Working Backwards on the Brimlows

William Brimlow (1800-1873)

For as long as I can remember, I have known about Henrietta (Brimlow) Frith (1847-1884) and her sad death at the age of 37. My mother told me the tale her grandmother Nettie Frith (1875-1963) had told her about her mother Henrietta dying and seeing her in the casket with her stillborn child in her arms. It was not difficult to trace Henrietta to her parents, George Brimlow and Elizabeth Weeks. It was also not difficult to work out George’s parents and siblings thanks to the early research provided by my distant cousin Chris Beale. Chris had done quite a bit of the legwork prior to the explosion of records online. It was Chris who outlined the basic family, located the family plot at Cypress Hills Cemetery, and located the passenger list. With Chris’s excellent research as a starting point, I went through thirty years of New York City and Brooklyn directories, combed the NY State Census records, and drove myself insane looking at New York and Brooklyn birth, death, and marriage records to fill in the gaps and add some flesh to the bones.

Here’s what we currently know about the family in New York along with the evidence:

William and Ann Broomelaw arrived in New York, along with their 5 children, aboard the Ajax on 29 Nov 1832.1
Ajax pass list 1832
William Broomelaw, 32 (1800), Miner, England
Ann, 35 (1837)
Jane, 9 (1823)
George, 12 (1820)
William, 7 (1825)
Henry, 6 (1826)
John, 3 (1829)

Let’s address the two concerns with this record – the name and the occupation. As stated in the previous post, a genealogist has to be flexible with the name. The family is English and if they are from Northwesterern England, Shropshire/Cheshire/Lancashire, which all border on Wales, the pronunciation of the name will sound more like Broom or Brom than it does Brim. As for the occupation… occupations are usually the job people last held and not necessarily what they may have done earlier in life or will be doing in the future. As proven in the previous post about William Brown, he listed himself as a farmer, but he was actually a butcher. And William Brimlow’s oldest son George named himself as a coffee roaster on the census and a clerk in the directory of the same year before changing his occupation to engineer only one year later. This is America—you can be whatever you choose.

William Brimlow makes his first appearance in the New York City directory in 1836 and remained at this particular address through 1846:2
“Brimlow William, coffee & spices 59 Cherry”

The family can be accounted for on the 1840 Federal Census in New York Ward 4 under the name Wm Brimlow:3
Males 10-14 – 1 (John 11),
15-19 – 2 (Henry14, Wm15),
20-29 – 1 (Geo 20),
40-49 – 1 (Wm 40),
Females 15-19 – 1 (Jane 17),
40-49 – 1( Ann 43)

The Brimlows are well established in New York’s Lower East Side. On 7 Nov 1842, William is naturalized.4 In 1846, the business address changes to 16 James Slip, where it will remain for at least the next 10 years. William and Ann appear with youngest son John on the 1850 Federal Census in New York Ward 4.5 The family has moved to 59 Monroe Street and middle son William appears in the city directory at that address with his father and brother George as a clerk for the first time in 1851.

Ann died 10 Mar 1851 in New York City, and William purchased the large family plot at Cypress Hills Cemetery, Sec 2, Lot 168 on 11 Mar 1851. Ann was the first interment in the plot on 13 Mar 1851.6

About 1852, William married Deborah (Gedney) Woodhall (1817-16 Nov 1895),7 17 years his junior, she was the widow of Thomas Woodhall (1818-1850). She had three children from her previous marriage: Mary Elizabeth (Woodhall) Wines Jones; Josephine (Woodhall) Johnson, and Leander Byron Woodhall. Some of these children were enumerated as Brimlow at times. William and Deborah had three children together: Arthur W., Frederick Austin, and Ella Helen.

By 1855, the entire family had moved across the river to Brooklyn. The New York City directories reflected the business address at James Slip with a home listing of Brooklyn. At the age of 65, William still listed himself as employed in N.Y.8

William died on 6 February 1873 at his home, 75 Taylor Street, Brooklyn.9 He was laid to rest with Ann in Cypress Hills Cemetery on 8 Feb 1873.10 Deborah died 16 Nov 1895 in Brooklyn and was buried in Eleazor Gedney Burial Ground, Mamaroneck, Westchester, New York.11
Wm dc 1873

The next post will be about William and Ann in England, and the evidence related to Ann’s maiden name in the Wood versus Chaddock debate.



