Sunday, December 9, 2012

I have met the Alphabet Challenge, so where do I go from here....

Dear Blog Readers....

I started this blog when I found the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge.   It has been a great way  to turn my research into short stories about the grandmothers in our family tree.  I have told 26 stories  so far, but  I want to continue telling the stories  of our grandmothers. 

My grandmothers didn't  change the course of history, like the famous women in the poster here,  but they sure made history: their own history  and it is worth remembering and retelling.  I am eternally grateful to the women before me  without whom I would not be here.    It is a joy to lift them up this way so that their lives are remembered by all of us.

I will try to post at least once a week.    Stay tuned.  Maybe I'll even throw in a grandpa along the way!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Z is for Zilpha Estep

My grandmother, Zilpha Estep was the youngest of the ten children of Charles and Helen Estep.  Here she is sitting in her father's  lap.   Her older brothers nicknamed her "Zip" or "Zippy"  when a small child  because they said she was always running  around.  The name stuck and she was called by that name all her life.  In fact, her grandchildren often referred to her as Gramma Zip.


She grew up on Armenia Mountain and in East Troy, Pennsylvania.  Twelve year old Zippy is in the front, right side with her older sister Wilma behind her to the right.  Not sure who the others are in this picture.  Looks like the girls were dressed  for a special occasion.

 As the Roaring Twenties  Era was about to begin Zip and her friends  were sporting the latest fashions.  That's Zip on the left. Eighteen year old Zilpha is enumerated on the 1920 census with her sister Wilma, 19 years old, at the Cottage State Hospital in Blossburg, Pennsylvania where they were taking their nurses training.  They may have been the first generation of women in the family to attain higher education.

In December of that year  she and Richard Hughes were married in Williamsport,  Pennsylvania.    Dick and Zilpha made a  very handsome couple and enjoyed the fast paced lifestyle of the prohibition years.   Children  came quickly to the young couple.  My father, Richard Lyle Hughes, Jr. was born November 1, 1921.  Loreen arrived on March 19, 1923 followed by Nina Marie on December 29, 1924.    Nina died before her second birthday on November 16, 1926 and soon after that problems complicated their lives and they found it difficult to keep the family together.  It is unclear when they  were actually divorced.  Dad remembers the four of them living together at different times during his youth;  Loreen believes they divorced about 1939 when she was 16 years old.  Even though they separated and finally divorced, I believe they always held strong feelings for each other.  I have fond memories of my grandmother being at Grampa Hughes' lake at Tioga in the summer when we came from Ohio to visit.  He always made her welcome when the family was together. (Gramma Dorotha, his second wife must have been a very understanding soul.)

        Zip with her son, Dickie and daughter Loreen, 1927.

One of the few pictures of Nina, about 1926.   She is buried  in Elmira, NY with her mother Zilpha along side her.

Zilpha Estep Hughes was trained as a practical nurse.  Her life time career took her into the homes of her clients where she lived with them providing around the clock nursing care as long as they needed.  Sometimes this was for the remainder of a clients life.  Her children, Dick and Loreen,  and Nina before she died,  were taken care of in the homes of Gram's sisters and parents. 

At about age 40.                At about age 55.                        


 Zilpha was married a second time to A. Norman Lawrence.  She is buried along side Nina in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, New York.  Zilpha was born on July 23, 1902.  She passed away on August 15, 1978 at the age of 76 years.

                                                    This page and all contents © 2012 Cynthia H. Smith
                                                                      Email  to

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Y is for Camelia Engler ... WHY?

WHY?  Well for one thing I don't have a Y grammie, but  why not talk about Camilla and how I went about researching her story. It is always a challenge to find a women's birth name and determine the names of her parents.  Often her maiden name is lost and it takes some detective work to search for records that will provide clues to the names of her father and mother.

Camilla is Ron's great, great grandmother Smith.  Her name had been passed on to me in the Smith family reunion records kept by his grandmother Beatrice Graver Smith.  This awesome picture of Camilla at work in her garden was given to me by her granddaughter and namesake, Eva Camilla Smith Bartholomew.

I knew her last name had been Engler, but I did not know her father's first name. Using the online obituary index for the Easton Newspapers available at the Easton Library in Easton, Pennsylvania,  I located an obituary for Camilla Smith in the Easton paper on microfilm.  The date for the obituary was a close match for her death date, April 7, 1922.  The obituary provided good clues in the hunt for her family.  Among her survivors was one brother, Frank Engler of Carlton, Oregon. 

