Showing posts with label New York. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York. Show all posts

"Of the builders and steerers of ships..."

Frederick Dillazone Ketchum (6 Apr 1811 - 21 Jan 1888), a maternal third great-grandfather, is one of my favorite ancestors, and one about whom I would love to learn more. He lived his entire life along the Great Lakes: born in Oswego, New York, then moving to Huron, Ohio, and finally retiring to Mackinac Island, Michigan. His origins are unclear, but he apparently began work as a ship's carpenter at an early age, then worked his way up to Master Shipbuilder, owning a shipyard, and receiving the honorarium "Captain."

O Captain, My Captain.

It is not known for certain who his parents are, although I believe his father was Elijah or Elisha Ketchum (abt 1871 - aft 1840). We know that Frederick was born in Oswego, New York; and Elisha appears on the U S Federal Censuses of Oswego prior to 1840. In 1840, both Frederick and Elisha appear on the same page of the US Federal Census for Huron, Ohio. Tracing Elisha's census information, it appears that Frederick had five siblings, but I have not been able to attach names to any of them.

Detail of the 1840 U S Federal Census of Huron, Erie, Ohio.
 Besides Elisha and Frederick Ketchum, other family names on this page who are
 (or would become) relatives of the Ketchums are Goodell, Cherry, Bennett, and King.
Since I have made the Elisha/Frederick connection, others have found a source that suggests that Frederick's mother might have been a much-married woman named Roxanna Billings (? - 13 Jan 1865), one of whose husbands was an Elisha Ketcham [sic]. Unfortunately, neither the dates nor locations of Roxanna's Ketcham match with the Elisha Ketchum who seems to be Frederick's father, so this--to me--has been satisfactorily disproved.

The question of Frederick's parents still unanswered, I am also fascinated by his middle name: Dillazone. I can only assume it is some sort of family name, but Google searches reveal no other Dillazones, not even as place names, or anything else. Another mystery. I am planning a Road Trip to visit the sites of Ketchum's life and attempt to learn more.

Although we do not know much about Frederick Dillazone Ketchum's antecedents, we do know a good deal about his career. He built schooners, and steamers, and brigs (oh my!), including Fashion and West Chester in 1846, Plymouth and Susquehanna in 1847, Charter in 1849, Sarah J Eason in 1851, and Aldebaran in 1852.

From the Sandusky [Ohio] Clarion, 2 Feb 1847
. Ketchum's "perfectly modeled" ship is probably the Plymouth.

Orion and Arcturus followed in 1853. Arcturus was notable for being one of the largest schooners on the Great Lakes for its time. Despite its size, its travails are typical of ships of the time. There is this, from the Buffalo Daily Republic, 9 Sep 1853:

     A GALE. - The Chicago Tribune of Wednesday says:- The wind commenced blowing a gale, accompanied with heavy rain, early yesterday morning. The white capped waves told plainly that the storm was felt on the lake, and a fleet of vessels from Buffalo and the timber ports were soon in sight and making for our harbor, like frightened birds. We notice the following disasters to the shipping:
Schooner ARCTURUS, from Buffalo, while endeavoring to make the piers at 3 P.M., struck on the south end of the bar, under full headway. The Captain let go his anchor, lowered his sails, and remained quiet until the tug SENECA went to his assistance at dusk, and towed the vessel into port. The ARCTURUS carried away her jib boom in St. Clair River, and was obliged to throw a locomotive overboard in a heavy gale on Lake Huron, to free her deck.

Yes, you read correctly: "throw a locomotive overboard." And that was just within Arcturus' first year. In December 1854, it collided with a propeller ship, Mayflower, and needed repairs. In 1859, "large repairs." Likewise in 1859, 1862, and 1876. By 1879 it was not insurable, and had changed hands numerous times. In 1881 it was repaired again, this time converted into a barge, which finally sank "wrecked, total loss," in 1888.

1854 saw Ketchum another ship of interest: Mount Vernon

Believed to be Mt Vernon.