1. “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Ancestry,” online images(accessed 20 May 2014), manifest, Ajax, 29 Nov 1832, William Broomelaw and family. Cit. Date: 20 May 2014.
2. 1836 – (City Directories – New York – p.114, Fold3.com
3. 1840 U.S. census, New York Ward 4, New York, New York, p. 219, line 20, Wm Brimlow; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 30 Nov 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 300. Cit. Date: 30 Nov 2015.
4. Rec# 33, 7 Nov 1842, William Brimlow, English, Marine Court of New York City; digital images(accessed 20 May 2014). Cit. Date: 20 May 2014.
5. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, New York, New York, p. 278A, dwelling 461, family 1694, William Brimlee; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 14 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 536. Cit. Date: 14 May 2014.
6. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery interment #1254 – Ann Brimlow, 13 Mar 1851, Sec 2, Lot 168.
7. New York death certificate #19974, Deborah Brimlow, died 16 Nov 1895, 249 Broadway, 2nd floor, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, age 70 (or 76)y 6 mo., apoplexy, buried 19 Nov 1895. Cit. Date: 15 May 2014.
8. 1865 NewYork State Census, Brooklyn Ward 13, Kings, New York, p. 21, dwelling 88, family 152, line 29, Wm Brimlow 65, Deborah Brimlow 49, Leander W. Brimlow 18, Mary Wines 25, Arthur Brimlow 12, Fredk Brimlow 10, Ella Brimlow 8; digital images(accessed 30 Nov 2015). Cit. Date: 30 Nov 2015.
9. “New York Death Records,” database(accessed 27 Nov 2015), Certificate #1069, William Brimlow died 6 Feb 1873, age 73, Brooklyn, Kings, buried 8 Feb 1873 Cypress Hills Cemetery.
10. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery, William Brimlow was interred 8 Feb 1873, in Sec 2, Lot 168.
11. New York death certificate #19974, Deborah Brimlow, died 16 Nov 1895, 249 Broadway, 2nd floor, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kings, age 70 (or 76)y 6 mo., apoplexy, buried 19 Nov 1895. Cit. Date: 15 May 2014.

Chasing a Family Named Brown in New York

Just Kill Me Now!

WILLIAM BROWN and ELIZABETH HERIOTT

I was led to William and Elizabeth through their daughter Frances (Brown) Frith (1815-1854) who was interred in Cypress Hills Cemetery. My distant cousin Chris Beal had sent me a good bit of information, but with even more information online now it was important to take a second look. In hopes of learning more, I retraced some of Chris’s steps (he’s an excellent genealogist so it was easy to go down the path he had blazed) and contacted Cypress Hills to request a plot listing for Frances and those interred with her in the Brown-Frith plot, Sec 2, Lot 161. I received an interment list with 21 more people on it. Of those 21, I’ve been able to establish the familial relationship between Frances (Brown) Frith and 17 of those individuals, including her parents William and Elizabeth Brown.1 Many are William and Elizabeth’s children and grandchildren.
interments

Page 2 of the interment record which provided the "age at death" and interment date.

Page 2 of the interment record which provided the “age at death” and interment date.

There was also a major “breaking down the brick wall” moment with this family when I really paid attention to the 1868 Certificate of Death record of Elizabeth Heriott Brown.2
Eliz dc 1868 - Copy
In the summer of 2010, I found this record in Salt Lake City, but there was nothing else to help me at the time. I didn’t know where to look in Sussex, so I just tucked the file away and went to work other lines. This year, I decided to revisit each of my lines and write about them. In writing about a family your perspective changes and you have to go back and look for things you may not have looked at before. There has been an explosion in “searchable” online records in the last few years and suddenly the things I most needed began to fall into place.
The clues and questions in my file from 2010:
1. Her name – DUH! I didn’t really miss this one. Heriott had to be a family or maiden name. But 5 years ago, I found no records for an Elizabeth Heriott – NONE, NADA, ZIP, ZERO. They simply weren’t online in 2010.
2. The completeness of this record – records from this era are notoriously lacking in detail and normally would only give an age in years or say England. Why is this record so complete with a full name, age, and location of birth?
3. The address where she died. The address meant nothing at the time, but it factored in this time when I did a search and worked with the address.
4. The name of the doctor and his address. I knew that she had a son named Edward, but he wasn’t a doctor, and he wasn’t living in Brooklyn then. His address meant nothing to me in 2010, but by the time I revisited the family in 2015 it would mean more – half the damn Brown/Frith/Brimlow clan lived and worked with walking distance of this location.