Using that information I searched Heritage Quest online for a census record.  I was looking for a family  named Engler with a daughter named Camilla and a son named  Frank.  Searching all Englers in the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania area on the 1860 census, I finally found the family of  Michael Engler, age 53, Bethlehem twp. Northampton Co., PA.  Camilla is listed as a 14 year old in this family (this age fits for her birth date of October 6, 1845).  Her brother Frank is listed as  Franklin, age 10.    I also learned that Camilla's mother was named Dorothea.  Additional  internet research, for an obituary for Micheal Engler  proved  that Dorothea's  maiden name was Kocher.  VIOLA!!!  Found another  "Grammie"  tree to climb and so my research efforts are never ending...  but on to the story of  Camilla.

By 1870 Camilla was married to Edmund Smith.  Like her, he grew up on a  farm.   Both of their  families  were hard working German speaking people known  as the Pennsylvania Dutch.   Pennsylvania Dutch  was spoken in their homes  through out their lives.   Some of the older members of the family still have the "Dutchy"  accent in their voices today.   Speaking English was a noteworthy  item on census records.  The 1900 Census  reports that Camilla could not write or speak English, but could read it.  Also it is learned that she was the mother of two living children in 1900 and  that she and Edmund had been married for 30 years, which figures to a marriage date circa 1870. 

I have not located a record for their marriage.   However they are listed  as sponsors at a baptism in 1868, so they were a couple by then.  On the 1910 census record, Camilla reports that she was the mother of three children.  Burial records at  St. Thomas church, Altonah cemetery  show an infant, Edmund Smith, who died in 1871. This could very likely be their son.  The baby's grandparents, Valentine and Caroline Smith,  are also buried in the Altonah cemetery.  

Camilla did have two other children.  Her son, Arthur, who married Estella Kunkle,  was born on October 18, 1874.  Camilla's daughter,  Florence Mae,  was born May 11, 1879.  At a time when women had one baby after another, as we have seen with so many of the grandmothers whose stories I have told here, I wonder  why Edmund and Camilla only had three children.

Edmund and Camilla Smith   instilled strong religious values in their children, Arthur and Florence.  They enjoyed attending the Moorestown Reformed Church once a month for a high German  service.  Uncle Franklin once told me that he remembered when he  and his father and mother attended those services with them.     Camilla lived to be  77 when she died  in 1922.   Edmund died  three years later at the age of 90.

They are buried in  Greenmont Cemetery on Rt. 248 in Bath, Pennsylvania.   Her name is spelled COMELIA on  her gravestone.  Don't know WHY.

 Edmund H. Smith Sept. 27, 1835 - Dec. 18, 1925.  Comelia  Smith  Oct. 6, 1845 -  Apr. 6, 1922.

                                           This page and all contents © 2012 Cynthia H. Smith
                                                                   Email  to 

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

X is for XXI - 21 children of Sarah Johnson McEwen

                       "There were 21 McEwens and they all went west, but ours."

That was my grandfather's reply when I asked him what he knew of the McEwen family history.    Since he was an only child, and his father and grandfather were also,  there  just weren't  any older  aunts, uncles or cousins to ask for an oral history. 

My challenge was to determine where those 21 McEwens had gotten to!   In my ensuing research I discovered fellow McEwen descendents, Bruce McEwen  and Margory Gerold, who are also researching the McEwen family.  I learned that the McEwens of Northampton County,  Pennsylvania had  migrated westward to Seneca County,  Ohio in 1823.  My family and I  were excited to attend the 100th McEwen Reunion in Ohio  and  reconnect with long lost McEwen cousins. 

And so the almost forgotten story of my great, great, great, great grandmother, Sarah Johnson McEwen slowly began to unfold.   She was the mother of 21 children!!!   WOW!  I only know the names of 16 of them.  Sarah's first daughter was Margaret and then came John, my 3x great grandfather.  Mary (also called Polly), Henry, William, Betsey,  Sarah,  Robert,  James, Elmira, George,  and Samuel were all born in the Mount Bethel  area of Northampton Co.,  Pennsylvania before the family pioneered to Ohio in 1823.   Permelia (Milly) McEwen (1823),  Rachel McEwen (1824),  Anna McEwen (1826),  and Martha McEwen were born in Ohio.  There were several other children whose names are unknown, but their existence is evidenced by  census records and other documents. 