Mt Vernon was one of the only propeller ships built by Ketchum, so consequently was through a partnership with an "itinerant" shipbuilder, Joseph Keating, about whom more later. Just a few years after its' completion, Mt Vernon, en route from Detroit to Buffalo:

exploded her boiler and became a total loss. Her stern was blown to pieces and she sank in 20 minutes, a total loss. The survivors of her crew climbed her rigging as she went down and were rescued by the schooners FOX and LOOKOUT.... Her wreckage was struck by several vessels in the months that followed, causing the loss of at least the scow OTTOCA of Saginaw.

Pages from a longer document about the Mt Vernon.
Left: Builders Ketchum & Keating ; right: Captain James Bennett was Ketchum's son in-law.

Last year, during a trip to Washington D C, I was glad I had already encountered (and remembered) Keating's name in conjunction with my ancestor. At the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History there was an exhibit, "On the Water," which went into great depth (you should pardon the pun) about the sinking of another of Keating's ships, Indiana. It was built in 1848, and sank in 1858, those dates book-ending the time of Keating's collaboration with Capt Ketchum on Mt Vernon. Although my third-great grandfather was not mentioned in the exhibit, it was still thrilling to see. You can take a virtual tour here:

1855 brought Canopus, the apparently eponymous Ketchum ("masts carried away in a storm crossing Saginaw Bay," in 1860; capsized in 1861, sunk in 1864, rebuilt again in 1874, ultimately wrecked in 1883) and Live Oak. Shook and Clyde (again with Keating) were built in 1856.

Not pictured: later clippings describing Canopus' collisions with the brig
 Champion in 1857,  propeller Globe in 1858, schooner Collingwood
 in 1861;  nor running aground in 1863 and sinking in 1865.

The last known ship of Capt Ketchum's was La Petite, built in 1866, although the 1870 U S Federal Census still lists his occupation as "shipbuilder." A few years later, he retired to Mackinac Island, Michigan, where he lived with a daughter and son-in-law until his death in 1888, at age 76.

La Petite
Photo courtesy of Historical Collection of the Great Lakes,
Bowling Green [Ohio] State University.

Unfortunately, none of the ships designed or built by F D Ketchum have survived, at least above water.... (In researching my ancestor, I have learned there is an entire underwater underworld--so to speak--of shipwreck aficionados, who research, locate, dive for, and study sunken ships on the Great Lakes, whose fervor and attention to detail rival that of any genealogist; see links). Typical of his era, all of Capt Ketchum's ships were lost to storms, sinking, collisions, and explosions. Happily, the eight children he fathered during those years fared better. But more about them next time....

1. Frederick Dillazone Ketchum (6 Apr 1811 - 21 Jan 1888), son of Elisha Ketchum and ?, married Mary Ann Cherry (17 Dec 1813 - 11 Nov 1853), daughter of John Wallace Cherry and Clarissa Adams, on 13 Feb 1835, in Huron, Erie, Ohio.

2. Caroline Clarissa Ketchum (30 Sep 1848 - 7 Feb 1920) married Phillip Jacob Runser (30 May 1845 - 22 Mar 1921), son on Philippe Jacob Runser and Anna Marie Brunner, on 19 Feb 1871, in Black River Falls, Jackson, Wisconsin.

3. Isabelle "Belle" Runser (21 Oct 1881 - 30 Mar 1960) married John Jacob "Jack" Severin (11Jul 1878 - 2 Jan 1965), son of Jacob S Severin and Anna Margaretha "Annie" Nissen, on 13 Feb 1903, probably in South Dakota.

4. Myrna Margaret Severin (6 Nov 1907 - 12 Jan 1997) married Dana Earl Brown (26 Jan 1910 - 10 Sep 1984), son of Clarence Edgar Brown and Cora Mabel Kinman, on 21 Oct 1933, in Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota.

5. Beverly Alane Brown (8 Aug 1934 - 7 Mar 2010) married [Living] Burnett, son of Leroy Stanley Burnett and Hazel Lucille Erickson, on 4 Mar 1961, in Long Beach, Los Angeles, California.