Here’s what I now know about the family and how I know it.

WILLIAM BROWN was born about 1790 in the vicinity of Lewes, Sussex, England. I have used his birth year from the earliest found document that William would have provided the information for, which was an 1835 passenger list. Big surprise, there are several William Browns in that area of Sussex, and I have not yet determined which birth or christening record might be his.

ELIZABETH HERIOTT was born 6 May 1791 in Sussex, England. This information came from her 1868 death record which provided her age at death in days, months, and years along with her maiden name and place of birth. While this information is often suspect, I’m now comfortable accepting the information as I have discovered the person who created the 1868 death record was her grandson, Dr. Edward A. Brown, MD. Based on this information, I can now extend the research. While I’m fairly sure I’ve nailed her parents down, I’ll wait until I can look at the actual records to see if I can gather more information before declaring them here.

WILLIAM and ELIZABETH married on 23 or 25 Jul 1809, in Saint Nicholas Church, Brighton, Sussex, England. 3 Two marriage listings were found on FamilySearch and Elizabeth’s name is listed on both as Betty Herryott. I’ll be looking at the images for these records in Salt Lake City this spring before making a final determination. This could simply be a transcription error, or there may be some other reason for the two dates. I can at least say they were married in July of 1809. As stated in previous posts, people often married at the main cathedral rather than in their home parishes simply to save a bit of money. There was the standard fee to marry in your town, plus an added fee to the city or county for registration. If you went the main church, you only had to pay the fee for the city you were in.

While I haven’t yet located all the children’s baptism records, some of the family members appear to have been baptized in St. Anne’s in Lewes, and Lewes is about 10 miles outside of Brighton in the farmlands. I’ll be going through the films for the churches in Lewes on my next trip to Salt Lake City.

How did I know to look in Lewes? William Mason (son of William and Elizabeth’s oldest daughter Sarah) stated in his 1892 passport application that he was born in Lewes, and I found his birth was registered there.4 The birth registration also states that his mother and grandfather are from there, so it is reasonable to continue researching the Browns and Heriotts in this location.5
Wm 1931 Birth - Copy
William and Elizabeth had ten known children, all of whom were born in England. All of their children immigrated to New York – eight sailed aboard the Henry Thompson with William and Elizabeth, arriving on 11 Apr 1835.6 Oldest daughter Sarah’s husband William Mason and their two children, William and Henry, were also on that ship. Daughter Frances (Brown) Frith arrived in 1837 with husband William. I have not been able to determine exactly when son John Brown arrived.

The Brown and Mason families are at the bottom of the image.

The Brown and Mason families are at the bottom of the image.


The ten children as I currently know them:
Sarah Brown Mason (1811-1849) m. William Mason
John Brown (1814-1848)
Frances Brown Frith (1815-1854) m. William Frith
William Brown (1816-1856) m. Harriet (Unknown)
Edward Brown (1819-1906) m. Ann Burnett
Marshall Brown (1822-1851)
Catherine Brown (1824-????)
Mary Ann Brown Pringle (1826-1904) m. Robert William Pringle
James Brown (1829-1870) m. Unknown
George Brown (1831-1846)

From the time of arrival until their interment we’re reasonably able to trace William and Elizabeth. There is an 1840 Federal Census, 5th Ward, Brooklyn, Kings County that fits, but is typical of the 1840s – hardly perfect.7
1 Male 50-59 (1780-1790) William (b.1790)
1 Female 40-49 (1790-1800) Elizabeth (b.1791)
1 Male 20-29 (1810-1820) William (b.1816) or John (b.1814)
1 Male 15-19 (1821-1825) Marshall (b.1822)
1 Male 10-14 (1826-1830) James (b.1829)
1 Female 10-14 (1826-1830) Mary Anne (b.1826)
1 Female 5-9 (1831-1835) No known daughters this age, but there is a son George not accounted for who was born in 1831. Of note – Son Edward was married in 1839 so he doesn’t appear on this record. Daughter Catherine b. 1824 would have been 16 in 1840. It is possible, but not probable that she had married. It is also possible that she was simply missed in the numbers. However, it is much more likely that Catherine died prior to the 1840 census.