Grandmother Sarah Johnson McEwen was born on New Years Day in 1785, the daughter of John Johnson and Jerusha Kitchen.  Her family was part of the Scotch Irish settlement at Martins Creek known as the Hunter Settlement in Northampton County, Pennsylvania.  Birth records for the Presbyterians from this area for that time period have not been located even though  many have searched for them.  However Sarah is mentioned as the wife of William McEwen in her father's will and we are able to connect the generations through that document. 

It is believed that Sarah and William McEwen  were married in Northampton County,  Pennsylvania about 1803.  William was the son of  John and Margaret Herin McEwen who were living in  Berwick, Briar Creek Township, Northumberland County (later Columbia County) when he was born November 8, 1775.   He  had come to Northampton County from Columbia County to learn the trade of blacksmithing when he met Sarah and they were married.

More than a dozen kids  and twenty years later, they pioneered west to Seneca County,  Ohio where they were one of the first families to open up this territory for settlement.  Sarah's son James was only about 5 when they moved to Seneca County,  Ohio.  Later he shared  his memories of that journey.  James said,  "We came here in the fall of 1823 and brought with us one half ton of hay, which we made at New Haven.  With this hay we kept four horses and two cows all winter.  There was plenty of picking in the woods all winter in 1823.  Father entered the southwest quarter of section twenty-seven, in Clinton, and put up a cabin there and a blacksmith shop.  My parents had twenty-one children altogether, of whom sixteen were then living." *  

It is thought that they made that trip in Conestoga wagons.  Imagine that!!  All those children, pulling up stakes, traveling  less than twenty miles a day (we make the 500 mile trip from Northampton County, Pennsylvania to Columbus, Ohio  in about nine hours today) to take up house keeping in the wilderness!   And Sarah had at least four more children after arriving in Ohio.  She must have been a women of great strength and character.

At some point Sarah's oldest son John returned to Northampton Co., Pennsylvania to marry his sweetheart, Anna Houck.  My first post was about Anna and John and their family.  Oral history told to my grandfather, Homer McEwen by his parents and grandfather proved to be the link that connected the Pennsylvania branch with their cousins in Ohio.

William and Sarah are buried in the  Rock Run Cemetery, Sect. 4, Eden Twp., Seneca Co., Ohio.  The cemetery is not far from the place where they lived.   You may wish to read more about the McEwen family on my webpage, William McEwen, Pioneer to Ohio.

*James'  story is taken from  History of Seneca County : from the close of the Revolutionary War to July, 1880 : embracing many personal sketches of pioneers, anecdotes, and faithful descriptions of events pertaining to the organization of the county and its progress   Springfield, Ohio: Transcript Print. Co., 1880, 717 pgs.

                                                         This page and all contents © 2012 Cynthia H. Smith
                                                                   Email  to 

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

W is for Wilma Jane

Wilma Jane Estep Ferris is not a grammie of mine,  but she wet nursed my dad, Richard Hughes,  when he was an infant, so she needs a little credit here for helping to sustain and nourish him. 

Great  Aunt Wilma, who  was born July 9, 1900, was  my grandmother  Zip's closest sister age wise.   They were the youngest daughters of Charles and Helen Estep of East Troy, Pennsylvania.   They attended elementary school together in East Troy and after graduating there, both girls went to school for nurses training. 

Here is Wilma on the right with her younger sister Zilpha, nicknamed "Zip".  This picture was taken about the time the girls were middle school age, maybe in their early teens.  I love their dresses and the big bows.

Wilma met Curzon Cady Ferris  after  her family had moved to Elmira, New York.  This was about the time the sisters were doing their nurses training at Robert Packard Hospital in  nearby Sayre, Pennsylvania.   They were  married September 1, 1920.  Zilpha and her finance, Richard Hughes  witnessed the ceremony.

"New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 Nov 2012), Curzon C. Ferris and Wilma J. Estep, 1920.
Wilma and "Tony" (as Curzon was know by) settled into  marriage raising a family of four boys.  Curzon Cady Ferris, Jr. was born November 5, 1921  four days after Zilpha had given birth to Richard Lyle Hughes, Jr., my dad.   Both young mothers were  working as practical nurses and helped each other out  with child care.  When meal time came around both boys were were nursed by which ever sister was providing care, thus "wet nursed."