6. Your humble blogger.

"stucco'd with quadrapeds"

In Delmar R Lowell's indispensable (if you are a Lowell) The Historic Genealogy of the Lowells of America from 1639 to 1899, he bemoans the fact that so few people are aware of their own lineage, yet--but I will let him tell it:

I have found a few who could not tell with certainty their parent's names [!]--quite a number who could not give birth, dates, or marriage dates of their parents. A larger number who stumble at their grandparents, and a multitude totally ignorant of ancestry further back. [You know who you are.]

This seems pitiful when contrasted with the expense, study and labor used by some to secure and record the ancestry of their horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, cats, etc. I have heard these persons rattle off the ancestry of these animals, when, if life depended upon it, they could not name their grandparents.

Such an exhibition is indeed pitiable.

"Indeed" indeed. And perhaps a little of the Lowell hyperbole has found its way to me. It certainly seems that personality traits, if you will, rather than just looks and other genetic data, do go from generation to generation. Researching my family, there are certain motifs that recur which I find in myself, although I did not inherit--to pick just two--religious mania or a desire to go prospecting....

But I do have a love of dogs, so perhaps it seems likely to have come from some one or more of my ancestors. But whom? And how could I find out? For although Mr Lowell, above, appears to be discussing purebreds, whose heritage indeed can be well-documented (although the American Kennel Club itself dates from only 1884, a mere few generations of human-time, although Dog knows how long in "dog years..."), what about our beloved mutts?

To double back a bit, when I approach each of these bloggeries (a portmanteau of blog and vagary I just coined), I begin with a person or theme in mind. This time: our canine companions. Check!

Next, I riffle through Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass (1856 edition) for a suitable quotation to use as the title of the post. Now Walt loved his animals nearly as much as his fellow man: "The sharp-hoof'd moose of the north, the cat on the house-sill, the chickadee, the prairie dog...."  From mastodon to pismire, they're all here. This is a man who does "not call the tortoise unworthy because she is not something else." Yet in all of his work's thousand-plus lines, there is not one mention of a dog. Well, strictly speaking, there is one, in the tenth poem: "Falling asleep on the gather'd leaves with my dog and gun by my side." One of my self-created rules, however, is that I only use one excerpt from each poem, and I already have used a line from number ten on a previous post. Hence the near dada-esque header for this post. And how fortunate I am not to be descend'd from Whitman, from whom I might have acquir'd the habit of the dropp'd final "e."

Anyway. It seems Whitman had a dog, although biographers cannot say for certain. Biographers do tell us that a housekeeper, Mary Oakes Davis, moved in with the bed-ridden Whitman in 1885, bringing with her a dog, cat, two turtledoves, and other animals, but the dog's name is unrecorded. Which leads me back to my point: that however much they are considered part of the family, pets are not well-documented. (Although just today there was an article in the paper about a well-known casket company that is branching out to make pet urns for your four-legged loved ones, and one can find several websites devoted to the dog cemeteries of Paris). I have yet to see a pet on a family tree; they do not appear in any of the usual genealogical documents (except perhaps in the possibly apocryphal wills of elderly ladies who leave their millions to their cats, but no such feline beneficiary exists in my family, at least). 

The closest sources I have found are the U S Federal Non-Population Schedules for Agriculture, but even those include only livestock rather than pets.

An excerpt from the 1850 Schedule 4 Census.

On line 5 of the example above is a maternal fourth great-grandfather: John Wallace Cherry (27 May 1788 - 10 Feb 1857). Although somewhat modest in acreage compared to his neighbors, he seemed to be doing fairly well if we look at the cash value. Moving across the columns, we can see that he had four horses, five heads of cattle, thirteen sheep, and three swine, before moving onto the agricultural items. Yet there is no evidence of a Fido or Tabby....

We can learn a great deal about Cherry and his (human) family. He was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, the sixth of eleven children. The Cherry family, including young John Wallace, moved to Oneida County, New York, in the early 1800s. We know he married in 1808, and fought in the War of 1812.