William’s occupation on the passenger list was farmer, which hardly seemed to mesh with someone coming to New York or Brooklyn. However, on the above shown birth record, his daughter Sarah states she is the daughter of “William Brown, pork butcher” of Lewes, Sussex.8 An 1844 New York directory lists “Brown, William, butcher, b.r. 343 Grand.”9

He was interred in Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, on 12 Aug 1848.10 His interment record lists his age at death as 63 (1785), but it’s not known who provided that information, nor is it known if William actually died in August 1848 or if he died earlier and was reinterred from elsewhere. I have not been able to locate a death record or obituary for him.

Locating Elizabeth between William’s 1848 death and her own death 20 years later was a real challenge. I first located her with her son William in 1850 in Ward 10 of Brooklyn.11 I have listed the family here in the same way they are listed on the record:
William Brown, 31 -1819, England, Painter
Elizabeth, 61 – 1789, England
James, 16 – 1834, Ireland, Painter – not our James who would be 5 years older
Harriet, 29 – 1821, England –
Charles, 4 – 1846, Pennsylvania
James, 3 – 1847, Pennsylvania
Margaret, 1 – 1849, Pennsylvania
There are also two borders who have no occupations and do not yet appear to be related.

In 1855, Elizabeth Brown, age 56 (1799) was found living with her youngest daughter Mary Ann and her husband Robert William Pringle in Brooklyn.12 She remained with Mary Ann and Robert for the remainder of her life. Elizabeth’s son James is with them in 1865, as is grandson William Brown.13

Elizabeth died from general debility compounded by pneumonia on 29 Jan 1868 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, and was interred in Cypress Hills Cemetery on 31 Jan 1868.14 A death notice for Elizabeth appeared in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle on Thursday, 30 Jan 1868, pg 3, c2 “BROWN – On Wednesday, Jan 29th, at the residence of her son-in-law, R.W. Pringle, 114 Franklin ave, ELIZABETH BROWN, wife of Wm. Brown, deceased, of Sussex, England. In the 77th year of her age.” I found no will or probate records for Elizabeth. There are no stones or monuments in the family plot.
LOT cypress hills
The next post will be about their 10 children.



1. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery Plot Record for Lot 161 in Sec 2. Elizabeth H. Brown, age 76 interred 31 Jan 1868. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
2. New York death certificate 647 (1868), Elizabeth Heriott Brown, died 29 Jan 1868, born 6 May 1791 Sussex, England. Cit. Date: 9 Jun 2014.
3. Marriage Record, Saint Nicholas Church, Brighton, Sussex, England, William Brown and Betty Herryott, Marriage, St Nicholas’ Church Brighton, Brighton, Sussex, England, 25 Jul 1809; citing 00264, West Sussex County Record Office, Chichester; FHL microfilm 1FamilySearch.org. Cit. Date: 9 Jun 2014.
4. “U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925,” database and images, Ancestry.com (accessed 9 Nov 2015); William Mason born 13 Dec 1831, Lewes, Sussex, England, arrived 1835, a resident of New York City and Brooklyn since arrival, appliction dat 5 Apr 1892, Brooklyn, Kings, New York.
5. “U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925,” database and images, Ancestry.com (accessed 9 Nov 2015); William Mason born 13 Dec 1831, Lewes, Sussex, England, arrived 1835, a resident of New York City and Brooklyn since arrival, appliction dat 5 Apr 1892, Brooklyn, Kings, New York.
6. “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” online images(accessed 12 May 2014), manifest, Henry Thompson, 11 Apr 1835, William Brown and Family. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
7. 1840 U.S. census, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, p. 620, line 16, William Brown; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 289. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
8. England, birth certificate for William Mason, Son of William and Sarah Mason, born 13 Dec 1831; Lewes, Sussex, England registration district, Non-Comromist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970, Piece 4674: Dr Williams’ Library, Index to Birth Certificates, 1828-1837 sub-district. Cit. Date: 9 Nov 2015.
9. 1844 Brown, William (p. 54) City Directories – New York – Fold3
10. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery Plot Record for Lot 161 in Sec 2. William Brown interred grave 13, 12 Aug 1848. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
11. 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Brooklyn Ward 10, Kings, New York, p. 188B, dwelling 1115, family 1845, Elizabeth Brown; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 9 Nov 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll M432 520. Cit. Date: 9 Nov 201.
12. 1855, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, E.D.1, Kings, New York, dwelling 345, family 446, line 34, Elizabeth Brown; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 9 Nov 2015).
13. 1865 NewYork State Census, Brooklyn Ward 2, Kings, New York, p. 59, family 422, line 31, Elizabeth Brown; digital images(accessed 9 Nov 2015).
14. Interment Records, Cypress Hills Cemetery Plot Record for Lot 161 in Sec 2. Elizabeth Brown interred grave 13, 31 Jan 1868. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.