Charles Earl, known as Chuck was born August 24, 1924.  Next was Arthur  in 1930 and then James in 1933.  The family made their home on Lockhart Street in Sayre, Pennsylvania.  Her granddaughter, Becky says she wasn't much for gardens and household chores, "she was a terrible cook except the cherry pie...  running joke in the family was, if a diner sign advertized 'Like Gramma's home cooking', we didn't stop."   Becky says she was just a  "Plain Jane"  for sure.

Wilma enjoyed spending  time with her family , especially her sisters.  Together they belonged to the WCTU,  researched the family tree and joined the DAR.

Wilma and Tony Ferris were married 49 years when he passed away on September 2, 1969.  Wilma Jane lived to be 87 years old.  She died January 20, 1988, the last of her family to cross over to the promised land and join her grandmother Sarah Angeline Scott   as  Grandmother Scott had written that she would meet us all in Heaven one day.  My father traveled out from Ohio to attend the funeral of his beloved aunt and spend cherished time visiting with his Ferris cousins, whom he dearly loved.
I think of Great  Aunt Wilma every time I make a jug of sun tea on the front porch on a bright sunny day.   She and Curzon are buried at Tioga Point Cemetery, in Athens, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.

                                         This page and all contents © 2012 Cynthia H. Smith
                                      Email  to

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

Friday, November 9, 2012

V is for Harriet C. Van Wey

A note from her obituary states,  "She was born on the spot where the Tioga Junction Depot now stands,  a mile and a half from where she died."  Harriet was born October 18, 1822 at Beecher's Island, Tioga Co., Pennsylvania.  You can read  the Blog post for the VanWey Homestead here.

VanWey homestead rendering circa 1850
Harriet C. Van Wey  was the daughter of Henry Van Wey and his wife Elizabeth Middaugh, a daughter of Elias Middaugh.  The Van Wey and Middaugh families were of Dutch descent and were among the first  families to settle in the area  of Tioga Co. Pennsylvania.    Her older siblings were Phoebe, Sally, Hannah and John.  While she was raised in a family of mostly girls, she became the mother of a large brood of boys.  

When she was twenty - five years old Harriet married Frederick Hughes  on June 17, 1847.  Her first child, Henerietta was born several years before they were married. Once married,  Harriet and Frederick didn't waste any time enlarging their family.  Benjamin was born May 23, 1848 followed by Betty in 1850, Phoebe in 1852, George in 1853 and Frank in 1854.  Charles Frederick arrived in 1856, then came Simeon (my great grandfather) in 1858.  A little girl Harriet was born in 1860, but died young.  The family was rounded out with the birth of three more boys, John in 1861, William K. in 1864  and Frederick Jeptha in 1865.  I think it is safe to say that Harriet had a full time job  taking care of her family.

It is said that this picture was taken about 1884.  Funny none of the daughters were invited to be in the picture!  The "boys" in the back row are Frederick, Frank, Charles, Simeon, John and George.  In the front row are William K., Harriet, Frederick and Benjamin.   The brothers were often referred to as the Hughes boys even into their adult years.  They are remembered as a lively bunch and I am sure Harriet had her hands full raising them.

The stories Daisy Miller recorded in her recollections of her father (William K.) and uncles   provide a wonderful glimpse into the past.  Daisy says, "All the boys slept in double beds, 2 by 2, in a large room over the kitchen, hot in the summer, warm in the winter.  Each oldest boy took into his bed the youngest.  The big farm house had a porch at the front and back with large rain barrels to catch the warm rain.  The boys used them in warm weather to take baths."  

Harriet and Frederick bought property on Button Hill where Fred started a lumber business that prospered as the family grew.  The boys were kept busy and  Harriet and the girls provided a hardy hot dinner at noontime.   But Sundays was a day to relax.  The boys liked to go to the pasture where there were many horses and colts of all sizes.  They took off all their clothes and raced bareback - and bare - no danger of being seen from the road, as the pasture was hidden by hills and woods. 

Daisy tells that the  brothers played jokes on each other constantly, but Sim played one on himself.  One Sunday in Spring, the boys, after riding in the pasture came upon a hen sitting on eggs in a nest. The eggs looked clean and fresh.  Sim said, "Now I'll show you boys how to suck eggs."  He grabbed one from under the hen and throwing back his head, broke the egg on his teeth and swallowed the contents - the  egg had been too long under the hen.  Sim learned a lesson and his brothers never let him forget it. 