Around 1840, Cherry and his wife, Clarissa Adams (31 Jan 1791 - 7 Feb 1872) along with their eleven children, moved to Marysville, Union, Ohio.  We can surmise that he was a patriotic man: not only the son of a Revolutionary War captain himself, among his sons are the jingoistically named George Washington Cherry (10 Sep 1809 - 17 Jan 1890) and John Adams Cherry (23 Apr 1816 - 28 Aug 1817). The family zeal for liberty continued: his son Samuel Alonzo Cherry (16 Dec 1811 - 27 Apr 1897) was involved with the Underground Railroad, his home being a "station" in Marysville.

In fact, we know a great deal about all of John Wallace Cherry's children: Charles Henry Cherry (7 Jun 1837 - 16 Mar 1908) died after a three-day bout with pneumonia; the aforementioned George was a postmaster (one of those recurring family motifs I mentioned); William Hopkins Cherry (8 Oct 1823 - 23 Jun 1864) was killed in the Civil War.... Yet not a thing about the no-doubt beloved Cherry pets.

But wait!  There are those thirteen sheep.... And where there are sheep, it seems only natural there must be a dog to herd and protect them. I want to call him Towser. I can see him now, racing around those forty-three acres, playing fetch with the Cherry young'uns, guarding the thirteen sheep....

Yet rather than share a fictional biography of the imagined (or --as I'm going to believe--only undocumented) Towser, I will share the history of a genuine canine family member, our Maisie.

We adopted Maisie for my  40th  birthday, after an outing to the recently-opened local animal shelter "just to look" (in the same way we were going "just to look" at flat screen televisions, airfares to Walt Disney World, and houses in Ohio, to give just three examples). The landlord of the duplex we were living in did not want us to have pets, but he was nice--and generally absent-- and we thought a small dog wouldn't be a problem. And there she was, an adorable little "terrier mix," as the shelter's tag described her. So cute! It would be like having Toto.

Baby Maisie.

Of course, as we later learned from our vet, shelters have good intentions, but not the best eye for distinguishing between families (not unlike some genealogists). As she said: "The big ones are always 'lab mix,' the little ones 'dachshund mix' and the furry ones 'terrier mix.''' Our "terrier mix" puppy ended up being mostly bearded collie and weighs in at over sixty pounds. Toto she ain't.

Like others of her (almost) breed, she has the bearded collie's distinctive run, and instinctive desire to herd other animals, as we learned the hard way on an early trip to the dog park.

Go, dog, go.

Maisie was born 10 Jun 2001, and as I said, she was meant as my present for my birthday that September. After choosing her, we had to pick her up a few days later, so that she could be checked by the vet and spayed, a condition of the shelter with which we were happy to comply. As it turned out, her pick-up day was September 11th. The September 11th. Like everyone else that horrible day, we were so caught up in the news that we completely forgot about our new charge. Around eleven a.m., the vet's office called to remind us, asking if we were coming in, so that the employees could go home to be with their families. We zoomed out and brought dear Maisie home. It was cheering to have something so loving and alive to hold while we watched the developments of that terrible day. My patriotism being nearly as evolved as my ancestor's, we still try to find joy on the anniversary of the attacks by celebrating "Maisie Day," and our Miss Mu, as we have somehow come to call her.

The many moods of Maisie-mu.

Beyond being the catalyst for her own holiday, Maisie also was the instigator of a new business venture. Looking at various commercial dog treats, we found they were either costly, unhealthy, or most often both. My other half being a crafty sort, he began trying out different recipes for dog treats, finally landing on a variety of wholesome flavors our dogs (Rosie and Coco being added to the menagerie in the meantime) loved. We shared the treats with friends' and neighbors' companions, who kept suggesting (the F and N, not the companions, although I'm sure they would have if they could) that we start a dog treat business. Which we did (plug, plug): MaiRo & Co Dog Treat Bakery, link to which conveniently located to your right.

From left: Rosie, Maisie, and Coco.

As our business grew (we've been featured in Pup Culture magazine, and have four-legged clients from California to New York; as I write this, in fact, I am sitting at the MaiRo & Co Dog Treat Bakery booth at a benefit for the Greenhills Fire Department), we began to grow more of our own ingredients. Not usually found among the trendy (cf. genealogy), I have somehow joined the ranks of urban farmer. In fact, a couple years back we even began to raise chickens to provide fresh eggs. Which reminds me that I did not see chickens on that Agricultural Census either....