MARGARET FRITH McLEAN (1899-1977)

Margaret Frith McLean circa 1917

Margaret Frith McLean circa 1917

My grandmother Margaret was one of my favorite people. She came to live with us in 1965 when my father was in Vietnam. My mother Shirlee had come hurt her back and Grandma came to take care of my brother and me and never left.

Margaret is also the first step back on the McLean, Frith, and Brimlow lines. I’ll work back through the McLean line and then return to Margaret’s mother and work up the Frith and Brimlow lines.

Margaret Frith McLean was born 22 Apr 1899, in North Hempstead, Queens, New York.1 She was the second daughter of George Edward McLean (1867-1915) and Henrietta “Nettie” Ella Frith (1875-1963). She told me that she often claimed to be one year younger than she really was because being born in the last century made it harder for her to find work.

Margaret and her sisters. l-r Margaret, Susie, Ada

Margaret and her sisters. l-r Margaret, Susie, Ada


Margaret married William Harry Walker on 27 Sep 1919 in Roslyn Heights, Nassau, New York.2 She’d met Harry when he was stationed at nearby Roosevelt Field during World War I. He stayed on Long Island to woo her after the war and worked as a mechanic.
27 Sep 1919 l-r: John Mortimer, Harry Walker, Margaret McLean, Jeannette McLean

27 Sep 1919 l-r: John Mortimer, Harry Walker, Margaret McLean, Jeannette McLean


After their marriage, she and Harry lived with her mother for a short time and can be found with Nettie on the 1920 Census.3 Margaret and Harry moved to his hometown of Philadelphia shortly thereafter. Their first child Harry Craig Walker was born there on 21 Aug 1923.4 In the summer of 1927, Margaret went back to Long Island to escape the city heat as she awaited the birth of daughter Shirlee Delores Walker. Shirlee was born 18 Jul 1927 in Howard Beach, Queens, New York.5
Margaret and Harry Circa 1935

Margaret and Harry Circa 1935


For a number of years, Margaret and Harry resided with Harry’s sister Ruth (Walker) Schoenleber and her husband Bill. Harry had changed careers and become a plasterer and building contractor. The 1930s were lean years and Harry went wherever he needed to in order to find work. Eventually, they were able to afford their own home. They remained in the Kensington section of Philadelphia through the 1950s; Harry’s mother and several siblings lived nearby.
1953 Harry, Margaret, and Shirlee on the Oregon Coast

1953 Harry, Margaret, and Shirlee on the Oregon Coast


When Harry retired, he and Margaret sold their home and moved to Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic, New Jersey. The cost of living was a little lower and Harry wanted to be out of the city. They weren’t there long when Harry suffered a fatal heart attack and passed away on 12 Nov 1961.6 Margaret was devastated. She moved to Horsham, Montgomery, Pennsylvania to be near her son Craig and his family.