Harriet lived a long life.  She died  September 17, 1904 at Mitchel's Creek at the age of 81.   She and Frederick are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Tioga.  At the time of her death, in addition to her twelve children, she was also a grandmother of  forty-six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.   My great grandfather was Simeon who married Fannie Westlake.  You must have had a wonderful sense of humor, Harriet,  to have raise  that bunch of boys!

                                      This page and all contents © 2012 Cynthia H. Smith
                                                    Email  to

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

Friday, October 26, 2012

U is for United family of Anna Eliza States

Anna "Eliza"  States married  twice, as did her second husband Benjamin Heffner.   But it was out of necessity,  as they both had unfortunately lost  their first spouse. Today, we would call their united families a blended family.

Eliza  was twenty years old when  she married John  Simpson on   February 24th, 1853,   and with him  had four children.  They had been married 7 years when John  died on December 4, 1860,  one month before the birth of their daughter, Jennie.   Wow!!!  It must have been very difficult for Eliza to loose her husband when she had three small children to care for and another on the way.   The 1860  Census Record for John and Eliza Simpson shows  that he was a foreman on the railroad.  They had three children at the time of the 1860 census; Abraham, 6, George, 4 and Cate Simpson, age 2.  They were  living in Walker township, Huntingdon Co., Pennsylvania. 

A widow with 4 young children in 1860  needed to have a husband to help her support her family, but it was six years before Eliza  married a second time to Benjamin Heffner  on August 14, 1866.  Ben Heffner's first wife was Eliza Lichenthaler with whom he had nine children; Samuel, John, Joseph, Allison, James, William, Franklin, Marshall and Jennie before she died in 1865.   His  children were still young  when their mother died.  Ben needed a wife to help him care for his large brood.

Benjamin Heffner was said to be a very progressive farmer, cultivating over 200 acres.   He built an impressive brick house and barn on his property to provide for his large family.

Picture Copyright 1978 by Lewis E. Heifner from his book The Heifners 1764 - 1976.

Eliza  had three more  children with Ben Heffner.   They were Anne, born 1867,  Ella Mae, born 1869 and Mary,  born in 1871 when Eliza was 39 years old.     Eliza  was  the mother of seven children.

Pictured above are Jennie B., Abraham, George, Ella Mae, Annie and Mary.  Cate is not here.

Ben was the father of a total of twelve children.   Eliza's daughters are in the front; Ella Mae, Annie and Mary.   Altogether there were nineteen off spring in this huge blended  family.  They were truly  a Yours, Mine and Ours family!!   Both  Ben and Eliza had daughters named Jennie.   It must have been interesting for my Great Grandmother,  Ella Mae Heffner Long  to have two sisters  with the same name.  I remember my grandmother, Eliza Long McEwen, talking about her Aunt Jennie, but now I don't know which Aunt Jennie she meant. 

The Benjamin Heffner Monument in the McConnellstown Cemetery in Huntingdon Co., Pennsylvania  is engraved with the names of both of Ben's wives.
          Eliza Heffner  5/25/1820 - 12/20/1865  on the left face of the monument.
          Benjamin  Heffner  12/6/1820 - 2/2/1894  on the center face
          Anna Eliza   5/28/1832 - 2/12/1896  on the right face

Anna Eliza States was the daughter of  Abraham States (1807 -1875)  and Catherine Mumper  States (1808 - 1888).    Anna Eliza States Simpson Heffner was my Great, Great Grandmother.

                                                                   This page and all contents © 2012 Cynthia H. Smith
                                                                                Email  to  

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

Thursday, October 18, 2012

T is for Thankful Hitchcock, 1707 - 1801

Traveling back to 1707  to witness the birth of Thankful Hitchcock.    Here is  a photocopy of the exact  entry in the "Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887"  for her birth registration.

Her family lived in the  Springfield area of Massachusetts where Indian hostilities were an everyday possibility.  In 1704 the attack on nearby Deerfield, Massachusetts, by French and Native Americans during Queen Anne's War (1701-1713), resulted in more than half of Deerfield's residents being killed or captured.  Thankful, (I love her name!),  the daughter of John Hitchcock and his wife Mary Ball, was born October 1, 1707.   I would believe that they were very thankful that the Mohawk Indian attacks on settlements in western Massachusetts had spared their family.  You can learn more about the raid on Deerfield  and this time period here.  It was pretty rugged living in the wilderness of Western Massachusetts in the beginning of the 18th century.

