Akron three decades ago.  He was a member of Bricklayers Local 7, AFL.  He leaves four daughters,  Mrs. Russell Smith of Bath Pa,  Mrs. Murv Chester of Madison, NJ,  Mrs. Harvey Crake of Wilkes-Barre, PA,  and Mrs. Naomi Brown of Fort Wayne, IN ;  two sons, Thomas and David, both of Stow; 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.  Services will be at 2 pm Monday in Degnon Funeral Home, Stow, where friends may call after 7 tonight and Sunday afternoon and evening.  Burial will be in Stow Cemetery.  William H. Degnon Funeral Home, 3333 Kent Rd., Stow, Ohio."

To tell the truth,  I think Wilson was a hardworking man who did his best to provide for his family at a time when work was hard to find in Carbon Co., Pa.   He was trained as a stone mason, an occupation he practiced all his life.  At one time I saw an awesome picture of him standing beside his wooden tool box with a masonry trowel in hand. So maybe he was offered a job in Ohio around 1912. By 1920 he had brought three of his children to Ohio to attend school while they lived in an orphanage. He owned his home in Akron from the 30's until he died in 1954 and his two sons lived near by.  I guess he really wasn't a bad guy after all.

  • Find A Grave Memorial # 181507296, Wilson Graver
  • Personal family history files of Cynthia H. Smith, Mount Bethel, Pa. Interview of Beatrice Graver Smith as told to and recorded from her family history files by Cynthia H. Smith, 1981.
  • The Smith Family Reunion Notebook belonging to Beatrice Graver Smith now in the possession of Cynthia H. Smith.
  • Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio, Saturday,  July 17, 1954
  • Billion Graves  
  • U.S.A. Federal Census Records, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.    
This page  2018, Cynthia H. Smith
Send email to
This site may be linked, but not duplicated in any way without consent. The copyright on this page must appear on all copied and/or printed material.
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. It is with pleasure that I am able to present this information here for you to see. If you discover a relationship here, I would very much enjoy hearing from you.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Charles Kunkle (1825-1890)

Our ancestor Charles Kunkle almost didn't make it into this world!  He was the third child of his parents, George (1797-1876) and Salome Knecht Kunkle (1803-1825)  and the great grandson of John George Kunkle who gave service in the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War.
The Reaper by Winslow Homer
Charles was born November 24, 1825 and his 22 year old mother, Salome, died just three weeks after his birth. It is a  miracle that a motherless infant could have survived in 1825. There must have been a woman with an infant of her own who took baby Charles into her care to feed and nurture him.
The 1840 Census reports that his father was a farmer, so we can imagine that Charles grew up learning the skills of agriculture.
Nothing else is known about Charles until he is the age of 22 when he married Emmaline Miller on July 27, 1847.  The Salem Church Records provides the marriage date and that Emmaline was the daughter of John and Julian Miller. Of course I always like it when a record gives the woman's maiden name. So often that information was deemed unimportant, making it very difficult for the genealogist to discover more about the woman who gave life to the next generation.  And we all know without her none of us would be here.

Kunkle Monument
Charles and  his wife Emmaline are buried in the Salem Union Church Cemetery, Moore Township in Northampton Co. Pennsylvania.  The record lists Charles Kunkle, born November 24,1825 and died April 22, 1890, age 64 years, 5 months and 27 days old and  Emaline Kunkle, born May 16, 1828 and died May 19, 1883, age 55 years and 3 days.
Other Kunkles in that grave yard include;  his father George, 1797-1876, age 69, and Elizabeth (the second wife of George and the woman who raised Charles), 1803 - 1872, age 69.  Sarah A., 1854-1854-0;  Andrew G., 1851-1854-3;  Salome, 1803-1825-22 (mother of Charles)


Charles Kunkle
Emmaline Kunkle

There is no will on file at the Easton Courthouse, but there  are letters of Administration  LA 5 - 215- 1890 and Administration Bond AB 5 - 215- 1890. Charles Cunkel, April 22, 1890 of Palmer Twp.   John H. Kunkel and Thomas M. Kunkle,  Administrators. Also, an obituary notice appeared in the  Easton Daily Free Press, April 29, 1890, which stated Charles Kunkle died April 22, 1890 at the age of 64 years, 5 months and 27 days, near Nazareth, Pennsylvania.  This provides a birth year of circa 1826 which is compatible with the dates on the grave stone.

These Census Records help us to learn more about Charles and his family.  Charles  and Emeline Kunkle, are on the 1850 Census,  Northampton Co., Pennsylvania,  Moore Township,  with daughter "Fayetta" age 2 years.  The 1860 record shows his son John Henry who is 4 years old.  Other children in the family are Fayetta, age 11 and Cyrus age 2 and 1/2.   Charles' occupation is listed as farmer.  The 1870 Census lists Charles Kunkle, 44, a farmer,  Emeline Kunkle  42 and three children, John 13, Cyrus 11, and Thomas 8.  Charles and Emeline Kunkle  are found  in the 1880 Census in Northampton Co., E. Allen Twp., Pennsylvania (Vol. 57, ED. 69, Line 9).  List children: Cyrus L. (age 20) and Thomas M. (age 17), and a granddaughter, 'Matilda Hummel', age 10 yrs.

Charles and Emeline Kunkle were the parents of seven children as is noted on his tombstone.  Their children were Fayella, who was born on November 9, 1848. She married Jacob Hummel. Andrew G. Kunkel was born March 29, 1851, but died at the age of 3 years, 5 months and 26 days on September 23, 1854. His death came days after that of his infant sister, Sarah Amanda who was born on Januaury 12, 1854 and died at the age of 8 months and 25 days on September 6, 1854. A child named Henrich George, born March 29, 1851 is also in the church record and must have been a twin to Andrew who died young.  Such a tragedy for this young family!  Our ancestor John Henry arrived on March 4, 1856 followed by  Cyrus Lennert who was born April 21, 1860  and  Thomas  born December 21, 1862.

I love this picture of John Henry, son of Charles and Emmaline,  and his wife Sarah Jane Fehnel at Devil's Den in Gettysburg National Park.  John Kunkle lived in Bath, Pennsylvania where he had a farm implement business.  He traveled from farm to farm selling minerals and phosphate.  They were the parents of Estella, Sam and  William.  Estella married Arthur Smith and they were the great grandparents of Ron Smith, my husband.

  • Personal family history records of Cynthia H. Smith, Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania, Notes and Interview of Beatrice Graver Smith as told to and recorded from her family history files by Cynthia Hughes Smith, 1981.  And from the records of the Smith Family Reunion as recorded by Beatrice Graver Smith, family historian.
  • Kunkle Family Bible, possession of Judith A. Mackey, Wind Gap, PA.
  • Charles Kunkle Obituary, Easton Daily Free Press, April 29, 1890. Located Easton Library.
  • James E, Kunkle, historian.  P.O. Box # 140460, Edgewater, Colo.  80214 - 0460. Letter to me dated 18 November 1997.
  • U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 66851208 Charles Kunkle and # 66851242 Emmaline Kunkle and children.
This page  © 2018, Cynthia H. Smith

Send email to
This site may be linked, but not duplicated in any way without consent. The copyright on this page must appear on all copied and/or printed material.

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. It is with pleasure that I am able to present this information here for you to see. If you discover a relationship here, I would very much enjoy hearing from you.