In 1965, Margaret joined her daughter Shirlee (Walker) Burgraff in Alpena, Michigan, and remained with Shirlee and her family for the next seven years. In that time, Margaret lived in Michigan, Edmonds, Washington, Hamilton AFB, California, and finally in Eugene, Oregon.

l-r Susie McLean Griffin, Bruce Burgraff, Margaret Walker, Edmund Griffin, Shirlee Walker Burgraff, Jack Brugraff - 1969 Reno, NV

l-r Susie McLean Griffin, Bruce Burgraff, Margaret Walker, Edmund Griffin, Shirlee Walker Burgraff, Jack Brugraff – 1969 Reno, NV


While in Oregon, Margaret met seventy-nine year-old Lloyd Columbus Thomas at a senior citizen’s dance. They married 10 Jan 19727 and remained together until Lloyd’s death 3 Feb 1976.8

Margaret died 19 Mar 1977 in Eugene, Lane, Oregon.9 She was cremated and her ashes were scattered.

Margaret was a gentle, sweet, woman, who was known as the peacemaker in our family. As was normal for the time, her white hair appeared blue from the rinse she used to keep it from appearing dingy, and she was well into her seventies before she wore slacks when it wasn’t snowing. Her skin was flawless, and I remember her commitment to Yardley’s lavender soap and Pond’s Cold Cream. She was soft-spoken, tender-hearted, and loved to play board games, dance, and be with her family.



1. New York Department of Health, birth certificate (1899), Margaret McLean; New York State Dept of Health, Albany. Cit. Date: 19 Jun 2008.
2. Marriage Record, Nassau Co., New York, Marriage License, 27 Sep 1919, William Harry Walker to Margaret Frith McLean. Cit. Date: 4 Jun 2014.
3. 1920 U.S. census, population schedule, Roslyn, No. Hempstead, Nassau, New York, dwelling 187, family 152, MacLean, Nettie; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 May 2014)
4. Letter in Margaret Walker’s hand detailing children & grandchildren births, Margaret McLean Walker’s Notes, circa 1960; privately held by Sharon Scott.
5. New York Department of Health, birth certificate 7646 (1927), Shirley Dolores Walker; New York State Dept of Health, Albany. Cit. Date: 19 Jun 2008.
6. New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services, death certificate (short form), (1961), Harry Walker; New Jersey State Department of Health, Trenton. Cit. Date: 19 Jun 2008.
7. Marriage Certificate, Marriage Certificate, 17 Jan 1972; privately held by Sharon Scott.
8. Oregon Death Index, 1903-1998. Salem, OR, USA: Oregon State Archives and Records Center.
9. Oregon State Health Division, death certificate (1977), Margaret Frith Thomas; Oregon State Health Division Center for Health Statistics, Portland. Cit. Date: 19 Jun 2008.

Climbing the Olinger and Yount Tree

Margaret Olinger’s ancestors are generations of Germans who, as I previously mentioned, have been in America since at least the Revolutionary War. While I have done some of the initial verification work, I am still working on most of this – use this line at your own risk. I am working on the verification and getting my own copies of the sources this summer. I have provided the sources I currently have and been clear about what is not sourced.

In order to tie the line together there needs to be some documentation that provides a parent/child relationship. Family stories are nice, but paperwork is best! So here’s what I started.

First and foremost, we need to remember that spelling is optional. Don’t think that a will or census records will provide the correct spelling. Wills and census records were recorded by individuals who may or may not have asked how something was spelled. They may have been asking people who could not read or write how to spell their names. Most of the entries were accomplished either based on the experience of the person doing the writing, or their best guess based on how the name sounded. Men who clerked or “scribed” had no special grasp of spelling. I have seen the same name spelled three different ways in a single document. Most names did not reach a finalized form until Social Security began. Once you spelled it a certain way with the federal government – that was pretty close to how it remained. Our family uses the spelling of Olinger, but there are many Ohlingers in the tree. So when searching for Olinger you need to flexible and search for Olinger, Ollinger, and Ohlinger, and try substituting an e for an i and the letter j for g. The Yount line is often found as Yont, Yunt, and Yundt. I have also seen it spelled Jundt in some trees.