Thankful grew up in a family of ten siblings.   When she was 24 years old she married Jonathan Scott.  On April 30, 1731 he  registered his Intentions to marry Thankful  as was required.

They were married  on June 9th, 1731.  Record of their marriage was recorded in the volume "Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887".

Thankful and Jonathan had at least eight children who were:
Thankful, Mary Mercy,  Isreal, Martha,  Jonathan,  Matthew,  Daniel and Eunice.   Sometime around 1760 the family moved to Bennington, Vermont where they lived the remainder of their lives.

In a time period when the life expectancy was less than  50 some years,  Thankful lived to be 94 years old!  Isn't that amazing?    Her  obituary  appeared in "The Vermont Gazette" in 1801.
It states -  "Died in this town (Bennington, VT) on Friday pm, Mrs. Thankful Scott, relict., of the late Mr. Jonathan Scott age 94 y, 3d."   That calculates her death date as October 4, 1801, three days after her birthday.  I have not found a picture of her gravestone.  Her husband Jonathan is buried in the Old Bennington Cemetery  where I suspect she was also buried.

Thankful was the great great grandmother of Hosea Phillip Scott, the  husband of  Sarah Angeline Chauncey Scott.  Thankful was my 5x's great grandmother.  I used the website to discover the photocopies of the Massachusetts records pictured above.

                                          This page and all contents © 2012 Cynthia H. Smith
                                                          Email  to  
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. It is with pleasure that I am able to present this information here for you to enjoy. If you discover a relationship here, I would very much enjoy hearing from you.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

S is for Sarah Angeline Chauncey

Her grave marker on Armenia Mountain, Bradford  County, Pennsylvania is a simple one: Mother, Sarah A. Scott, 1820 - 1921.  That's all?  She lived to be 101 years old! 

Sarah Angeline  Chauncey Scott was the daughter of Russell Chauncey and his wife Mable Porter.  Born in Ghent, Columbia Co., NY on April 24, 1820  she lived on Armenia Mt., Bradford Co., Pennsylvania  her entire married life time.  She was my great, great grandmother: the pride of the family tree,  for it is her ancestry that  goes back to the Mayflower.  I grew up knowing that I descended from John Howland, Mayflower pilgrim,  her  5x great grandfather.   WOW!    I have heard it said that we are a reflection of those who came before us.   Sarah Angeline Chauncey saw to it that  her descendents  knew their family history. The amazing thing about Grandmother Scott is that  she knew all the family history of her life time and  that of those who came before her, right back to John Howland the pilgrim.   She passed her knowledge on to her  daughter Helen and grand children. And they in turn passed the family history on to the rest of us.

Sarah Angeline  Chauncey was thirty years old when she  married Hosea Phillip Scott on March 2, 1850 in East Troy, Bradford Co., Pennsylvania.  They were married for 49 years when he died in  1899.  Hosea, born August 7, 1820 did service  in the Civil War.  They were the parents of two daughters: Mable,  born in August of 1855 and  Helen Florence,  born Nov. 5, 1860,  both of whom lived to mature years.  There was also a daughter named Laura who appears on the 1860 census report. Laura was born about 1858  and must have died before the 1870 census report as she does not show up on any other reports except the 1860 one. 

Perhaps this picture was taken on the occasion of her 98th birthday.  On the back  it says "Grandma Scott and Esther, taken at East Troy before the house burned."  The following newspaper article mentions that Esther was at the party.  The house in East Troy burned down on June 10, 1920. 

Volume LV, #17, Thursday, April 25, 1918-
Troy Gazette – Register, Troy, Bradford County, PA

"Mr. and Mrs. Clem Loomis, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Youmans and families, and Miss Esther Estep of Elmira, were week-end guests of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Estep and attended a birthday party for their grandmother, Mrs. Ann Scott, who was 98 years old.  Mrs. Scott is a very remarkable woman for her years as she has retained her faculties and still reads and knits a great deal."

This picture was taken when  Sarah Scott was about 60 years old.  The picture was given to me by Aunt Angie,  Grandmother Scott's granddaughter and name sake.  Sarah Angeline Chauncey Scott was  known through out her life time  by several names.  Sometimes I see Sarah, other places Ann,  but family always seemed to refer to her as Sarah Angeline.   In the letter below, written to her grandson Francis Estep in 1920,  she signs her name Sarah.