All this talk of farming and patriotism at last brings me back to my ostensible human subject, John Wallace Cherry, and inherited family traits. Thanks, "Grandpa John," for the love of dogs!

John Wallace Cherry's marker.
 It is adjacent to a larger memorial to several members of the family.
Oak Grove Cemetery, Delaware Ohio. Photo: Robert Burnett

And Rest in Peace, Towser, wherever you are.

[Special thanks to Hidden Genealogy Nuggets' blog: Genealogy by the States for the prompt!]

1. John Wallace Cherry (27 May 1788 - 10 Feb 1857) married Clarissa Adams (31 Jan 1791 - 7 Feb 1872), parents unknown, on 11 October 1808 in Paris, Oneida, New York.

2. Mary Ann Cherry (17 Dec 1813 - 11 Nov 1853) married Frederick Dillazone Ketchum (6 Apr 1811 - 21 Jan 1888), son of Elisha Ketchum and ?, on 13 February 1835, in Huron, Erie, Ohio.

3. Caroline Clarissa Ketchum (30 Sep 1848 - 7 Feb 1920) married Phillip Jacob Runser (30 May 1845 - 22 Mar 1921), son on Philippe Jacob Runser and Anna Marie Brunner, on 19 February 1871, in Black River Falls, Jackson, Wisconsin.

4. Isabelle "Belle" Runser (21 Oct 1881 - 30 Mar 1960) married John Jacob "Jack" Severin (11Jul 1878 - 2 Jan 1965), son of Jacob S Severin and Anna Margaretha Tiedjens, on 13 February 1903, probably in South Dakota.

5. Myrna Margaret Severin (6 Nov 1907 - 12 Jan 1997) married Dana Earl Brown (26 Jan 1910 - 10 Sep 1984), son of Clarence Edgar Brown and Cora Mabel Kinman, on 21 October 1933, in Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota.

6. Beverly Alane Brown (8 Aug 1934 - 7 Mar 2010) married [Living] Burnett, son of Leroy Stanley Burnett and Hazel Lucille Erickson, on 4 March 1961, in Long Beach, Los Angeles, California.

7. Your humble blogger.

"the fourth of Seven-month, (what salutes of cannons and small arms!)"

This week beginning with Independence Day, it seemed apt to feature one of my ancestors, a maternal fifth great-grandfather, who fought in the Revolutionary War: Capt Samuel Cherry (15 May 1756 - 27 Oct 1825).

(by his friend Benjamin Coe)

The hero is gone, and deeply lamented
The hero who fought by the side of the brave,
The hero who served in the fields that were tented,
For victory, or an honorable grave.
The hero is gone, but his mem’ry for ages
Will live in the land where freedom is revered.
While history stands recorded in pages,
While the rights of his country are ever revered.
The hero is gone, never returning,
Few are not left to tell us his story.
Tears of the warriors in bitterness burning
Will fall on the vet’ran companion in glory.
The hero is gone, his seasons of glory,
His springs, his summers and autumns are ended.
In the winter of age, with a heart that was heavy
He left us with freedom and liberty blended.

Benjamin Coe, author of this poem, famously avoided duty in the Revolutionary War by sending one of his slaves, Cudjo, in his place. Cudjo, who said he descended from African royalty--perhaps an early example of genealogical wishful thinking--received high honors, as one of many slaves who served in the war. Benjamin Coe's brother, Moses Coe, is a direct ancestor of former President George W. Bush. Anyway....

Samuel Cherry was born in Londonderry; this much we know--but which Londonderry? Opinion is divided between those who believe he was born in Londonderry, Ireland, and those who believe he was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire. His birthplace, as well as who his parents were, are apparently lost to history, despite several generations of researchers trying to find out. Perhaps we will never know.

We do know that he was in what was to become the United States by age eighteen, for on 23 April 1775, he enlisted in (then) Capt George Reid's Company (1st New Hampshire Regiment) after the Lexington Alarm. Samuel Cherry fought at Bunker Hill, and participated in the assault on Quebec, Canada.