I am sure of whom Margaret Olinger’s parents are for two reasons. First – Viola Lawton Scott gathered the initial information directly from Margaret Olinger when she was alive. This is why I’m comfortable with using the date of births that I have. Second – I have Margaret Olinger’s 1932 death certificate which names her parents are Daniel Olinger and Hannah Yount.1 This could get confusing as we work are way back since there are several Olingers who have married Younts.

Daniel Olinger was born 20 September 1811 in Armstrong County, the youngest known son of Adam and Anna Maria (Yount) Olinger. (Yes, Yount again. Daniel and Hannah are first cousins.) I have seen various locations listed for his birth including Kittanning and Elderton. Daniel’s family was enumerated on the 1820 census in Kittanning Twp., Armstrong, Pennsylvania. Elderton was not incorporated as a borough until 1859.

Daniel married Hannah Yount on 10 April 1830 in Kittanning Twp. The newspaper notice of their marriage reads “Mr. Daniel Ohlinger, to Miss Hannah Yundt, dau. of Jonathan Yundt all of Kittanning Twp.”2 Hannah is the fifth child of Jonathan and Maria Margaret (Riscinger) Yount. Jonathan is the brother of Daniel’s mother Anna Maria. More on Daniel and Hannah in the next post.



1. Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 73280 (1932), Margaret Scott; Division of Vital Records, New Castle, Pennsylvania.
2. Constance Louise (Leinweber) Mateer, Early Deaths & Marriages in Armstrong County, Pennsylavania (Kittanning, Pennsylvania: n.p., 1994), Kittanning Gazette Vol #V I.

The Search Begins for James Scott

In researching the ‘declared father’ of Zachariah Scott I had hit a bit of a dead end. The only James Scott in Plumcreek Township was quite old by the time Zachariah was born. On the 1850 census James Scott of Plumcreek Township had a declared age of 77 and his wife Ann was 83. At the time of Zachariah’s birth he would have been about 70 – not unheard of for fathering a child.

But if he was the father than why wouldn’t Polly/Mary or her family have applied for support. If you have named a father in the church record, than it would no longer be a secret, so why not demand financial aid. I researched this particular James Scott, but found no will or documents that would lend any support to his being Zachariah’s father. The only thing in his favor was opportunity based solely on location.

There was another James Scott in the region who was younger, but the distance from Elderton did not make him a logical candidate.

On a recent trip to Salt Lake City, I was working my way through a book of extracted materials from the Armstrong Democrat. These extracted births, marriages and deaths are often the only records that document familial relationships pre 1850. As I always do, I scanned the index for the name Scott in hopes of finding another James Scott in Armstrong County. I was very excited to find and entry and then the following item.

The Armstrong Democrat Thursday, May 19, 1842
Death—On Saturday last, the 14th inst. At the residence of his father in Kittanning, Mr. James SCOTT aged 20 yrs, 2 mo, 14 da.
1

Backing up nine months from Zachariah’s birth would make his conception about March 1842. Two months prior to this man’s death. This James Scott was born 28 February 1822. This fits ever so much nicer than the “old guy next door” which felt more than a little icky. It also would provide the explanation as to why there was no request for support.

While I can build several solid scenarios around this situation, this does not prove that this James is in fact the father of Zachariah. This is merely the start of the search. I’ll now focus my research on the Anthony and Scott families in Kittaning. Papers for that era are not online and information is sketchy at best, but we’ll see what (if anything) we come up with that might tie these families together. The items I will focus on will be land, taxes, and cemetery and church records.



1. Constance Leinweber Mateer, Early Deaths and Marriages in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania from Kittanning Area Newspapers (Apollo, Pennsylvania: Closson Press, 1997), Death 14 May 1842 James Scott: p.73.

The Bryant and Utterback Page

I am happy to provide this page for George Chester Bryant. He was the second husband of Dorothy Josephine Johnson Burgraff and without Chet things may not have turned out so well for the Burgraff children. Chet married Dorothy in 1941 and took on her four children during a time when money was pretty hard to come by. He raised those four as his own and then became grandfather and great-grandfather to successive generations of Burgraff children.