In the letter she professes her love for her family and the Lord, expressing that she will meet us in Heaven one day.  She was 100 when she wrote this letter and nearly blind.   Sarah Angeline  Chauncey died at the home of her daughter Helen Estep in South Port,  New York on  May 21, 1921.  Her death certificate states that the cause of death was due to apoplexy and arteriosclerosis.  She lived a long and useful life, well loved and remembered by her family.   I look forward to meeting her in Heaven one day.

  • Family records of Cynthia Hughes Smith 

                                                                                     This page and all contents © 2012 Cynthia H. Smith
                                                                                      Email  to 

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

Monday, October 8, 2012

R is for Rachel Enyeart

Rachel Enyeart Heffner  is one sweet grammie!   I love this picture of her  that I found in the 1924 reunion booklet of the Heffner family. I wish I knew where to find the orginal pictures.   I am sure that Rachel and John were beloved  parents.  Rachel was twenty years old when she  married John Heffner on December 30, 1819.   The Heffner brothers were sweet on the Enyeart sisters;  three of them married Enyeart  girls.  

This page, highlighting the history of the Heffner family  was also taken from the 1924 reunion booklet.  The names of  the 13 children of John and Rachel who lived to maturity  are given.  Two of Rachel's children, Nina Elizabeth and William, died in infancy.  Their son, Benjamin  Heffner,  was the grandfather of my grandmother Eliza Long McEwen.

Rachel Enyeart was the daughter of William Enyeart and his wife Jane Norris.  The Enyeart's were a huge family in   Marklesburg, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.  William  had married twice and  was the father of 21 children.  Rachel, born July 20, 1800  was one of 16 children of the second marriage.  So Rachel was  accustomed to large families!   She gave birth to 14 children over the course of 23 years, being 43 years old when her last child was born.  She lived to be 71 years old.

Rachel Enyeart Heffner  and John are buried in the McConnelltown Cemetery  in  McConnelltown, Pennsylvania.  The cemetery is next to the old German Reformed church they attended.   The inscription says,  "Rachel wife of John Heffner  died  Oct. 7, 1871  71yrs. 3mo.  20 days." 
                                                                               This page and all contents © 2012 Cynthia H. Smith
                                                                                Email to
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. It is with pleasure that I am able to present this information here for you to enjoy. If you discover a relationship here, I would very much enjoy hearing from you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Q is for Query... What ever became of the husband of Catherine Davis?

Do you remember what happened in 1849?   It was the gold rush in California and men from all over the country fled to California to seek their fortune.   One of those fellows was Catherine's husband, Davie Hayton.  The stinker never came home!  Speculation is that he wrote her a letter saying he was not coming back.  No one ever heard from him again.   Well, OK... she was a little scary looking, but that is no reason to leave a woman!

Catherine Davis was born in Orange Co., New York on Nov. 2, 1816.  She was the daughter of James Davis of Orange Co., New York.    Catherine was 19 when she married Davie Hayton on the seventh of December, 1835.  They had seven children before Davie skedaddled.  

Their first,  Mary Elizabeth was born December 21, 1836.  She died in the spring on April 27, 1837.  Another girl, also named Mary Elizabeth was born December 4, 1838 and only lived 16 months before passing away in April of 1840.   Daughter Mary Catherine  proved to be of hardier constitution.  She was born  August 2, 1840  in Clyde, Wayne Co., New York and lived to be 81 years old.   Another daughter, Jane Augusta, my great, great grand mother,   was born June 3, 1842.  A son, David Truman was born February 11, 1844 followed by Ann Eliza on February 20, 1846.  Catherine had been married to Davie 14 years  by the time  James Henry was born on April 10, 1849.   That  year  gold rush fever was spreading all across the continent and Davie Hayton left town to try his hand at prospecting, never to return.

Catherine waited 10 years for Davie to come home from California  before she married a second time to Houghton Knapp, on Oct. 20, 1859 in Southport, New York.   Catherine and Houghton never had any children together, but a descendant of Catherine's,  Jeanette Brown,   remembers  the older people in her family talking about Grandmother Knapp, as she was known then.   After Catherine and Houghton were married they moved down to Daggetts, Jackson Township, Tioga County,  Pennsylvania,  which is south of the Elmira, Southport, New York area.

Catherine  died in Daggetts.    My father remembers that when he was a child he lived one winter in a house in Daggetts.    His Grandfather, Sim Hughes,  provided the house, a cow and hay for the cow  so that he and his sister would have milk that winter.  They may have lived in the house which had been Catherine Davis Hayton Knapp's.   Catherine was the grandmother of  Dad's grandmother, Fannie Westlake Hughes,  wife of Sim. 