On 8 November 1776, he was commissioned Lieutenant in Capt James Carr's regiment, 2nd New Hampshire company, under the command of Col Nathan Hale.

In 1777, Samuel Cherry played a prominent role in the Battle of Bemis' Heights, and the Battle of Freeman's Farm (both Saratoga). On 2 December of that year, he was commissioned Captain Lieutenant, 2nd New Hampshire Regiment, under (now) Col Reid.  Also that year, he found time to marry Ann Wallace (23 Feb 1754 - 24 Jun 1812), of Londonderry, New Hampshire. (Although some sources call her Frances Isobelle Wallace, I have never seen documentation for this.)

Nuptials over, in 1778 Samuel Cherry participated in the Battle of Monmouth. Through 1779, he was a member of General George Sullivan's Indian Expedition through Pennsylvania and western New York. (General Sullivan would later become the father-in-law of Samuel Cherry's wife's cousin.) On 10 October 1779, Samuel Cherry became the father of the first of his eleven children, Samuel Cherry Jr (who later married a Delano), and a few weeks later, on 30 November 1779, he was commissioned Captain in the 2nd New Hampshire.

A re-enactment group as "Capt Cherry's Outfit."

Capt Cherry was present at Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown on 19 October 1781 (a month before his second child, Susan, was born) and retired from the military in January 1783, to resume his civilian career, farming.

Some time before 1800, the Cherry family left Londonderry and moved to Paris, New York. Having been granted two hundred acres in the area as part of his pension, in 1810 he moved to the newly formed town of New Haven, Oswego, New York, where he was appointed one of the first Justices.

Capt Samuel Cherry died, widowed and living with one of his sons, in near poverty on 27 October 1825, and was buried in New Haven Cemetery.

Photograph by Bill Starck.

The Cherry family continued to fight for liberty. Descendants of Capt Cherry fought in the War of 1812, and gave their lives in the Civil War.  Another Samuel, Samuel Alonzo Cherry (16 Dec 1811 - 27 Apr 1897), grandson of Capt Cherry (and one of my third great-granduncles), was a significant member of the Underground Railroad, whose home was a "station" in Marysville, Ohio.

Through my relation to Capt Cherry, I am able to join the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).

1. Samuel Cherry married Ann Wallace, daughter of John Wallace and Janet Steele.

2. John Wallace Cherry (27 May 1788 - 10 Feb 1857) married Clarissa Adams (31 Jan 1791 - 7 Feb 1872), parents unknown, on 11 Oct 1808 in Paris, Oneida, New York.

3. Mary Ann Cherry (17 Dec 1813 - 11 Nov 1853) married Frederick Dillazone Ketchum (6 Apr 1811 - 21 Jan 1888), son of Elisha Ketchum and ?, on 13 Feb 1835, in Huron, Erie, Ohio.

4. Caroline Clarissa Ketchum (30 Sep 1848 - 7 Feb 1920) married Phillip Jacob Runser (30 May 1845 - 22 Mar 1921), son on Philippe Jacob Runser and Anna Marie Brunner, on 13 Feb 1871, in Black River Falls, Jackson, Wisconsin.

5. Isabelle "Belle" Runser (21 Oct 1881 - 30 Mar 1960) married John Jacob "Jack" Severin (11Jul 1878 - 2 Jan 1965), son of Jacob S Severin and Anna Margaretha Tiedjens, on 13 Feb 1903, probably in South Dakota.

6. Myrna Margaret Severin (6 Nov 1907 - 12 Jan 1997) married Dana Earl Brown (26 Jan 1910 - 10 Sep 1984), son of Clarence Edgar Brown and Cora Mabel Kinman, on 21 Oct 1933, in Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota.

7. Beverly Alane Brown (8 Aug 1934 - 7 Mar 2010) married [Living] Burnett, son of Leroy Stanley Burnett and Hazel Lucille Erickson, on 4 Mar 1961, in Long Beach, Los Angeles, California.

8. Your humble blogger.