Chet’s mother Margaret Utterback died shortly after his birth and Chet and his two sisters, Clacey and Lula were split up between the Bryant, Utterback and Brown families. While Chet remained in Oklahoma with either his uncles Wiley or William Bryant, Clacey and Lula were sent back to Kentucky and raised with Margaret’s family, although not in the same home. I have not been active on this line for awhile.

The Walker and Heisler Page

This page is now up and includes the pedigree chart for William Harry Walker. This family line is where I have been doing most of my recent work. A cousin got in touch through Ancestry and we shared information. I came out the best in this deal since she actually knew Nannie Heisler and could provide me with death certificates for William Zed Walker and Nannie Melvina Heisler. Harry actually mis-named his mother Nancy on her death certificate. It becomes clear through other records that her name was Nannie. I’m currently going through some Philadelphia church records which verify birth, baptism, and deaths in the family. The newspapers have been very helpful in following the Walker and Orme lines. Parish records for Ashton-Under-Lyne and the surrounding area will probably clarify the Walker and Orme lines in the future.

I have a fair start on the Harford and Nicholds line, but Baltimore in the early 1800s is not loaded with online records. The big stumbling block right now is the Heisler line. William is from Ohio and his parents from Germany, but he spends most of his adult life in Baltimore and then moves to Philadelphia. His wife Mary A. Harford dies and is buried in Mount Holley, Burlington County, New Jersey – and I have no idea why! Yet another mystery to be solved with this family.

The Scott, Beatty, and Shaffer Page

The basic page with a pedigree chart is up for Scotty’s Scott, Beatty, and Shaffer lines. This family centers in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. His Scott line is a stalled while I try to figure out who James Scott is, and the same is true for his Anthony line. The same is true of his Beatty line. James Beatty appears from Ireland and marries Rebecca Beatty and it is possible they are cousins, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. I am working the Shaffer line because he is the only father that Anna M. Beatty ever knew. After her mother Nancy J. Beatty married him she was listed in his household as Anna M. or Mary A. Shaffer.

About the only line that I have had some real success with is the line of Margaret Olinger. You just have to love those nice solid record keeping Germans! The Olingers and Younts have been in Pennsylvania since before the Revolutionary War and left behind good church records including baptism records. There is still a lot of work to do, but the basics are there.

The Rae and Smart Page

This is the second of Scotty’s pages with lines based in Scotland along with the pedigree chart. I have been working the Rae line fairly hard in the last year and I’m pretty comfortable with what I have put together. I have been fortunate enough to work with one of Scotty’s second cousins and she has been very generous in filling in some of the blanks. I have been working in the parish records of Lesmahagow, Knocken, Symington, and Douglas, in Lanarkshire. My favorite name so far has been Somerville Gilchristson.

The Smart and Cameron lines will be a little more difficult. William Smart was from County Clare in Ireland and while I have his parent’s names, I have no clue about Irish research pre-1850. Jane Cameron is the daughter of John Cameron and Janet Malcolm. I know from documentation that John Cameron died before 1869 and he was a fisherman, but that’s it. While Jane and her mother Janet Malcolm are both from Ayrshire, there is no guarantee that John Cameron is. It’s off to the parish records this summer to try to determine the answers on this line.

The McLean, Frith and Brimlow Page

The pedigree chart for this family line is now up. The spelling of MacLean versus McLean happened between 1915-1920. I have left Margaret Frith McLean’s spelling based on her birth certificate; however, sometime around the death of Margaret’s father George Edward McLean in 1915, her mother Nettie Ella Frith McLean began to use the spelling of MacLean. This declaration is from the 1899 request for a Widow’s Pension filed by Susan Wynn Frith McLean, the mother of George.1 The signature on the bottom left is George E. McLean. The family story is that Nettie changed the spelling based on the myth that the Scottish spelled it Mac and only the Irish used Mc. Her children adopted the change and their later records are MacLean. I have left Margaret’s records under her birth spelling of McLean.

While I now have locations to research in England the Brimlows and Browns, the Friths are going to be more complicated. I have some leads to explore when I go to Salt Lake City, but I have nothing beyond a marriage location to begin with on William Frith.



1.Declaration For Widow’s Pension by Susan W. McLean; Civil ar and Later Complete File (NATF 85D); Federal Military Pension Applications; National Archives and Records Administration.