“Meet me loved ones
Up in Heaven,
There is room for one and all;
There’ll be no death
Nor parting,
This is mother’s last farewell.”    

Her obituary contained  the above poem.  She lived to be 79 years old, often working to take care of others, making her home with her children or grandchildren after Houghton's death in 1876.  She  died May  18,  1896, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Lewis Parmerter, (Mary Catherine) of Daggett, Pa.  The obituary notes that she was a consistent member of the Baptist Church  for many years.  The funeral was held  May 20th at Daggett,  Rev. Dunham officiating,  Interment at Judson Hill.

                                  This page and all contents © 2012 Cynthia H. Smith
                                                          Email  to
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. It is with pleasure that I am able to present this information here for you to enjoy. If you discover a relationship here, I would very much enjoy hearing from you.

Monday, October 1, 2012

P is for Pritchard, Elizabeth Pritchard.

Elizabeth, who was born on August 16, 1824, grew up in Wales, the daughter of William Pritchard and his wife Elisabeth Charles.  Her family lived in Breconshire, Wales, pictured below.   At the age of  21 she married James Estep  on the 2nd of November, 1845.  Their marriage certificate described her as a spinster.  Now that is a strange  title  to be given to a young woman, but maybe back then in Wales it didn't carry such a derogatory meaning as it does today.  


She was working in the village of Llanover as a servant at the time and James was employed as a farm servant living in Pistill Parish of Llanfihangel Talyllyn.  Neither of them could write as they signed their names to the document with an X.

Elizabeth’s children,  Sarah, Lewis, John, William and James were all born in Wales before the family made plans to emigrate to the United States.  She  was by then 36 years old.  They are the most recent immigrants in the family.  Many came before them, but I do not have an immigrant ancestor who arrived after 1858.   She must have been a woman of great strength and character to have left her  home in Wales with several small children and travel under difficult circumstances to a new land. 

They arrived in Philadelphia  in 1858 and settled first near  Bloomsburg, Pa.   where James found work in the coal mines.  Insight into what their lives may have been like is found in a newspaper account of her son John’s life.  At the age of seven, John began working in the ore mines around Bloomsburg and continued to work in the Fallbrook Coal mine when the family later  moved to Fallbrook on Armenia Mountain in Tioga county.  It is very likely that all the sons  also began working in the mines at a young age.

Several more children were born  in the United States while they were living in Columbia County, Pennsylvania. David was born March 2, 1859, Rebecca in 1861, George in 1863, Charles, my great grandfather who married Helen Scott was born in 1865 and Elizabeth in 1866.    In 1869 the family relocated to Covert, on Armenia Mountain in  Tioga County, Pennsylvania.

Picture of James and Elizabeth Pritchard Estep. Their daughter Elizabeth is standing  behind them.  The little girl in front is their adopted daughter Martha. You can read more about the  Estep Family on my web page.

James and Elizebeth Estep are buried in Arbon Cemetery in Blossburg,PA. In October of 1993, Lucille Henderson, great grand daughter of James and Elizabeth,  told me that the graves were moved from the cemetery at Covert to the Arbon Cemetery so that perpetual care could be provided. The tombstone gives these dates.
James Estep
May 12, 1818 - Aug. 3, 1901
Elizabeth, his wife
Aug. 10, 1826 - ( no death date engraved )

Elizabeth Pritchard Estep, mother of ten children, died on May 27, 1912 at the age of 87.  Five of her children preceded her in death.  She was survived by five of her children, fifty- two grandchildren, thirty-eight great grandchildren and one great grand child.  And in all these years no one has engraved her death date on  the grave stone. She was my great great grandmother. I am aware that there are conflicting dates  regarding her birth date.  Different documents give varying dates, but we do know that her  death date was May 27, 1912.

I often think of the arduous journey Elizabeth and her family made to reach the United States.  She must have been a women of great strength and character. It is a shame that her death date has not been engraved on her tombstone. Several older relatives promised to get that taken care of, but I have not been back up to the Blossburg  in several years to see if that is so.  If any one has a recent picture of the tombstone showing her death date please send me a copy. 
                                         This page  © 2015, 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 enjoy. If you discover a relationship here, I would very much enjoy hearing from you.